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Geeky Paleontologists Name Dinosaur After Sauron from Lord of the Rings

hold on to your butts

Paleontologists have discovered a meat-eating dinosaur as big as the T. Rex that lived in North Africa about 95 million years ago. And while that’s cool on its own, what’s even better is what the new species was named: Sauroniops pachytholus, which translates in Greek to “eye of Sauron.”

It pleases my heart when scientists are geeky.

The fossil, discovered in Morocco in 2007, includes only part of the S. pachytholus’ skull—including an eye socket, thus the name. “The idea of a predator that is physically known only as its fierce eye reminded me of Sauron, in particular as depicted in Peter Jackson‘s movies,” says team leader Andrea Cau.

What we know about the Sauronosaurus (not its technical name, granted, but I can’t not call it that) is that it was about 40 feet long, probably had (as per Cau) “a long and deep skull bearing dozens of bladelike teeth,” and that it co-existed with three other similarly huge dinos living in the same region of Africa around the same time. The Huffington Post notes that it “would have been the worst nightmare of many smaller dinosaurs,” but we all know that even the smallest person creature can change the course of the future, so I’m guessing a band of smaller dinos were able to band together and bring down a Sauronosaurus at least once.

(via: Huffington Post)

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