New dinosaur species called ‘Captain Hook’ with a curved claw at the end of its arms is discovered in Montana and roamed the Earth 66 million years ago
- Paleontologists find remains of a new dinosaur species in Montana
- The creature, called the crochet hand dinosaur, had a curved hook on each arm
- The official name translates to Captain Hook and it is a member of alvarezsaurida
- The dinosaur was very small, covered with slender feathers and fed on insects
- Experts say it was one of the last dinosaurs on Earth 66 million years ago
Paleontologists have unearthed a new dinosaur species that it named in honor of the mythical character ‘Captain Hook’ because of a unique hook claw on the end of its arms.
Dubbed Trirarchuncus prairiensis, the creature was covered with slender feathers and had two short arms with a long claw at each end that it used to dig or break wood in search of insects.
Researchers discovered three different-sized claws in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, one of which is the most complete claw known of the species.
The fossilized claws are also more addicted than others in the past and come from different stages of growth, allowing experts to see how the hooked dinosaur changed as it grew older.
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Paleontologists have unearthed a new dinosaur species named in honor of the mythical character ‘Captain Hook’ because of a unique hook claw on the end of his arms
The hooked dinosaur is a member of alvarezsaurida, small, long-legged creatures, and it is speculated that they represent the earliest ancestors of today’s ratites.
The name ‘Trierarchuncus’ refers to the ‘trierarch’, the captain of a seafaring vessel, and ‘uncus’ means hook that together formed ‘Captain Hook’ in reference to Peter Pan’s hook-handed pirate.
The newest species is the youngest of the group and is considered one of the last dinosaurs to walk the Earth before it was wiped out during the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event.
It had long legs, with ostrich-like feet and a very long pointed snout.
Researchers discovered three different-sized claws in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, one of which is the most complete claw known of the species
The fossilized claws are also more addicted than others in the past and come from different growth stages, allowing experts to see how the hooked dinosaur changed as it grew older
What makes this dinosaur so unique were the short arms with a large claw at the end.
Scientists unearthed three of these hand claws while digging up Hell Creek Formation, known as a paleontologist’s dream.
Located near Jordan, Montana in the eastern region of the state, the site is dotted with rock distribution in North America dating to the end of the Cretaceous period some 65.5 million years ago.
The three claws provide experts with a growth series of the crochet hand dinosaur, starting with a younger to an adult adult.
One of the claws is the most complete to be discovered from an Alvarezsaurida and is much more addicted than the ones previously found
The new species is the youngest of the group and is considered to be one of the last dinosaurs to walk the Earth before it was wiped out during the end Cretaceous mass extinction event
“This is important because it is recognized that dinosaurs changed shape, often significantly as they grew,” researchers said in a statement.
Indeed, the new fossils show that as Trierarchuncus grew, his claw became more robust; blood vessel grooves on the sides of the claw were embedded deeper into the bone; and the claw surface developed from smooth in young individuals to a rough surface texture in adults. ‘
One of the claws is the most complete to be discovered of an Alvarezsaurida and is much more addicted than the one previously found.
HOW THE DINOSAURS PERFORMED AROUND 66 MILLION YEARS AGO
Dinosaurs ruled and dominated Earth about 66 million years ago, before suddenly dying out.
The Cretaceous Tertiary Extinction is the name given to this mass extinction.
For years it was believed that the changing climate destroyed the food chain of the huge reptiles.
In the 1980s, paleontologists discovered a low iridium.
This is an element rare on Earth but found in large quantities in space.
When this was dated, it coincided exactly with the moment when the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record.
A decade later, scientists discovered the huge Chicxulub crater on the tip of the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula, which dates back to that period.
Scientific consensus now says that these two factors are interrelated and likely both were caused by a massive asteroid crashing to Earth.
With the projected size and impact speed, the collision would have caused a huge shock wave and likely caused seismic activity.
The fall would have created plumes of ash that probably covered the entire planet and made it impossible for dinosaurs to survive.
Other animals and plant species had a shorter time between generations that allowed them to survive.
There are several other theories as to the cause of the famous animals’ deaths.
One early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur eggs, and another argues that poisonous angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them.