Two-clawed and parrot-sized: new T.rex cousin unveiled

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A tiny distant cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex has been discovered in China with only a single claw on each forelimb.

Linhenykus monodactylus weighed no more than a large parrot and was found in sediments between 84 and 75 million years old.

The dinosaur belongs to a sub-branch of the theropods, the dinosaur group which includes T.rex and Velociraptor, and which gave rise to modern birds.

Details are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new species was named after the Chinese city of Linhe, Inner Mongolia, near where its fossilised remains was uncovered in what is called the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation.

The international team found a partial skeleton, including bones of the vertebrae, forelimb, hind limbs, and a partial pelvis.

It is part of the Alvarezsauroidea family of theropods, a group of small, long-legged dinosaurs, known for their strange and tiny arms.

Michael Pittman of University College London, who was part of the team, says the animal would hardly have been intimidating....

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