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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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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