New beaked dinosaur species discovered in Brazil

© Berthasaura leopoldinaeMaurilio OliveiraFederal University of Rio de Janeiro

Robert Klatt

A relative of the T-Rex was discovered in Brazil that only had a beak instead of teeth.

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Scientists from the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) discovered a new species of dinosaur during excavations on a country road in the southern state of Paraná in Brazil. The fossil is about a meter high dinosaur from the theropod family, which also belonged to the T-Rex.

According to a publication in the specialist magazine Scientific Reports However, the species with the name Berthasaura leopoldinae (Bertha) had no teeth, only a beak. “We never thought that we would find a theropod without teeth,” says Alexander Kellner, director of the Brazilian National Museum.

Carnivore with a beak

According to the paleontologist Geovane Alves Souza, this does not necessarily mean that the dinosaur “ate no meat”. As a rule, theropods are carnivores or omnivores. The scientists therefore suspect that Berthasaura leopoldinae, like today’s birds, ate meat with their beak. “Most likely it was an omnivore that lived in an inhospitable environment,” explains Souza.

Complete skeleton

Especially the find because the skeleton of the relatively small dinosaur is almost completely preserved. The scientists were therefore able to limit the weight of the dinosaur, which was probably still young at the time of death, to around eight to ten kilos.

“We have skulls and jaws, the spine, chest and pelvic girdles, and front and rear limbs, which makes Bertha one of the most complete dinosaurs ever found in the world,” explains Kellner.

Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-01312-4

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