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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

HU.NOR.MUS Bird in China

A gigantic bird-like dinosaur weighing as much as a car towered over its relatives about 70 million years ago, a new finding suggests.

The unearthed beaked dinosaur was not full-grown, yet it tipped the scales at more than 3,000 pounds. Paleontologists who discovered its remains estimate the behemoth was just 11 years old when it perished.

Chinese scientists unearthed the skeletal remains of the dinosaur, now named Gigantoraptor erlianensis, in the Erlian Basin of Inner Mongolia, China. Gigantoraptor was also much ganglier than other dinosaurs. Typically, larger dinosaurs had proportionally stouter limbs and shorter lower legs than their smaller relatives. Relative to its size, Gigantoraptor had unusually slender limbs and lengthy legs.

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