Scientists uncover killer dinosaurs in Africa

Fossilized remains of two carnivorous dinosaurs unveiled a new secret of life in Africa’s Cretaceous period. The dinosaurs lived in the Sahara Desert 110 million years ago.

Kryptops palaios, a short-snouted beast that looked like a hyena, and Eocarcharia dinops, a killer lizard with huge teeth were both 25 feet in length.

Kryptops, translates as "old hidden face." The dinosaur was named so because of keratin that covered its head. It was a very fast two-legged lizard. Eocarcharia was probably the most brutal predator of the time. Its shark-like teeth allowed it to severe bodies of its prey to pieces easily.

Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago said meat eating was divided up in a way that the northern continent does not have.

The mighty Tyrannosaurus dominated the northern continent but did not reach Africa. Instead these three distinctive carnivores arose and found a way to coexist.

"You've got three big animals, one is getting in with fish but it has huge powerful forearms so is a predator as well, that's the Suchomimus," he said.

"The Eocarcharia has blade shaped teeth: it was definitely an active predator severing limbs and gashing flesh.

"Then you have this other guy (Kryptops) probably picking up the pieces and tracking down dead animals and sticking its short snout that's not very good for live captures into carcasses and going after guts."

The scientists uncovered the fossils during a rich dig in 2000 in which they found over 20 tons of fossils from a site deep in the Sahara.

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