Scientists report the discovery of a new species of dinosaur in Mongolia that has been preserved in a resting position for more than 70 million years. The small dinosaur, probably feathered, was named Jaculinykus yaruui, or "fast clawed dragon". Its "hands" with a thumb allowed it to dig into insect colonies to find food.
This new species was discovered in the Mongolian Gobi Desert, which is considered one of the richest sources of dinosaur fossils in the world. The first dinosaur eggs were discovered here centuries ago, along with other well-known species such as Oviraptor, Protoceratops and Velociraptor, the journal PLOS ONE writes.
Professor Paul Barrett, a dinosaur specialist at the Natural History Museum, notes that "Mongolia is rich in Late Cretaceous rocks that provide a detailed picture of the end of the dinosaur era." The region's dinosaur fossils are well preserved and have a modern look when they are extracted from ochre-colored rocks.
Among the many dinosaurs found in the region are also alvarezsaurids, a group of dinosaurs that bear a resemblance to birds. Their characteristics, such as a light skull, small body size, and keeled breastbone, allow scientists to consider them as relatives of modern birds.
These animals reached about a meter in height and weighed about 30 kg. Their main difference was an unusual skeletal structure. Thus, the dinosaurs had a rotated neck and tail, and their hind limbs were tucked under the pelvis.
As a reminder, scientists have found out what exactly killed the dinosaurs.
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