The ‘Edward Scissorhands’-style weapons were employed to chop grass rather than eviscerate animal prey, according to the experts.
According to a recent study, a bipedal dinosaur with knives for fingers roamed the Asian coastlines between 66 million and 145 million years ago.
According to Live Science, the new genus and species of Cretaceous dinosaurs have been identified from fossilised remains discovered in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. According to specialists from the United States and Japan, the fossil is the first to be discovered in Asia in marine deposits.
The specimen belongs to a newly discovered species called “Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus” by the researchers. According to the study, the dinosaur belongs to the Therizinosaurs, a group of bipedal, herbivorous three-toed dinosaurs.
The fact that it had sword-like claws was the most noteworthy feature of this species. The Edward Scissorhands-style weapons were employed to chop foliage rather than eviscerate animal prey, according to the experts.
“Rather than being tools of aggression, [this dinosaur] used its claws to draw shrubs and trees closer to its mouth to eat,” study co-author Anthony Fiorillo, a research professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, told Live Science.
“Mr Fiorillo continued, “We suspect it perished on land and was washed out to sea.”
A different team of researchers discovered the hooked-shaped fossil with a half vertebra, a partial wrist and forefoot in the fossil-rich Osoushinai Formation in Hokkaido, Japan, in 2008. The fossil was discovered enclosed in a concretion, which is a solidified mineral deposit, and it was previously thought to belong to a therizinosaur.
The initial researchers, however, were unable to draw any clear findings due to a lack of comparable data at the time, according to representatives of Hokkaido University in a statement.
Scientists decided to study the specimen once new data became available that allowed them to categorise therizinosaurus based on the shape of its forefoot claws.
The authors of the new study concluded that the fossil belonged to a therizinosaur based on their findings. Mr Fiorillo told Live Science that estimating the size of the therizinosaur based on the fossil alone is impossible. He did add, however, that the dinosaur was “”Sizable,” which could reach 30 feet (9 metres) in length and weigh up to 3 tonnes.