Thanks to two new partial skeletons, Deinocheirus, long one of the great dinosaur mysteries has finally been revealed to be… one of the great dinosaur mysteries. What did it do? Why does it look so funny? Is one the answer to the other?
In 1965, paleontologists dug up a gargantuan pair of dinosaur arms in Mongolia. Their shape and hollow build suggested they belonged to a fearsome predator like the two-storey-tall Tyrannosaurus rex— but much, much bigger.
Now, scientists have finally uncovered the rest of the dinosaur those armed belonged to — and found an astonishing animal.
"This dinosaur is even more bizarre than we could even possibly have imagined," said Canadian dinosaur expert Philip Currie, who was part of the international research team that made the new discovery.
The team, led by Yuong-Nam Lee at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, described their findings in this week’s issue of Nature.
Deinocheirus mirificus was the name that scientists gave to the mysterious dinosaur nearly 50 years ago, after the discovery of its 2.4-metre long arms.
"The size was just mind-boggling," said Currie, a paleontology professor at the University of Alberta who has been fascinated by the discovery for decades.
"People started speculating, ‘Well if Tyrannosarus rex has arms as short as ours and this thing has arms that are six feet long, this dinosaur must be like 300 feet (91 metres) long’ — which was ridiculous, of course.”
I don’t know whether to laugh more at the fact that Arambourgiania philadelphiae is being compared to Sherlock Holmes, the fact that someone actually took the time to paint this, or the fact that Wikipedia posted it.
YAAYY LOOK AT MY HANDSOME ROOSTER LAD! (His name is Mr. Handsome Rascal) and his sister Miz BB J (Short for Betty Jo) and their doting mom Orpie! The babies are half Polish chicken, half MYSTERY CHICKEN! (I got the fertile eggs from my neighbor when Orpie went all broody. She’s the best mom ever!) I love raising my lil dinosaurs. I don’t think their heads will get quite as poofy as their dads though!