Paleontologists Discover 230 Million-Year-Old Real-Life ‘Edward Scissorhands’

(Photo by Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images)

Kate Hirzel Contributor
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Scientists discovered the remains of a 230 million-year-old reptile in southern Brazil that has hands and claws that resemble Edward Scissorhands, according to a scientific paper published Wednesday.

This newly discovered creature named “Venetorapter gassenae” is believed to have roamed the Earth during the Triassic period, according to the paper. The reptile had a large, sharp beak, for feasting on insects, fruits and small animals, and powerful claws that were likely used for climbing trees and dismembering prey.

Its “hands and claws, which look a bit like those of Edward Scissorhands, may have been used to catch prey or climb trees,”  A paleontologist at the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil, Rodrigo Müller, told Live Science. (RELATED: Fossil Reveals Mammals May Have Hunted Dinosaurs Before Their Extinction)

Müller and his team from the Federal University of Santa Maria studied the fossils of the creature’s lifestyle and evolution. The reptile’s long fourth digit on its right-hand points to a close evolutionary relationship with pterosaurs or prehistoric flying reptiles, per Live Science.

“This elongated fourth digit supports the wings in pterosaurs, so V. gassenae may represent the transition of lagerpetids towards pterosaurs,” Müller said.

Contrary to previous beliefs, the researchers’ analysis suggests that lagerpetids, including Venetorapter gassenae, were just as diverse as pterosaurs and more diverse than the dinosaurs that roamed during the Triassic period, Live Science reported.