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Nature has lifted the embargo after somebody broke it, perhaps after a press
conference in China. It's called Gigantoraptor, and is a seriously neat and
seriously weird critter, a whopping-big oviraptorid.
Burrow into the paper, and you'll find all kinds of strange anatomical features
that don't show up anywhere else, implying that we're missing some important
chunks of dino-bird diversity. It's also surprisingly birdy and lightly built
for such a big animal. They don't have much of the skull, but the lower jaw was
beak-like. Think snapping turtle or parrot. Nor do they have definite evidence
of feathers, although they infer their presence.
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
Boston Correspondent: New Scientist magazine
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
v. 617-965-3834; fax 617-332-4760