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Terrifying New Dinosaur Named for J.R.R. Tolkien's Sauron

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Published on Nov 7, 2012

A new dinosaur that would make the T-rex nervous has been unearthed in Morocco.

The 40-foot behemoth, Sauroniops pachytholus, is named after Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, because it's only been identified so far by a single skull fossil that included a large eye socket. The huge theropod, with a bump on its head and razor-sharp teeth, stalked prey near North African deltas 95 million years ago.

Though Sauroniops is thought to be as large as T. rex, researchers say they can't be definitive with just a skull fossil. Regardless, their discovery is timely, keeping Middle Earth in our minds just as a new Hobbit film is released next month.

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