A New King and His Tiny Minion; August 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Sinha; 1 Page(s)
Poor Tyrannosaurus rexhas been dwarfed, again. Fossils unearthed in the Kem Kem region of Morocco point to the existence of a dinosaur whose head was five feet, four inches long (1.6 meters), just slightly larger than that of T. rex. The discovery of Carcharodontosaurus, or "shark-toothed reptile," by Paul C. Sereno of the University of Chicago and his colleagues comes right after the finding last year of Giganotosaurusin Argentina. The South American giant and its new African counterpart--along with Sereno¿s other Moroccan find, a smaller species called Deltadromeus, or "delta runner"--are also helping scientists understand exactly when the continents split apart.
Paleogeographers believe that by the end of the Jurassic, some 150 million years ago, the ancient supercontinent Pangaea split into a section called Laurasia, which moved north, and Gondwana, which remained in the south. This idea is supported by fossils showing an evolutionary schism: species unique to each landmass sprung up at about the same time. But until now, this evidence had been restricted to Asia, Europe and South America.