Sauroniops

Name: Sauroniops ‭(‬Sauron eye/face‭)‬.
Phonetic: Sow-ron-e-ops.
Named By: Andrea Cau,‭ ‬Marco Dalla Vecchia and Matteo Fabbri‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Carcharodontosauridae.
Species: S.‭ ‬pachytholus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Preserved portion of the holotype skull 20 centimetres long.
Known locations: Morocco‭ ‬-‭ ‬Kem Kem Beds.
Time period: Cenomanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull fragment from just above the eye socket.

       Bought from a Moroccan fossil dealer,‭ ‬the only known fossil of Sauroniops is of the upper eye socket.‭ ‬This material however is unlike any other known theropod of the time and location,‭ ‬and displays enlargement of the bone growth,‭ ‬something that may have been the underlying support for eye crest displays in the living dinosaur.‭ ‬Since the describers only had an eye bone to describe the new genus,‭ ‬they decided to take inspiration‭ ‬from the‭ ‘‬eye of Sauron‭’‬,‭ ‬the‭ ‬flaming eye atop a tower which is the‭ ‬main representation of Sauron,‭ ‬the principal villain in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books‭ (‬and subsequent films‭)‬.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬rather than stomping around Mordor,‭ ‬Sauroniops lived in North Africa at a time where it may have come into contact with other large theropod dinosaurs such as Deltadromeus and Spinosaurus,‭ ‬as well as what appears to be its closer relative Carcharodontosaurus,‭ ‬the type genus of the Carcharodontosauridae.‭ ‬The exact size of Sauroniops is impossible to establish with absolute certainty,‭ ‬but it was in all likelihood a large theropod dinosaur.‭ ‬This idea is based upon the comparison of the Sauroniops bone fragment with other more complete relatives,‭ ‬as well as the simple facts that some of its relatives such as Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus rank among some of the largest known theropods.

Further reading
-Evidence of a new carcharodontosaurid from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco,‭ ‬Andrea Cau,‭ ‬Marco Dalla Vecchia and Matteo Fabbri‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.
-A thick-skulled theropod‭ (‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia‭) ‬from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco with implications for carcharodontosaurid cranial evolution,‭ ‬Andrea Cau,‭ ‬Marco Dalla Vecchia and Matteo Fabbri‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites