New Strong-Handed Dinosaur May Shatter Assumptions
Were gentle, plant-eating giants also scavengers and opportunists?
The discovery of Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, which roamed North America about 190 million years ago, also boosts the idea that at least some dinosaurs became masters of their domain less by dominance than by opportunistic behavior and a bit of good luck.
A remarkably complete Sarahsaurus skeleton, found in Arizona, shows that the early Jurassic herbivore was, at 14 feet (4.3 meters) long and 250 pounds (113 kilograms), smaller than its enormous sauropod cousins such as Apatosaurus, which arose later. (See a sauropod picture.)
Like the sauropods—the largest animals to walk Earth—Sarahsaurus featured a long neck and small head. But the newly identified creature also boasted strong teeth and an unusual clawed hand, that, while only