(after a dragon from A song of Ice and Fire fantasy series).
Named By: Juan I. Canale, Sebastián Apesteguía, Pablo A. Gallina, Jonathan Mitchell, Nathan D. Smith, Thomas M. Cullen, Akiko Shinya, Alejandro Haluza, Federico A. Gianechini & Peter J. Makovicky - 2022.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Theropoda, Carcharodontosauridae, Giganotosaurini.
Species: M. gigas. (type).
Size: Skull estimated at 1.27 meters long. Full body size for holotype individual estimated to be over nine meters long.
Known locations: Argentina - Huincul Formation.
Time period: Early Cenomanian to Late Turonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skull and partial post cranial skeleton.
so often a dinosaur is discovered that makes people sit up and take
notice, and arguably in 2022 that dinosaur was Meraxes. This is
because the Meraxes genus has a number of accolades
to its name.
First is that at the time of its naming in 2022, Meraxes
most completely known carcharodontosaurid
theropod dinosaur so far
discovered in the Southern hemisphere. The size of the holotype
individual’s skull is also comparable to the largest known members of
the Carcharodontosauridae, with a reconstructed body length for the
holotype individual of Meraxes being well over nine
Further, study of the holotypes bones suggest that this individual dinosaur was about fifty-three years old at the time if its death. This would make this individual one of the oldest known dinosaurs, certainly one of the oldest large theropod dinosaurs. Bone Analysis also suggests that the holotype individual did not reach skeletal maturity (i.e. stop physically growing) until about four years prior to its death. While much of the skeleton of Meraxes is still incomplete, what is known does bear a similarity to Acrocanthosaurus, a carcharodontosaurid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America.
Meraxes was named after a dragon that features in the A Song of Ice and Fire stories (that would be adapted to the television series Game of Thrones). However, Meraxes is not the first prehistoric animal to have a name derived from A Song of Ice and Fire. The pterosaur Targaryendraco also had its name inspired by the series.
- New giant carnivorous dinosaur reveals convergent evolutionary trends in theropod arm reduction. - Current Biology - Juan I. Canale, Sebastián Apesteguía, Pablo A. Gallina, Jonathan Mitchell, Nathan D. Smith, Thomas M. Cullen, Akiko Shinya, Alejandro Haluza, Federico A. Gianechini & Peter J. Makovicky - 2022.