Saturday, December 3, 2016

Eocarcharia dinops by cheungchungtat on Deviantart

Eocarcharia (meaning “dawn shark”) is a genus of carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation that lived in the Sahara 112 million years ago, in what today is the country of Niger. It was discovered in 2000 on an expedition led by University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno. The type and only species is Eocarcharia dinops. Its teeth were shaped like blades and were used for disabling live prey and ripping apart body parts. Eocarcharia’s brow is swollen into a massive band of bone, giving it a menacing glare (leading to the specific name dinops or “fierce-eyed”). It may have reached lengths of 6–8 m (19.7–26.2 ft).

Relative size of Eocarcharia MNN-GAD2-11 and a human, based on Acrocanthosaurus and Concavenator. Based on MNN-GAD2-11 specimen. Body design based on Mapusaurus, Concavenator and Acrocanthosaurus. Author: Daspletosaurus 5000

‬Although only known from incomplete remains Eocarcharia has been identified as being a member of the Carcharodontosauridae,‭ ‬a group of theropod dinosaurs established around the type genus of Carcharodontosaurus,‭ ‬another dinosaur named for its tooth resemblance to a sharks.‭

Eocarcharia dinops, a carcharodontosaurid theropod from the Middle Cretaceous of Niger, skull reconstruction based on refered specimens described by Sereno et Brusatte, 2008, and related genus Acrocanthosaurus, pencil drawing, digital coloring. Author: Nobu Tamura

In the Elrhaz Formation, dinosaurs that lived with Eocarcharia include theropods Kryptops palaios and Suchomimus tenerensissauropod Nigersaurus taqueti, and ornithopods Ouranosaurus nigeriensisLurdusaurus arenatus, and Elrhazosaurus nigeriensis.