'Beautiful' fossil of Jurassic Park dinosaur found
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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:16 AM
A new species of the ferocious raptor dinosaurs has been discovered by a British student and a friend after they saw its scythe-like claw sticking out the side of a cliff. Michael Pittman, 24, a student at University College London and his colleague from an American university, found the toe was part of an almost complete fossil.
The exceptionally well preserved dinosaur, named Linheraptor exquisitus, is the first near complete skeleton of its kind to be found in the Gobi desert in China since 1972. The eight foot long creature is related to Velociraptor, one of the terrifying stars of the movie Jurassic Park.
Like its famous cousin, Linheraptor had a large curved toe claw on each foot which may have been used to dispatch prey. The 55lb dinosaur, which lived 75 million years ago, would have been agile and swift on its feet.
Mr Pittman and Jonah Choiniere from George Washington University came across the animal's fossil bones sticking out of a cliff face. The pair were visiting the Wulansuhai Formation, a site of red sandstone rocks in Inner Mongolia where a number of other dinosaur finds have been made.
Recalling the discovery, Mr Pittman said: "We were out there looking for fossils but this was like hitting the jackpot.
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