Discovery of the Century!
Real Dinosaur Foot Found.
This is a foot of a real dinosaur. It belongs to a Megalapteryx and its skin is considered the best preserved dinosaur tissue to date.
Hoax or Fact:
These picture messages doing rounds on internet claim to show the discovery of the century - a preserved foot of a real Dinosaur. The picture does show a real foot with skin, bones and muscle tissue, but what is claimed is not a fact.
Source of Story
The aforementioned claim originated from an article published in Weekly World News on 29 October 2013. Entitled as 'REAL DINOSAUR FOOT FOUND!,' the article showed the picture as that of a real, preserved Dinosaur foot that was unearthed deep in the heart of the Gobi Desert in Southern Mongolia. It is said that the beast had its leg stuck in a wet pocket beneath the rocks around 70 million years ago, and paleontologists could not understand how the foot is so well preserved. Further, the report mentioned a paleontologist Dr. Greg Hudkins saying, “I wouldn’t believe any reports if I hadn’t been there. But I saw it, and I felt it. I’ve analyzed it. That thing is the foot of a real dinosaur.”
The report aside, the website Weekly World News is known to publish inaccurate and fictional content. In past, an article published in the site said Obama issued an executive order raising his salary to $1 million per year. Another one said he redesigned the American Flag. And from the Disclaimer information of the site:
"..This site and all Material contained on it are distributed and transmitted “as is” without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties of title or implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality, accuracy, adequacy, completeness, correctness and validity of any Material rests with you..."
About the Picture
The picture that comes with the Dinosaur foot claim is actually a preserved Claw (foot) of Upland Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), a species of flightless Moa bird endemic to New Zealand. The picture was shared on Flickr.com by user Ryan Baumann in June 2008, with a description saying "Moa Claw, Natural History Museum, London". As shown in the Image Gallery, the giant flightless bird Upland Moa looked like an Ostrich, and was the last Moa species to become extinct, vanishing around 1500 AD.
Measuring less than 1 meter tall and about 17 to 34 kilograms, the Upland Moa was among the smallest of the Moa species, and unlike others, it had feathers covering all of its body but for its beak and soles of feet - as an adaptation to its cold environment. However, the two largest Moa species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae reached up to 3.6 m (12 ft) in height, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb).
In short, the picture of preserved foot is not any Dinosaur discovery; it belongs to a giant flightless Moa bird that became extinct around 1500 AD.