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Labels: Cast   Cretaceous   Dinosauria   Early Cretaceous   Mesozoic   North America   Replica   Saurischia   Skull   Therizinosaurs   Theropoda   USA   Utah   
Falcarius utahensis

Category:Skulls
Taxonomy:Segnosauria
Age:Early Cretaceous
Locality:Cedar Mountain, Utah, USA
Length:0.24 meters

Description

This new discovery was described in the May 5th issue of Nature. It is the earliest and most primitive Therizinosauroid to this date, and the fact that it has been found in North America, not in Asia, is a surprise since until now most Therizinosaurs have been found there.

Falcarius utahensis has uniquely primitive features for this group. Its femur was longer than its tibia, which is not the case in more derived therizionsaurs that have the inverse condition. This points to a quicker locomotion and Dr. James Kirkland et al. believe that it shows that the animal had an omnivorus diet, instead of the vegetarian diet proposed for later therizinosaurs. Also the pelvis is only slightly widened, an adaptation necessary to accommodate the longer gut needed to extract nutrients from plants. The tail which is reduced in most therizinosaurs is very long in this species and the hands do not have the extremely long claws seen in Therizinosaurus.


History

The bonebed believed to contain more than 1 million bones of this animal was discovered by Lawrence Walker, a commercial fossil collector. Realizing the importance of his find he took Dr. Kirkland to the site. Apparently the site contains the bones of babies, juveniles and adults, possibly even males and females.


References

Kirkland J. I., Zanno L. E., Sampson S. D., Clark J. M. & Beblieux D. D. (2005). A primitive therizinosauroid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Utah. Nature, 434. Pp: 84-87.

See also Complete Falcarius utahensis, Therizinosaurus cheloniformis hand and Therizinosaurus cheloniformis claw.


Prices

Falcarius skull
255 EUR   (Convert)

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Product ID: 258


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