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Fossils of fearsome dinosaur discovered

May 17, 1996
Web posted at: 9:50 a.m. EDT

From Correspondent John Holliman

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The bones of a huge dinosaur that might have intimidated even Tyrannosaurus rex have been unearthed in Morocco by a team from the University of Chicago.

Remains of it and another creature, probably the fastest three-toed dinosaur ever to roam the earth, were discovered almost by accident by the group of paleontologists and graduate students.

After searching the desert for more than six weeks, a graduate student took a new route back to camp and stumbled on the 27-foot-long dinosaur, which has been named Deltadromeus agilis, or agile delta runner.

"I was walking along and a glint, a crystal caught my eye," said graduate student Gabrielle Lyon, a former graduate student. "As I bent down to see what exactly was shining that way I realized what I was looking at was a mass of crystals embedded in what would have been the marrow of dinosaur bone."

Paleontologist Paul Soreno says the two-month expedition was made more difficult by the terrain and weather. They had to scale sheer cliffs in temperatures of up to 115 degrees.

For Soreno, the big discovery was the skull of the fearful Carchadontosaurus. At five, feet four inches, it is the largest ever found, bigger even than the Tyrannosaurus rex.

"The whole thought of that is frightening and at the same time fascinating," Soreno said.

Graduate student Hans Larsen says when he is handling the dinosaur's remains, it is like touching an "ancient relic of something we can't possibly see." "We can only imagine, we can only touch it."

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