Animals/ Pets ‘Edward Scissorhands’ creature that lived 230 million years ago discovered in Brazil By Kevin A. Bond Posted on August 28, 2023 Leave a Comment on ‘Edward Scissorhands’ creature that lived 230 million years ago discovered in Brazil The prehistoric predator, named by scientists Venetorapter gassenae, was also equipped with a massive beak and probably used its claws to climb trees and tear prey pieces apart. A reptile from the past with huge hands and claws resembling swords was discovered in southern Brazil. The reptile’s “hands and claws, which look a bit like those of Edward Scissorhands, may have been used to catch prey or climb trees,” Rodrigo Muller, an archaeologist of the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil, said Live Science. Muller and his group uncovered the reptile remains in a Rio Grande do Sul rice farm in southern Brazil. The mysterious creature lived around 230 million years ago in the Triassic period (252 million to 201 million years in the past). Muller explained that it was large and had a sharp beak likely used to catch fruit, insects, and smaller animals like lizards. The claws could have been used to climb and prepare prey. In recognition of its unique raptor-like ear and claws that grasp, researchers dubbed the reptile Venetorapter gassenae. Analyzing skeletal fragments from the past, researchers believe that V. gassenae was about 27.5 inches (70 centimeters) tall and about 39 inches (1 meter) long. The bones’ features suggest that the animals were adults, Muller said. The fossils were discovered on a farm in Brazil. (Image source: Janaina Brand Dillman) With a feather-like fur and a longer tail. V. gassenae was a lagerpetid, a species of reptiles that were precursors to Pterosaurs, flying reptiles that took over the skies in the age of dinosaurs. A long 4th digit of V. gassenae’s left hand that was fossilized hasn’t been seen before in lagerpetids, suggesting that V. gassenae’s fossils are closely linked to pterosaurs. Muller. “This elongated fourth digit supports the wings in pterosaurs, so V. gassenae may represent the transition of lagerpetids towards pterosaurs,” he explained. It is widely believed that lacertids are less anatomically diverse than pterosaurs or dinosaurs, Muller noted. However, after analyzing the form and dimensions of fossils of 18 dinosaurs and 10 pterosaur types, together with reptilian counterparts, which included V. gassenae — researchers discovered that lacertids could be more diverse than pterosaurs and even more varied than dinosaurs that inhabited the Triassic period. According to Muller, the finding of additional V. gassenae fossils might help better understand what this intriguing creature ate, what it looked like, and where it was found.