|Casts of U. paynemili fossils; today the claw is considered one of the hand unguals, not of the foot as shown here|
Novas & Puerta, 1997
Unenlagia was a theropod from the mid-Cretaceous, living about 90 million years ago. The first birds appeared 150 million years ago, evolving from dinosaurs long before Unenlagia lived. Therefore, it is not an ancestor of modern-day birds, but was an evolutionary dead-end. The most bird-like dinosaur ever discovered is the 90-million-year-old Unenlagia comahuensis, a flightless, 4-foot tall, 7.5-foot-long carnivore.