Utah bones sheds new light on dinosaur evolution, diet

Utah's rich sandstone yields one new Cretaceous-era dinosaur species after another, but the latest one, a pot-bellied herbivore with a meat-eating ancestry, is so strange it took nearly a decade to properly describe and name it.

A species of therizinosaur , Nothronychus graffami was a waddling bird-beaked, small-headed oddity that opens new insights into dinosaur evolution and diet, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences . The bipedal beast stood 13 feet in height on stumpy legs spread wide off a broad back encasing a massive digestive tract. Its signature feature was foot-long claws tapering off its hands.

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