New dinosaur species discovered by NCSU scientist, colleague

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A rendering of Siats Meekerorum.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina State University professor and a scientist have discovered a new dinosaur, one that researchers said terrorized the Tyrannosaurs.

The Siats Meekerorum is said to be one of the three largest dinosaurs ever found in North America and existed about 100 million years ago.

A rendering of Siats Meekerorum.

A rendering of Siats Meekerorum.

Officials said the giant predator was found in Cedar Mountain, Utah in 2008.

It was discovered by Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist who works at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Peter Makovicky, from Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.

Researchers said the recovered skeleton belonged to a dinosaur that would have been more than 30 feet long and weighed at least four tons.

“It’s been 63 years since a predator of this size has been named from North America,” Zanno said. “You can’t imagine how thrilled we were to see the bones of this behemoth poking out of the hillside.”

Officials said Siats terrorized what is now Utah during the Late Cretaceous period (100 million years ago to 66 million years ago). It was previously unknown who the top meat-eater was in North America during this period.

Researchers said the discovery helps them fill in a 30-million year gap in the fossil timeline of giant meat-eating dinosaurs in North America.

Siats meekerorum was named by the scientists after a man-eating monster of legend from the region’s Ute Indian people and the Meekers, a museum donor family from Evanston.