Scientists have unearthed a formerly unknown one-fingered dinosaur species in northeastern China.
The two-legged dinosaur was alike in size to a parrot, but had only one claw on each hand.
Scientist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences say the species belongs to a family of theropods, which generally had three fingers on each hand. They say this is the first dinosaur found in that group with a single large claw. Some scientists supposed the claw was used to dig into insect nests.
Scientist Xu Xing says the newly discovered species, called Linhenykus, likely grew to 1 m in height and weighed no more than a huge parrot. Scientists say it highlights an intricate pattern of evolution in this dinosaur group.
The remnants of the Chinese dinosaur were found in rocks formed 75 to 84 million years ago in the city of Linhe, near the Yellow River in Inner Mongolia.
Theropods are mainly a meat-eating group that includes the well-known tyrannosaurus and velociraptor, which were predecessors of modern birds.