Washington, Sept 9 (ANI): Scientists have uncovered remains of a hunchbacked dinosaur species that sprouted spiky, featherlike shafts on its arms; was probably a powerful runner; and likely ate small dinosaurs, crocodiles, and early mammals.
The Concavenator corcovatus -"the hunchback hunter from Cuenca"- skeleton was found in central Spain after 130 million years ago.
Palaeontologist Francisco Ortega of the Universidad Nacional de Educacmon a Distancia in Madrid said that the hunch probably stored fat, just like in camels, reports the National Geographic News.
It may also have been a showpiece to attract females, or may have helped diffuse heat and regulate body temperature, Ortega said.
The scientists also found feather-like structures on the dinosaur's forearms, which given the dinosaur's weight, could have only been for display, they said.
C. corcovatus was an early member of the carcharodontosaurids ("shark-toothed lizards"), a dinosaur group that later gave rise to massive, fanged predators outside Europe-for example, a meat-eating carcharodontosaurid dinosaur with "steak knife" teeth.
"Ten or 12 years ago everybody thought that carcharodontosaurids were a group that was exclusive to South America and Africa," Ortega said.
The study is to be published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature. (ANI)