Found: Real-Life Version of Sesame Street's Big Bird

If, that is, Wes Craven had designed the character...

By Boonsri Dickinson|Monday, September 10, 2007
RELATED TAGS: DINOSAURS

In the Gobi Desert of northern China, Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology accidentally stumbled upon a gigantic one-and-a-half-ton dinosaur while filming a documentary about a previous find. Dubbed Gigantoraptor, the find has turned out to be the largest birdlike dinosaur ever found—at 17 feet tall, it would have been tall enough to look T. rex in the eye.

The behemoth is 35 times as large as other members of its group, which complicates our understanding of how birds evolved from dinosaurs, Xing says. The old theory held that as carnivorous dinosaurs developed into birdlike creatures, they became smaller—not larger, as in Gigantoraptor’s case. Xing still isn’t sure if Gigantoraptor had feathers. Nor does he know what it liked to eat. It had the sharp claws of a carnivore, like T. rex, and the long neck of an herbivore, like Apatosaurus. That opens up the menu to mollusks, seeds, and of course, dinosaur eggs.

Comment on this article
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSC-JanFeb15
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »