Washington, July 16 (ANI): Scientists have discovered the most complete skeleton of a type of pot-bellied dinosaur, a therizinosaur, in southern Utah, US, which had claws like that of the fictional 'X-Men' character 'Wolverine'.
According to a report in National Geographic News, dubbed Nothronychus graffami, the 13-foot-tall (4-meter-tall) therizinosaur lived about 92.5 million years ago in what is present-day Utah.
When alive, the animal would have sported a beaked mouth and forelimbs tipped with 9 inch- (22 cm)-long sickle claws.
In life, sheathed in hornlike keratin, the talons would have each been about a foot (30 centimeters) long, or about as long as the dinosaur's head.
In addition to its imposing claws, which are a therizinosaur trademark, the newfound dinosaur had a less-than-fearsome potbelly, a birdlike beak, stumpy legs, and a short tail.
Its stumpy legs, large gut and other features suggest the lumbering giant scarfed down plants rather than chasing after meaty prey.
Because these facts suggest that the animal was a plant-eater, scientists are puzzled about the use of the killer claws for the dinosaur.
"We really don't know," said study team member Lindsay Zanno of the Field Museum in Chicago.
"There are some things we can rule out, such as digging. Other than that, the claws may have been used for defense, to forage for plants, or to attract mates," she added. (ANI)