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Scientists Introduce Bizarre Dinosaur

Meet Deinocheirus, even stranger than expected
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2014 6:07 PM CDT
Scientists Introduce Bizarre Dinosaur
This undated handout image shows a Deinocheirus.   (AP Photo/Michael Skrepnick, Dinosaurs in Art, Nature Publishing Group)

(Newser) – A half-century ago, researchers found two arms in the Mongolian desert that clearly belonged to a big dinosaur—they were eight feet long and ended in nasty claws. But that was it, and so they named the mysterious creature Deinocheirus mirificus, which roughly translates into “unusual horrible hand," reports the Guardian. Fifty years later, researchers have pieced together the rest, thanks mostly to the discovery of two almost complete skeletons. Deinocheirus was indeed big, on par with T-Rex. But also factor in the neck of an ostrich, the bill of a duck, and something akin to the hump of a camel, reports Bloomberg.

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“These new specimens really solve the mystery once and for all,” says a University of Edinburgh paleontologist n National Geographic. “And they tell us Deinocheirus was much weirder than anyone could have imagined—a colossal, slow-moving, horse-headed, hump-backed dinosaur that looks like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.“ It was probably a plant-eater for the most part, though it might have scooped up fish or small vertebrates when it had the chance. As for the hump, it wasn't thick like a camel's, and the best guess is that the bony spines coming off the backbone played a role in supporting the animal's massive abdomen and legs. (Another newly discovered dinosaur may help us understand how species survive extinction.)

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