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Creature of the Week #6: Falcarius

  • 30-12-2009 6:52pm
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo

    Falcarius was a dinosaur genus belonging to the therizinosaurian superfamily, found in east-central Utah, in the United States. Its name 'Falcarius' in Latin means sickle cutter. Falcarius utahensis lived approximately 125-130 million years ago, in the early Cretaceous Period.

    Falcarius is amongst the most primitive therizinosaurs yet discovered and unequivocally demonstrates that the group evolved from raptor-like ancestors. Adults measured about 13 feet (4 meters) long, head to tail. They stood about 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) tall and had sharp, curved, 4-inch-long (10-centimeter-long) claws.


    The major signifigance of Falcarius is that it represents a 'missing link' between raptor like predatory dinosaurs and the later bizarre plant-eating therizinosaurs. Falcarius shows the first signs of change toward a leafy, green diet. Analysis of its leaf-shaped teeth and 10 to 13cm (4 to 5 inch) claws indicate that it could consumed both meat, probably small animals, and plant material as well.

    Some recommended further reading:

    There was also an hour long program on the fossil find on Nat Geo.


  • If you don't fancy watching the programme on Youtube it's on Discovery Science today at 18:00