Giant Clawed Dinosaur Found

Scientists have announced the discovery of a giant dinosaur in Utah. The fossil skeleton belonged to Nothronychus graffami, which stood 13 feet tall and had claws nine inches long!
Its skeleton, described in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, represents the most complete remains ever excavated of a therizinosaur, meaning "reaper lizard." It is one of only three such dinosaurs ever found in North America.

Lead author Lindsay Zanno told Discovery News that therizinosaurs, including the new Utah species, "are unusual in that they have small heads with a keratinous beak at the front of the mouth -- the same material as the beak of modern birds -- and small leaf-shaped teeth."

"Their bellies are proportionally enormous, supporting large guts," added Zanno, who is a researcher in the Department of Geology at The Field Museum. "They have greatly enlarged claws on their hands, short legs and tails, and four-toed feet."

The dinosaur's anatomy suggests it ate both plants and animals. Link

(image credit: Victor Leshyk)

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