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Small Dino

October 14, 2008

Scientists discover North America’s smallest dinosaur to date.


North America’s smallest dinosaur….I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists in Canada have discovered what they believe was North America’s smallest dinosaur. According to paleontologist Nick Longrich of the University of Calgary, Albertonykus borealis was about the size of a cat, with a beaklike snout, a long, slender tail…

NICK LONGRICH (University of Calgary):
…and then these short, stumpy forelimbs that bear a massively enlarged claw on the thumb.

Longrich says the claw was probably ideal for tearing apart the nests of ants and termites, much like a modern anteater. He first noticed the claw bone while combing through fossils collected by paleontologist Philip J. Currie in southern Alberta..

Small dinosaurs don’t preserve well in North America. Small bones are extremely rare. And in this site for some reason, it tends to preserve small things.

I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.