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Artists impression by Matt van Rooijen

Meet Linheraptor exquisitus, a species related to the infamous Velociraptor. It was discovered in the Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia. The paper was published in Zootaxa a couple of days ago.

Two PhD students named Michael Pittman and Jonah Choinier made the discovery. They were doing a field project at the time.

Finding a new species of dinosaur… It sounds like the kind of dream you have as a kid. Certainly in my younger years I nurtured fantasies of discovering a dinosaur and naming it something cool. I think Linheraptor exquisitus fits the bill.

As Michael describes the exquisitus experience, “Jonah saw a claw protruding from the cliff face. He carefully removed it and handed it to me. We went through its features silently but he wanted my identification first. I told him it was from a carnivorous dinosaur and when he agreed I’m surprised nobody in London heard us shouting.” Here’s a picture of the fossil.

It looks pretty intact, doesn’t it? I particularly like the foot, it looks like it’s dancing a merry jig in a silent movie.

That foot housed a stomach-slicing claw like that of Jurassic Park fame. The dinosaur would have been about 2.5 metres long and weighed 25 kilograms.

Quote from EurekAlerts.