Scientists Recreate Walk of Bizarre Duckbilled Dinosaur

Posted on October 22, 2014

Paleontologists have animated the walk of Deinocheirus mirificus, an odd looking dinosaur that had large forelimbs and a duckbill. The forelimbs of the dinosaur are 2.4 meters long (about 8 feet). They were the first part of the dinosaur discovered in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia in 1965.

Researchers from the University of Alberta and the Korea-Mongolia International Dinosaur Project (KID) have since pieced together what the dinosaur looked like using parts of another specimen found in the KID collection and poached dinosaur bones that were being held by a fossil dealer in Europe. The final skeleton reveals a large strange dinosaur. Phil Currie, professor and Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Paleobiology at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Science, says in a statement that Deinocheirus is "a totally bizarre dinosaur."

The researchers say Deinocheirus was a large dinosaur that measured 11 meters (36 feet) long. It would have weighed around 6.4 tons. Its large forearms were likely used for gathering plants from lakes or streams or for hunting fish. The scientists say the creature would have moved slowly.

Currie says, "Although the arms have been known since 1965 and have always aroused speculation because of their enormous size and sharp, recurving claws, we were completely unprepared for how strange this dinosaur looks. It almost appears to be a chimera, with its ornithomimid-like arms, its tyrannosaurid-like legs, its Spinosaurus-like vertebral spines, its sauropod-like hips, and its hadrosaur-like duckbill and foot-hooves."

Here is an animation of Deinocheirus going for a walk. Take a look:

A research paper on Deinocheirus can be found here in the journal, Nature. A Nature article also calls the waddling creature a "beer-bellied" dinosaur.

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