New Dinosaur Species With Massive Knife-Like Claws Found In Japan: Study

NDTV -- Jun 12
A bipedal dinosaur with knives for fingers roamed around the shores of Asia between 66 million and 145 million years ago, a new study has revealed.

According to Live Science, the new genus and species of the dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period was identified from the fossilised remains unearthed on Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. The fossil is the first to be found in Asia in marine sediments, researchers from the United States and Japan informed.

The fossil represents a newly described species, which the researchers named “Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus”. As per the study, the dinosaur belonged to a group known as Therizinosaurs - bipedal and primarily herbivorous three-toed dinosaurs.

The most remarkable aspect of this species is that it had sword-like claws. The researchers explained that the Edward Scissorhands-like weapons were used for slashing vegetation rather than eviscerating animal prey.

"[This dinosaur] used its claws as foraging tools, rather than tools of aggression, to draw shrubs and trees closer to its mouth to eat," study co-author Anthony Fiorillo, a research professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, told Live Science.

"We believe it died on land and was washed out to sea,” Mr Fiorillo added.

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The hooked-shaped fossil with a partial vertebra and a partial wrist and forefoot was originally discovered in 2008 in the fossil-rich Osoushinai Formation in Hokkaido, Japan, by a different team of researchers. The fossil was encased in a concretion - a hardened mineral deposit - at the time of its discovery, and it was previously believed it belong to a therizinosaur.


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