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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: A Dino With Just One Finger
24 January 2011 3:00 pm
Meat-eating dinosaurs were very good at finding food, thus their evolutionary success over some 165 million years. But during their time on earth, they kept losing something that might seem important: their fingers. The earliest carnivorous dinosaurs had five fingers, although only four were actually functional. Many later meat eaters had only three, and evolution left the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex with only two. Now researchers have unearthed the first known dinosaur with only one finger. The new single-digit species, named Linhenykus monodactylus and described online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was found in a roughly 80 million year old rock formation in Inner Mongolia. Linhenykus, which was probably about a meter tall, belongs to a family of dinosaurs called alvarezsauroids, which some researchers once thought were early flightless birds but which are now widely recognized as true dinosaurs. The team suggests that the single, clawlike digit was an adaptation for digging, perhaps for insects such as termites.
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