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Chenanisaurus Barbaricus : the last dinosaur to have lived in Africa discovered in Morocco

Chenanisaurus Barbaricus is one of the latest dinosaurs that lived in Morocco 66 million years ago. A partial jaw belonging to the predator animal was discovered by Doctor Nick Longrich last year in Ouled Abdoun Basin, a discovery that he described as similar to «winning the lottery».

Chenanisaurus Barbaricus dinosaur./ Ph. AcroSauro Taurus
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The last dinosaur  that has lived in Morocco has been identified by Dr Nicholas Longrich, a scientist who discovered last year in the Ouled Abdoun Basin a partial jaw of Chenanisaurus Barbaricus. According to The Irish Times, the predatory animal was found in Sidi Chennane phosphate mine, located near Khouribga.

Holotype of Chenanisaurus Barbaricus. Ph.Cretaceous ResearchHolotype of Chenanisaurus Barbaricus. Ph.Cretaceous Research

Dr Longrich, who is a lecturer in the department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath, has told the same source that his discovery is akin to «winning lottery». After one year of examining the fragment of the dinosaur, Longrich with the help of his colleagues from France, Morocco and Spain, was finally able to give a clear description of the dinosaur’s breed.

The latest dinosaur to live in Africa

Dr Longrich and his colleagues described the animal as a Chenanisaurus with distinctive features. It is a two-legged Abelisaur measuring 7-8 meters (23-26 ft). The dinosaur is a smaller version of the North American T-Rex but with smaller hands. While examining the discovery, Longrich indicated that the teeth were strong enough to crack a bone.

Chenanisaurus Barbaricus size. Ph. Cretaceous ResearchChenanisaurus Barbaricus size. Ph. Cretaceous Research

The discovery that was conducted by Dr Longrich and his team reveals several elements on the dinosaurs' era. «We have virtually no dinosaur fossils from this time period in Morocco – it may even be the first dinosaur named from the end-Cretaceous in Africa. It’s also one of the last dinosaurs in Africa before the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. It’s an exciting find because it shows just how different the fauna was in the southern hemisphere at this time», Longrich told the IrishTimes.

The Chenanisaurus is considered as the last dinosaur to live in Morocco after the mass extinction that hit the species. The doctor argues that the dinosaur belongs to the Maastrichtian age, an era that follows the disappearance of all dinosaurs.

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