Feb 19, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Huge Armless Dinosaurs Didn’t Need Appendages to Kill

What did the armless dinosaur say about the incoming comet?
Nothing. He couldn’t grasp the concept.

Yes, that’s the signal this story is about a newly discovered giant armless dinosaur and it’s OK to tell jokes because it’s extinct. However, we wouldn’t be doing it if they were still around because this particular creature had a huge head, powerful jaws and fast-moving legs. In fact, a T. Rex would give his tiny right arm for this dinosaur’s power.

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Are you making fun of my little arms?

“This new dinosaur is quite unusual for its kind. It has several key characteristics that suggest that is a new species, providing important new information about an area of the world which we don’t know a lot about.”

Professor Anjali Goswami is Research Leader at London’s Natural History Museum and co-author of a new study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on the discovery in Argentina of fossils of the Guemesia ochoai, a new species of giant armless dinosaurs which roamed the southern hemisphere over 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous. (Drawing of what it looked like here.) In fact, Guemesia ochoai may have been a long-lost cousin of the ancestor of all giant armless dinosaurs. Those were the abelisaurid therapods, which lived on the ancient Gondwana continent and were known to feed on massive creatures like titanosaurs despite having virtually non-existent arms.

Why did the octopus beat the Guemesia ochoai in a fight?
Because the octopus was well armed.

Professor Anjali Goswami and her team were surprised to find braincase, including the upper and back parts of the skull, in the Los Blanquitos Formation near Amblayo in northern Argentina because all other abelisaur fossils – 35 species in all -- were found in the south in Patagonia. The rocks where the skull was discovered date to between 75 and 65 million years ago, just before the Cretaceous mass extinction.

Why were the abelisaurs no help when the comet came?
They couldn’t point up?

This new species of armless dinosaurs had a number of unique features, starting with rows of small holes in the front of its skull known as foramina that helped keep its giant head cool – even though its cranium was still about 70% smaller than other abelisaurs. It also lacked the horns its southern relatives sported, indicating it may have been and early member of the group.

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When you have tiny arms, it's tough getting a date.

What do you call an armless dinosaur?
By its name, of course.

Guemesia ochoai is named for General Martin Miguel de Güemes, a hero of the Argentine War of Independence, and Javier Ochoa, a museum technician who discovered the specimen. Professor Goswami and her team are anxious to get back to northern Argentina because they believe the area is ripe for finding more armless dinosaurs and other unique creatures not seen anywhere else that were lost in the mass extinction event.

Why was the armless dinosaur so angry?
He read this article and couldn’t face-palm.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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