According to new research from the University of Zurich, the dinosaur – a carnivorous predator is about 8.5 meters long – belongs to a family and species that have never before seen.
Paleontologists named the new dinosaur Notatesseraeraptor frickensis, a reference to the city of Frick, Switzerland, where the skeleton was discovered in 2006. But it was not until the week that the results of a phylogenetic analysis (like a map of dinosaur evolutionary trees) were published and revealed its properties were different from others.
"We realized that it was something important," told the writer Marion Zahner, CNN, adding that the skull first lost her to the unique features of dinosaurs. "The skull is very interesting from an evolutionary point of view."
The species is also the first teropod, a group of carnivorous dinosaurs that go on two supporting hind legs (think of a T. Rex with strong legs and stubby arms), which is found in Switzerland.
"Frick is very famous for the dinosaur legs," said Zahner, a doctoral student at Zurich University. "For about 30 years they have been grazing there, but mostly they only find Plateosaurus bones."
Researchers could even decide that the last meal of the dinosaur was a small lizard called a clevosaurus by an analysis of residues in stomach.
"I just think every fossil is very special and it is important that the whole tree of the tree understands the present and the future," Zahner said.