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Nqwebasaurus (Ezequiel Vera)


Nqwebasaurus (Greek for "Nqweba lizard"); pronounced nn-KWAY-buh-SORE-us


Plains of southern Africa

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (130 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 3 feet long and 25 pounds


Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; long first fingers on hands


About Nqwebasaurus:

One of the few early theropods to be discovered in sub-Saharan Africa, Nqwebasaurus is known from a single, incomplete skeleton, probably a juvenile. Based on an analysis of this fossil's unusual hands--the long first fingers were partially opposable to the second and third--experts have concluded that this small dinosaur was an omnivore that literally clutched at anything it could eat, a conclusion backed up by the preservation of gastroliths in its gut (these "stomach stones" are useful accessories for grinding up vegetable matter).

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