tidbits about birds, birders and birding from WildBird's editor
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Birdlike dinosaur fossil receives name
BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- China has uncovered the skeletal remains of a gigantic, surprisingly bird-like dinosaur, which has been classed as a new species.
Eight meters (26 feet) 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.