This 200-million-year-old Reptile Had Huge Claw to Dig Food

This 200-million-year-old Reptile Had Huge Claw to Dig Food

Usually, old remainshelp researchers understand history of earth, but newly found reptile fossil is puzzling them. It’s a 200-million-year-old reptilewhose studymay shed new light on the world’spast several million years ago.

The fossils belong to a prehistoric reptile known as Drepanosaurus which hadhuge hooked clawslikeanteaters, an animal found in Central and South America. The ancient animal must have used theclaw to unearth food, suggested a new study on the reptile’s fossilsdiscovered in a New Mexico quarry.

Researchers said it could help them in knowing more about the evolution of reptiles and how four-legged animals ruled the planet a long time ago. The ancient Drepanosaurusreptile had size equal to today’s cat, and spent most of its time in trees. It had body like achameleon, while its head was similar to a bird’s head.

The animal was with huge arms and forearms, said lead author Dr Adam Pritchard from the Yale University. “The index finger is much, much larger than any of the other fingers and supports this gigantic claw, which is easily the most massive bone of the entire arm”, he added in a statement.

To understand more about the reptile’s structure, the researchers created 3D modelbased on micro-CT scans of its bones. Many species are with two bones in forearm, but the Drepanosaurus was without them. This reptile was with several other features that violated all patterns that are usually found in tetrapods, said Dr Pritchard. It has also surpassed researchers’ thoughts on arm of tetrapod animals.

The study shows that theDrepanosaurus was with independently developed adaptations that today’s animals, saidthe researchers.


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