Thursday, September 22, 2011

Newfound Raptor Dinosaur had 'Switchblade' Killing Claws

Raptor Dinosaur
Battle damage linked to the fearsome curving talon of a newly discovered dinosaur relative of Velociraptor is shedding light on how it was used as a weapon, scientists find.

This research also adds to the mysterious complexity seen in the lost continent where this fossil was found, researchers added.

The newfound 75-million-year-old dinosaur is a feathered raptor named Talos sampsoni — "Talos" in homage to a winged bronze giant in Greek mythology that could run at lightning speed and that succumbed to a wound to his ankle, "sampsoni" in honor of Scott Sampson of the PBS series "Dinosaur Train," and a research curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

Fossilized remains are all that's left of the once mighty dinosaurs that dominated our planet. Here, the most recent finds from these ancient beasts.

The raptor dinosaurs, made famous by the book and film "Jurassic Park," all possessed unusually large, sickle-like claws on the second toes of each foot, which they held off the ground like folded switchblades.

A famous discovery made in Mongolia 30 years ago seemingly of a Velociraptor locked in mortal combat with prey — fossils dubbed the "fighting dinosaurs" — suggested these talons were used as weapons. Now the injured claw of Talos sheds even more light on how they lived with these weapons.
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