New dinosaur species found in China

March 20th, 2010 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 20 (IANS) Paleontoligists in China Saturday claimed to have found the skeleton of a new species of carnivorous dinosaur that believed to have lived about 80 million years ago.
Experts have found an intact and complete skeleton fossil of a previously undiscovered dinosaur species in north China, the team’s leading scientist Xu Xing said.

The species “Linheraptor exquisitus” is the latest among the Dromaeosauridae family of the carnivorous theropod dinosaurs found so far.

The fossil was one of the world’s most well-preserved specimen of small predator dinosaurs that lived about 80 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period, said Xu, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

About 2.5-metre long and weighing 25 kg, the dinosaur would have been a fast and agile predator and, like other dromaeosaurids, possessed large “killing claws”.

Xu said the new species documents a transitional stage in dromaeosaurid evolution from original ones with long and thin hind limbs to developed ones that were comparatively stronger.

The new dinosaur was found in the rocks of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region by an international team which consisted of members from China, the US and Britain, Xinhua reported.

The region is known for the huge presence of dinosaur fossils buried in aeolian rocks formed by sandstorm, which the experts believe killed the dinosaurs, resulting in comparatively intact preservation.

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