About 80 million years ago, when tyrannosaurs ruled the Northern Hemisphere, their counterparts flourished in the southern part of the planet. This is the newly discovered dinosaur Llukalkan aliocranianus.

Llukalkan was probably one of the main predators of all of Patagonia during the Late Cretaceous period. It grew up to five meters in length, possessed an extremely powerful bite, sharp teeth and claws, and an excellent sense of smell.

The dinosaur fossils include a perfectly preserved and intact skull with rough bones. Scientists celebrate that during his lifetime there were bulges and protrusions on his head, like some modern reptiles.

Llukalkan belongs to the Abelisauridae family, dinosaurs with stocky hind and forelimbs rudimentary. However, scientists found that the hearing of the newly discovered dinosaur was different. Its auditory system is in many ways similar to that of modern crocodiles.

The dinosaur lived in the same small area and in the same time period as another abelisaurid species, just a few million years before the end of the dinosaur era. The Llukalkan and  Viavenator fossils were discovered just 700 meters apart in the Bajo de la Carpa Formation, Argentina.

The Abelisauridae were a striking family of theropod dinosaurs, averaging five to nine meters in length, that prowled mainly in Patagonia and other areas of the ancient southern subcontinent.

Although abelisaurids generally resembled tyrannosaurs with tiny, short forelimbs, they differed significantly in skull structure. Most of them had ridges, tubercles, and unique horns.

According to Mendes, these dinosaurs were still trying new paths of evolution and diversified quickly right before they went extinct. Researchers expect to find more Abelisaurid remains to better understand the diversity of this family.