Saturday, January 22, 2011

Linheraptor exquisitus - yet another raptor from China

The new raptor Linheraptor exquisitus runs across desert sands in an artist's rendering

Actually old news, but I've just caught up.

Called Linheraptor exquisitus, the new dinosaur is a raptor, a type of two-legged meat-eater, that lived during the late Cretaceous period in what is now northeastern China (see map).

"We were looking at these very tall red sandstone walls that were all abraded by the wind, and I saw this claw sticking out of the side of the cliff," recalls Jonah Choiniere, a grad student at George Washington University in Washington D.C. who found the fossil on a dig in 2008.

The claw wasn't protruding much: Less than a fingertip's worth of the bone was exposed. But further investigation revealed "bone after bone," Choiniere said, until the team had unearthed a nearly complete skeleton—one of the most complete raptor fossils ever found.

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