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Large Feathered Meat Eating Dinosaur

  • 13-09-2010 12:07am
    Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭

    A remarkable new dinosaur has been discovered in Spain. Concavenator corcovatus was a type of carcharodontosaur that lived 130 million years ago in the early Cretaceous period. Carcharodontosaurs had previously only been thought to have lived in the southern continents, but this discovery shows theywere more widespread. At 20 feet long Concavenator was small by carcharodontosaurine standards. Relatives such as Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus were twice the size and among the largest of all meat eating dinosaurs, exceeding T. rexin size.
    Curiously, Concavenator has a strange hump or sail on it's back somewhat similar to that of Spinosaurus, but positioned and shaped differently. Much like Spinosaurus' hump, it's exact purpose is unknown.
    Perhaps the most interesting of all of Concavenator's features is the presence of what appear to be feather like quills on it's arms. This means that even very large theropods like the giant carcharodontosaurs may too have had feathers, making them much more common among dinosaurs than many imagined.
    Prof Ortega, of the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, 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 'hunchback' has never previously been described 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.

    Full article (with video) here.