Cretaceous Fruit Ninja: New Dinosaur Discovery Compared to ‘Edward Scissorhands’
03:19 GMT 14.02.2022 (Updated: 13:32 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AFP 2023 / City/CountryLos Angeles, United StatesCreditRachel Murray / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty ImagesMadame Tussauds Hollywood celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Edward Scissorhands by immortalizing the iconic character played by Johnny Depp in wax at Madame Tussauds Hollywood on December 9, 2015 in Los Angeles, California
© AFP 2023 / City/CountryLos Angeles, United StatesCreditRachel Murray / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images
A newly-discovered dinosaur in Catalonia was the size of a bus and had five razor-like claws akin to the character American actor Johnny Depp played in the film "Edward Scissorhands."
The discovery was published in a new paper and experts believe the “scissorhands” were useful for warding off predators and could have been used to slice open fruit, making Portellsaurus sosbaynati more of a prehistoric fruit-ninja than a blade-wielding killing machine.
Dr. Andres Santos-Cubedo of Jaume I University, said of the dinosaur that “it was a large animal with a spiked thumb and enlarged nostrils. It ate a plant-based diet.”
The dinosaur, an herbivore, was an excellent forager due in part to its huge nostrils. It stood about 10 feet tall, weighed over four tons, could rise up on its hind legs to 26 feet, and carried a long heavy tail to balance when feeding.
Portellsaurus roamed Spain around 130 million years ago. The newly-announced creature sheds light on the evolution of ornithopods, according to researchers. The species started out as small, bipedal grazers, but grew in size and numbers, becoming one of the most successful species in the Cretaceous era, spreading across North America, Europe, and Asia.
“Portellsaurus sosbaynati is the oldest known dinosaur species in the province of Castello — about 130 million years old. It’s closely related to the Chinese dinosaur Bolong and the African dinosaur Ouranosaurus,” noted Santos-Cubedo.
The authors write that the discovery, “indicates the Iberian Peninsula was home to a highly-diverse assemblage of medium-to-large bodied styracosternan hadrosauriforms during the Early Cretaceous.”