Machairasaurus (Greek for "short scimitar lizard"); pronounced mah-CARE-oh-SORE-us
Woodlands of Asia
Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)
Size and Weight
About three feet long and 10-20 pounds
Unknown; possibly omnivorous
Feathers; bipedal posture; long claws on hands
During the late Cretaceous period, the plains and woodlands of Asia were populated by a bewildering profusion of feathered dino-birds, many of them closely related to Oviraptor. Named by the famous paleontologist Dong Zhiming in 2010, Machairasaurus stood out from other "oviraptorosaurs" thanks to its unusually long front claws, which it may have used to pull leaves down from trees or even to dig into the soil for tasty insects. It was closely related to a handful of other feathered Asian dinosaurs, including the contemporaneous Ingenia and Heyuannia.