Name: Tratayenia X
Phonetic: Tra-ta-yen-e-ah.
Named By: J.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Porfiri,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Juárez Valieric,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Santos‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Lamanna‭ ‬-‭ ‬2018.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Megaraptora,‭ ‬Megaraptoridae.
Species: T.‭ ‬rosalesi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Roughly estimated to be about‭ ‬8‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Argentina‭ ‬-‭ ‬Bajo de la Carpa Formation.
Time period: Santonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains including vertebrae,‭ ‬sacrum and partial pubis and ischium.

       At the time of writing Tratayenia is only known from a partial post cranial remains,‭ ‬mostly associated with the spine and hips,‭ ‬but the discovery of even these scant remains has significantly improved our understanding of the South American dinosaurs in the Cretaceous.‭ ‬It was long thought that carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaurs‭ (‬e.g.‭ ‬Mapusaurus‭) ‬were the main predators in South America during the early Cretaceous,‭ ‬before abelisaurid theropod dinosaurs‭ (‬e.g.‭ ‬Carnotaurus‭) ‬became dominant in the late Cretaceous.‭ ‬Tratayenia however belongs to neither of these two groups,‭ ‬Tratayenia was a megaraptoran theropod.‭ ‬While other genera of megaraptoan theropods‭ (‬such as Megaraptor‭) ‬were already known to have been present in South America,‭ ‬the presence of Tratayenia in Santonian aged deposit proves that the large predatory dinosaurs of South America were far more diverse in their types‭ ‬throughout the Cretaceous‭ ‬than previously thought.
       Although we don‭’‬t yet know for certain,‭ ‬Tratayenia would be expected to have had enlarged claws on its hands as‭ ‬these seem to have been a recurring feature on other megaraptoran dinosaurs where the hands are known.‭ ‬Indeed,‭ ‬when these hand claws were first found they were thought to have been the toe claws of very large dromaeosaurids,‭ ‬hence the name Megaraptor for the type genus of the group.‭ ‬At an estimated length of eight meters for the holotype individual,‭ ‬Tratayenia might not have been the biggest predator in South America,‭ ‬but still big enough to have been a serious threat to other dinosaurs.
       Other dinosaur genera that Tratayenia might have come‭ ‬into contact with include Viavenator,‭ ‬Velocisaurus,‭ ‬Traukutitan,‭ ‬Alvarezsaurus and Mahuidacursor.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new megaraptoran theropod dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Bajo de la Carpa Formation of northwestern Patagonia.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Cretaceous Research‭ ‬89:302-319.‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Porfiri,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Juárez Valieric,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Santos‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Lamanna‭ ‬-‭ ‬2018.


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