In news– Researchers have recently found a new genus and species of the dinosaur with knives for fingers that lived during the Cretaceous period was identified from the fossilised remains unearthed on Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan.
About the new species-
- Paralitherizinosaurus is an extinct genus of therizinosaurus dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Osoushinai Formation of Hokkaido, Japan.
- The genus contains a single species, P. japonicus, known from a partial right hand and cervical vertebra.
- Paralitherizinosaurus represents the youngest therizinosaurus known from Japan.
- The new study said that the dinosaur roamed around the shores of Asia between 66 million and 145 million years ago.
- The fossil is the first to be found in Asia in marine sediments.
- The fossil represents a newly described species, which the researchers named “Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus”.
- As per the study, the dinosaur belonged to a group known as Therizinosaurs – bipedal and primarily herbivorous three-toed dinosaurs.
- The most remarkable aspect of this species is that it had sword-like claws.
- This dinosaur used its claws as foraging tools, rather than tools of aggression, to draw shrubs and trees closer to its mouth to eat.
- The hooked-shaped fossil with a partial vertebra and a partial wrist and forefoot was originally discovered in 2008 in the fossil-rich Osoushinai Formation in Hokkaido, Japan, by a different team of researchers.
- The fossil was encased in a concretion – a hardened mineral deposit at the time of its discovery, and the original researchers were unable to draw any definitive conclusions.
- Now, with developments in data that enable them to classify therizinosaurus based on the morphology of forefoot claws, scientists decided to revisit the fossil.