Meet quaint hunchback dino from 130 mn years ago

September 10th, 2010 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sept 10 (IANS) The quaint-looking predator roamed the planet 130 million years ago hunting and eating smaller dinos and reptiles.
The creature was around 20 feet long, six feet tall and weighed around four and a half tonnes. Nicknamed “the hunchback hunter of Las Hoyas”, it was found near the city of Cuenca in western Spain.

The creature, officially named concavenator corcovatus, is one of the most complete dinosaur fossils yet dug up in Europe, reports the Daily Mail.

Fossil hunter Francisco Ortega of the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain, said the “exquisitely preserved” skeleton was a brand new species of carcharodontosaurid - a member of the predatory theropods that included T Rex.

They were previously believed to have lived in south of the equator so the discovery described in the journal Nature provides insights into the early evolution of theropods.

Prof Ortega said C corcovatus has “two unusual features” — the pointed humplike structure on its back and a series of small bumps on the forearms.

This unique “hunch-back” has never previously been seen in dinosaurs whereas the bumps are similar to “quill knobs” found in many modern birds where wing feathers are anchored to the bone with ligaments.

As well as its peculiar spine, the dinosaur could help shed light on the origin of feathers on dinosaurs from which today’s birds descended.



Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Environment |