Scientists from Hokkaido University in Japan and Southern Methodist University in the United States have revealed the discovery of the fossil of a new dinosaur species that lived in Asia during the early to late Cretaceous period. The dinosaurs roamed Asia during this time period.
The recently discovered fossilized claw of a Therizinosaur belonged to the group of dinosaurs known as Therizinosaurs, and it was assigned to a species known as Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus. The specialists from Hokkaido University believe that the Therizinosaurs were found for the first time in Asia. This is due to the fact that the fossil evidence in nations such as China and Mongolia are abundant in the presence of their remains. There have even been reports of pieces of their bodies being discovered in Japan.
The dinosaur’s ferocious claws, which had blades for fingers, were one of the most interesting characteristics of the creature. Nevertheless, the researchers have verified that their purpose was not to slash their prey but rather to hook vegetation and draw it to the mouth so that they could graze on it. There was a big group of dinosaurs known as the Therizinosaurs. These dinosaurs were predominantly herbivores and possessed hollow bones and three toes on each leg.
A new species of therizinosaurid has been identified from fossilized claws unearthed in Hokkaido, Japan: Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus.
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— Hokkaido University (@HokkaidoUni) June 9, 2022
Notably, the fossil was found for the very first time in 2008 in the Osoushinai Formation, which is a geological feature in the Nakagawa region of Hokkaido that is rich in fossils. In the beginning, the specimen was thought to have come from a therizinosaur but was reported as having come from a manitoraptan dinosaur instead. However, because of the lack of comparable data available at the time, confirmation was not possible.
After some time had passed, the researchers went back to look at the fossil again. This time, they divided the therizinosaur known as Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus, which literally translates to “reaper reptile by the sea from Japan,” into two distinct classes: base and derived. The claws of basic therizinosaurs were found to be a generalist and not for a particular function, however, the claws of derived therizinosaurs were found to be specialized to assist the animal in feeding itself. This was discovered by an in-depth examination of their claws.
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