February 9, 2023

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A newly discovered dinosaur that looks like a nightmare goose

A newly discovered dinosaur that looks like a nightmare goose

An ancient illustration of a newly discovered species.

The 70-odd-Million-year-old remains have been found in southern Mongolia.
Clarification: Yusik Choi.

Paleontologists discovered 71-A million-year-old carnivorous dinosaur in southern Mongolia They believe it has a body built for swimming and diving for prey. Although it looked very much like a modern bird, it was actually a non-avian dinosaur, which means it likely was an example of convergent evolution, a phenomenon In which unrelated creatures Similar traits develop.

The dinosaur is called natovinator polydontus, or “many-toothed swimming fisherman”. his final analysis Fossilized remains indicate The animal was bipedal And the Built for diving. A complete description of the newly discovered animal is published in Communication Biology.

“Finding semi-aquatic dinosaurs means that ecological diversity was very high in dinosaurs,” wrote Yuong-Nam Lee, a Seoul National University paleontologist and lead author of the study In an email to Gizmodo. More than 30 different lineages of tetrapods have independently invaded aquatic ecosystems. Why not dinosaurs? “

Illustration of the newly discovered species, which looks like a waterfowl with a long tail.

Illustration of a newly discovered species.
Clarification: Yusik Choi.

In addition to his many teeth, n. polydontus He had a slender body and a long neck. from the rump, The extinct dinosaur might have looked a lot like a goose or a cormorant, which is modern A diving bird, but it has a long tail. The skeleton is incomplete—the researchers found its skull, backbone, forelimbs, and some hindlimbs—but the animal’s shape can be deduced from the remains found.

“The angle between each rib column and associated articulated vertebrae is very low, like many diving birds, but unlike terrestrial theropods,” Lee said. “Some of the diving birds present-such as alkyds and flacrocoroxides.It also has ribs extending back. In these animals, the posteriorly oriented ribs aid swimming by making the body more streamlined.

Lee team hopes They can find the contents of the bird’s stomach, to learn more about its diet. This kind of discovery is not without precedent. last year, Paleontologists found The The fossilized marine equivalent of a turducken in modern Germany.

Also last year, a different team made up of many of the same researchers was behind the new research He announced the discovery of an armored ankylosaurus from the same region in Mongolia. that they I assume That ankylosaurs may have dug defensive ditches when threatened, a lot Like modern horned lizards.

More fossils need to be found to better test these ideas, but taken together, the fossils show the dynamics of biodiversity in the Cretaceous period.

More: Paleontologists have discovered evidence of dinosaurs nesting near the North Pole

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