An evaluation of a fossil has revealed a brand new species of dinosaur named Natovenator polydontus. It was semi-aqautic, regarded a bit like a duck and ate meat
1 December 2022
A brand new species of dinosaur is the primary discovered to have a streamlined physique like diving birds however not belong to the feathered class of dinosaurs that modern-day birds developed from. This means that streamlined our bodies developed independently in numerous lineages of theropods, a bunch of hollow-boned dinosaurs that walked on two legs and primarily ate meat, together with Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.
“It is the first case among non-avian dinosaurs showing a streamlined ribcage like those seen in many modern semi-aquatic animals adapted to swimming,” says Andrea Cau on the University of Bologna in Italy, who was not concerned within the work.
Yuong-Nam Lee at Seoul National University in South Korea and his colleagues examined a thriller fossil unearthed in Mongolia’s Gobi desert in 2008 that included an almost full skeleton: a cranium, spinal column, one forelimb and two hindlimbs. They observed the animal had a modern physique and goose-like neck, one thing by no means seen earlier than in a non-avian theropod.
Furthermore, “the rib orientation and shape clearly indicate that this animal had a streamlined body, as penguins do”, Lee says. Together, this means the brand new dinosaur was a talented swimmer and diver.
The cranium additionally had many needle-like tooth, main researchers to call the species Natovenator polydontus, or “swimming hunter with many teeth”. They estimate that the species lived through the Late Cretaceous Period between 100 million and 66 million years in the past and posit that it ate fish and bugs.
The researchers additionally discovered that N. polydontus is genetically intently associated to Halszkaraptor, a genus of small non-avian dinosaurs with just one identified species. Since the Halszkaraptor discovery in 2017, scientists have debated whether or not it was semi-aquatic. Now, the similarities between the N. polydontus and the Halszkaraptor present additional proof that the Halszkaraptor was certainly tailored for all times on the water.
“It is a welcome discovery which contributes to solving the controversial lifestyle of the halszkaraptorine dinosaurs,” says Cau.
Journal reference: Communications Biology, DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-04119-9
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