Paleontologists have unearthed the remains of an immense, fast-growing dinosaur whose body proportions don't match those predicted by the evolutionary trends that characterize its more diminutive kin.
The creature, one of a group of birdlike dinosaurs called oviraptors, strolled semiarid river valleys of what is now northern China about 70 million years ago. Aptly given the genus name Gigantoraptor, it stood 3.5 meters tall at its shoulder, measured about 8 m long, and probably tipped the scales at about 1.4 metric tons. Other oviraptors weighed no more than 40 kilograms, says Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing.
Xu and his colleague