Researchers in China have unearthed a miniature single-clawed dinosaur that was likely an early relative of the ferocious T. Rex and is the only such creature known to have just one finger.
The newly named species of theropod, Linhenykus monodactylus, would have been about a meter (three feet) tall and as heavy as a parrot, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Most theropods, which were carnivores that gave rise to modern birds, had three fingers per hand, but this one just had a single large claw that it likely used for digging into insect nests, in an odd but evolutionarily useful adaptation.
The Aye-aye is a species of lemur with an extremely long and thin middle finger, adapted to pulling grubs from their holes in trees. Perhaps this justifies the speculation that the newly-discovered dinosaur dined on insects.