Gigantoraptor!

China finds new species of big, bird-like dinosaur:

Eight meters (26 ft) long and standing at twice the height of a man at the shoulder, the fossil of the feathered but flightless Gigantoraptor erlianensis was found in the Erlian basin in Inner Mongolia, researchers wrote in the latest issue of Nature.
The researchers said the dinosaur, discovered in April 2005, weighed about 1.4 tonnes and lived some 85 million years ago.
According to lines of arrested growth detected on its bones, it died as a young adult in its 11th year of life.
What was particularly surprising was its sheer size and weight because most theories point to carnivorous dinosaurs getting smaller as they got more bird-like.
“It had no teeth and had a beak. Its forelimbs were very long and we believe it had feathers,” Xu Xing at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleonanthropology said in a telephone interview.
Through analyzing its skeleton, the researchers believe the Gigantoraptor shared the same ancestor and belonged to the same family as the Oviraptor.

gigantoraptor.jpg
Read the whole thing….
Update: Grrrrl, PZ and NYTimes have more info.
Laelaps, Laelaps again, Tetrapod Zoology and The Hairy Museum of Natural History have more.

2 responses to “Gigantoraptor!

  1. Honey… I’m not sure I can get the whole birn in the oven… Whoa – this is some serious size here – thanks for including the human for scale, but please make sure that this does NOT show up in the pseudo-museum in KY!

  2. That’s Fred Flintstone standing there, of course. 😉