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A new species of Jurassic Park dinosaur 'discovered' in China

world Updated: Mar 19, 2010 12:23 IST

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Scientists have discovered a new species of the ferocious raptor dinosaurs in China's Gobi desert, after they saw its scythe-like claw sticking out the side of a cliff.

A team, led by Michael Pittman of University College London, found the toe was part of an almost complete fossil skeleton of Linheraptor exquisitus -- in fact, the eight-foot- long creature is related to Velociraptor, one of terrifying stars of the movie 'Jurassic Park'.

Like its famous cousin, Linheraptor had a large curved toe claw on each foot, which may have been used to dispatch prey. The 55 pounds dinosaur, which lived 75 million years ago, would have been agile and swift on its feet.

Pittman and Jonah Choiniere from George Washington University came across the animal's fossil bones sticking out of a cliff face when they were visiting Wulansuhai Formation, a site of red sandstone rocks in Inner Mongolia where a number of other dinosaur finds have been made.

"We were out there looking for fossils but this was like hitting the jackpot. Jonah saw a claw protruding from the cliff face. I am surprised nobody in London heard us shouting we were that excited.

"I've always wanted to discover a dinosaur since I was a kid, and I've never given up on the idea. It was amazing that my first discovery was from a Velociraptor relative," 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted Pittman as saying.