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Canadian scientists discover North America's oldest, tiniest dinosaur
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08:56, September 24, 2008

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Canadian scientists have discovered the oldest and smallest dinosaur known to exist in North America, the Canwest News Service reported Tuesday.

Paleontologists at the University of Calgary found the creature during an excavation in Alberta province in 2002, but they only confirmed it to be a new species until lately.

Called Albertonykus borealis, the unusual breed of anteater dinosaur was skinny, birdlike and had the size only of a chicken. It ran on two legs and scoured the ancient forest floor for termites.

It was found during an excavation of an ancient bone bed near Red Deer, Alberta.

"These are bizarre animals. They have long and slender legs, stumpy arms with huge claws and tweezer-like jaws. They look like an animal created by Dr. Seuss," said Nick Longrich, a paleontology research associate at the University of Calgary.

"This appears to be the smallest dinosaur yet discovered in North America."

Longrich studied 70-million-year-old bones that were collected on a dig in 2002 where the remains of more than 20 Albertosaurus were found. Albertosaurus are a type of tyrannosaur.

The bones were placed in storage at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and Longrich came across them while trying to compare Albertosaurus claws to another dinosaur species.

Source:Xinhua



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