Big bird-like dinosaur found in China


This video is called: Dinosaurs: China’s Ancient Giants.

Reuters reports:

China finds new species of big, bird-like dinosaur

By Tan Ee Lyn and Ben Blanchard

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

Eight meters (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, researchers wrote in the latest issue of Nature.

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

According to lines of arrested growth detected on its bones, it died as a young adult in its 11th year of life.

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 we believe it had feathers,” Xu Xing at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleonanthropology said in a telephone interview.

Through analyzing its skeleton, the researchers believe the Gigantoraptor shared the same ancestor and belonged to the same family as the Oviraptor.

With a beak and feathers, the Oviraptor is also bird-like and flightless, but weighed a mere 1 to 2 kg, Xu said.

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.

“It’s a giant dinosaur that looked very much like a bird … whereas from what we have known before, bird-like dinosaurs were very, very small.

Large dinosaurs are usually not bird-like. So this Gigantoraptor was an exception,” Xu said.

If the Gigantoraptor had lived to a full-sized adult, it would have been a lot larger, but Xu could not estimate what that would have been.

However, the researchers believe it had an accelerated growth rate that was faster than the large North American tyrannosaurs.

See also here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Video here; click on Bekijk video.

Dinosaur/bird evolution, see here.

2 thoughts on “Big bird-like dinosaur found in China

  1. Pingback: Mammals and the extinction of dinosaurs | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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