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Dinosaur Discovered ‘Down Under’ Sported 10-Inch Claws

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The largest meat-eating dinosaur ever discovered in Australia had sickle-shaped claws the size of chef’s knives, a daunting feature that likely made up for its fairly delicate jaws and small teeth, a new study finds.

The dinosaur’s 10-inch-long claws likely helped it hunt, said study lead researcher Phil Bell, a lecturer of paleontology at the University of New England in Australia.

“They didn’t have skulls like T. rex, which could crush bones with their incredible bite,” Bell told Live Science. “Instead, they probably used their hands and massive claws — a bit like a raptor — to bring down their prey.”

The newfound claw-wielding dinosaur lived about 110 million years ago, during the mid-Cretaceous, and likely measured about 20 feet long. Miners discovered and excavated the partial skeleton in the 1990s in the opal fields near the town of Lightning Ridge, located in New South Wales in eastern Australia. The fossils, most of them a bluish hue, thanks to the opals, were donated to the Australian Opal Centre in 2005 and remained on display until Bell and his colleagues decided to study them.

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https://media-cldnry.s-nbcnews.com/image/upload/t_fit-560w,f_auto,q_auto:best/newscms/2015_39/1231306/megaraptorid.jpgAn illustration of the “lightning claw” megaraptorid.Bell P.R., et al. Gondwana Research

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/dino-down-under-sported-claws-size-kitchen-knives-n430936

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