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Owlscrying

China finds new species of bird-like dinosaur

5 posts in this topic

June 13

China has uncovered the skeletal remains of a gigantic, surprisingly bird-like dinosaur, which has been classed as a new species.

Eight metres (26 ft) long and standing at twice the height of a man at the shoulder, the fossil of the feathered but flightless Gigantoraptor erlianensis was found in the Erlian basin in Inner Mongolia.

The researchers said the dinosaur, discovered in April 2005, weighed about 1.4 tonnes and lived some 85 million years ago.

What was particularly surprising was its sheer size and weight because most theories point to carnivorous dinosaurs getting smaller as they got more bird-like. It had no teeth and had a beak. Its forelimbs were very long and it had feathers.

Other similar feathered dinosaurs rarely weighed over 40 kg, which means the Gigantoraptor was about 35 times heavier.

The largest known feathered animal before the Chinese discovery was the half-tonne Stirton's Thunder Bird, which lived in Australia more than six million years ago.

The researchers believe it had an accelerated growth rate that was faster than the large North American tyrannosaurs. Its feathers were likely for show and for keeping its eggs warm.

"We think it's the largest feathered animal ever to have been discovered," researchers said.

It had both herbivorous features -- a small head and long neck -- but also carnivorous ones -- sharp claws for tearing meat -- and could likely run fast on its long, powerful legs.

Its site of discovery, near Erenhot on the Chinese-Mongolian border, is known for fossils and calls itself "dinosaur town".

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Posted (edited)

This discovery sheds light on the giant oviraptor that once lived in the S.E United States. They grew to over 17 feet long. The previous idea is that the oviraptorids grew large once they came to N. America, but the large dinosaurs might of started out in E. Asia!

Very important discovery!

Edited by frogfish

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That's a large raptor...

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Its an Oviraptorid, not a dromaeosaur...

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Posted (edited)

it must be the family of oviraptor......

Edited by davesam

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