Scientists excited by discovery of ‘Edward Scissorhands’ dinosaur with fearsome claws – World News

The findings changed the way researchers thought about the creatures that had not previously been found in coastal regions

An artist's rendering of Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus, the newly discovered species of dinosaur described in this study.
An artist’s rendering of Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus, the newly discovered species of dinosaur described in this study.

The discovery of remains of a “bizarre” dinosaur compared to Edward Scissorhands has scientists buzzing with excitement.

The fossils were first found on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan in 2008, but new developments in the classification of dinosaur bones have allowed scientists to re-examine the bones and gather new and valuable information.

The discovery of the new subspecies called Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus changed the way scientists think about this group of dinosaurs.

It belonged to a group known as therizinosaurs, two-legged, three-toed creatures that lived around 80 million to 82 million years ago.

Only five parts of the dinosaur were found, causing confusion over identification, but researchers hope to return to the area for more excavations.

One of the three fossilized claws of Paralitherizinosaurus japonicus.


Yoshitsugu Kobayashi)

Despite the dinosaur’s fearsome claws, they didn’t use them to catch and maim other animals, but rather to hook onto plants for grazing.

Their long claws have led to comparisons to Edward Scissorhands, the main character in Tim Burton’s film of the same name, about an unfortunate man with long-bladed scissors instead of hands.

A new study of the fossils, led by Professor Yoshitsugu Kobayashi of the Hokkaido University Museum and Anthony R. Fiorillo of Southern Methodist University (SMU), found in marine sediments, found the animals roamed in coastal environments.

Professor Yoshitsugu Kobayashi from the Hokkaido University Museum said: “This discovery is very important. Not only for Japanese Studies, but also in other parts of the world.

“This is only a fragmentary specimen, but we believe the remains of the rest of the skeleton are still buried in the mountain.”

An estimated chart of creature size and claws


Illustration by Genya Masukawa)

He added, “I hope we can extend this study to other therizinosaurs from the rest of the world, who will tell us more about this bizarre species of dinosaur.”

According to Professor Fiorillo, it’s impossible to know for sure just how big the therizinosaur was from this specimen alone, he reports LiveScience.

At best, scientists believe it was “considerable,” possibly growing 30 feet (9 meters) long and weighing up to 3 tonnes (2.7 tons).

The fossil is so well preserved that “if we revisited the original site, we could find more of the animal,” said Prof. Fiorillo.

“We remain cautiously optimistic and it’s on our radar,” he added.

Millions of years since they went extinct, scientists continue to uncover new information about the giant lizards that once roamed the planet.

A dinosaur recently found on the Isle of Wight may have been the largest predator to ever roam Europe.

A cross between a T-Rex and a great white shark, the giant animal could also hunt in water.

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