Discovered: The turkey-sized dinosaur with a poisonous bite/

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PostWed Dec 23, 2009 9:21 am » by bugmenot


Discovered: The turkey-sized dinosaur that could deliver a lethal poisonous bite and eat its prey alive :look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... -bite.html

Some bird-like dinosaurs had a poisonous bite, a new fossil find suggests.

Scientists have discovered a feathered 'raptor' with grooved fangs that almost certainly delivered venom and probably ate its prey alive.

They believe other members of the dromaeosaur family may have also killed or immobilised their prey with poison.

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Danger bite: The turkey-sized Sinornithosaurus was related to the raptor and was just as lethal

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The fossil Sinornithosaurus was a bird-like dinosaur with a poisonous bite. Scientists have discovered a feathered 'raptor' with grooved fangs that almost certainly delivered venom

Sinornithosaurus was a close relative of the Velociraptor, one of the stars of the movie Jurassic Park.

Although bird-like and about the size of a turkey, it did not fly and was not an early bird. But scientists believe it may have preyed on ancient birds 128 million years ago, using its long fangs to penetrate their plumage.

A well-preserved skull and partial skeleton of the dinosaur was found at the site of a prehistoric forest in north-east China.

Sinornithosaurus had teeth similar to those of rear-fanged snakes and venomous lizards such as the Gila Monster of Mexico. A series of fang-like teeth on the upper jaw bore grooves that are thought to have channelled poison.

U.S. and Chinese scientists also found depressions in the jaw bone on each side of the face that may have housed poison glands.

Rather than delivering a killer bite with a powerful dose of venom, the dinosaur may have paralysed or immobilised its prey, rendering it helpless.

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Sinornithosaurus was a close relative of Velociraptor, one of the stars of the movie Jurassic Park. Although bird-like and about the size of a turkey it did not fly and was not an early bird

David Burnham, from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, said: 'You wouldn't have seen it coming. It would have swooped down behind you from a low-hanging tree branch and attacked from the back.

'It wanted to get its jaws around you. Once the teeth were embedded in your skin the venom could seep into the wound. The prey would rapidly go into shock, but it would still be living, and it might have seen itself being slowly devoured by this raptor.'

A description of Sinornithosaurus appeared yesterday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The dinosaur had a narrow snout and wide gape, consistent with the use of venom.

One of its close relatives was the four-winged glider Microraptor, which the scientists now believe may also have been poisonous.

Sinornithosaurus appears to have been specially adapted for preying on birds.

Its fangs were long enough to penetrate thick feathers and pierce the skin beneath to a depth of four to six millimetres - sufficient for getting poison into the bloodstream.

A tooth from a small dromaeosaur has also been discovered embedded in a limb bone from a pterosaur, one of the flying reptiles that lived alongside the dinosaurs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... -bite.html :look:

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