Dozens of dinosaur fossils have been discovered in 2021 all around the world, ranging from an incredibly fast theropod and a 140-foot long Supersaurus to a duck-billed dinosaur and a sharp-toothed monster.
One of the most important discoveries involved the fossils of the fastest known dinosaur, found near the village of Igea, Spain. This flesh-eating theropod, which lived between 145 and 100 million years ago, was able to reach running speeds of up to 45 kilometers per hour and could change speed suddenly as it ran.
Another fascinating creature was discovered in Missouri and is now considered this state’s “official dinosaur.” Parrosaurus Missouriensis reached up to 30-foot in length and had a very peculiar beak, highly similar to those of today’s ducks.
A more terrifying finding is Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis, a creature with enormous blade-like teeth resembling those of a Great White Shark, which lived approximately 900 million years ago. This was seven million years before the most famous predatory dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex, emerged. The frightening animal inhabited the coastal plains of the Asian landmass in a period when the Earth’s continents were still bunched close.
Two other terrifying predators have been discovered on the Isle of Wight. These theropods, closely related to the giant Spinosaurus, measured around nine meters in length, and most probably hunted prey both on land and in the water with the help of their ferocious, one-meter-long skulls.
In sharp contrast with these large-toothed beasts stands Berthasaura leopoldinae – a toothless, two-legged dinosaur discovered in Brazil, which lived around 70 to 80 million years ago. The scientists are still puzzled by this strange creature’s diet, but claim that the fact that it was toothless must not necessarily imply that it did not eat meat.
This year also marked the discovery of the longest dinosaur on record, a diplodocid named Supersaurus. This majestic 140ft-long creature with a 52ft-long neck and a 60ft-long tail roamed the North American territories approximately 150 million years ago.
Finally, the “long lost” relative of Triceratops has been unearthed in New Mexico. Sierraceratops turneri roamed the Sierra County region about 72 million year ago – six million years before its more famous cousin and had no less than five horns on its enormous head.
These findings once again highlight the impressive biodiversity characterizing our planet’s ecosphere millions of years ago.