A never before seen species of lizard is found IN THE petrified stomach of a dinosaur in China
- Paleontologists discovered Microraptor with remains of almost complete lizards
- Animal, called Indrasaurus wangi, in contrast to previously known from the Cretaceous
- Unique teeth compared to others from Jehol Biota, 130 million year old fossils
A new lizard species has been found in the stomach of a dinosaur in China.
A team of paleontologists discovered the Microraptor with the remains of an almost complete lizard kept in his stomach.
The animal is different than previously known from the Cretaceous and represents a new species, Indrasaurus wangi, researchers say.
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Paleontologists have discovered a new lizard species in the stomach of a Microraptor in China. Pictured: an illustration of a microraptor eating a lizard
It had teeth that were different from those previously known from the Jehol Biota – a collection of 130 million-year-old fossils from northeastern China.
Researchers said this might suggest a unique diet for this new species, discovered by a team of paleontologists led by Professor Jingmai O & Connor from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The discovery is the fourth documented case of a Microraptor that conserves stomach contents.
It had teeth unlike any other previously known from the Jehol Biota – a collection of 130-million-year-old fossils from northeastern China. Pictured: the Microraptor, with his stomach marked
WHAT ARE MICROROPRETS?
Microraptors are small four-winged dinosaurs that were first discovered almost 20 years ago. Numerous Microraptor fossils have been discovered in Liaoning, China.
Adult microraptors were 2.53ft (77 cm) long and weighed up to 2.2 lb (1 kg). The dinosaurs had long feathers over their bodies.
Microraptors have been useful for scientists studying the evolution from dinosaur to modern birds.
The dinosaur is now known to feed on mammals, birds, fish and lizards, in support of the interpretation that it was an opportunistic predator.
& # 39; This is an independent flight from birds, & # 39; she says. & # 39; It flew with four wings, & # 39; said Professor O & # 39; Connor New scientist.
Published in Current Biology, the study describes that the lizard is almost complete and articulated, demonstrating that it was swallowed whole and head-on.
This proves that the Microraptor was fed in the same way as live carnivorous birds and lizards.
Although the Jurassic troodontid Anchiornis dinosaur has recently been shown to have grains that resemble existing carnivorous birds – the most famously documented in owls – this ability was apparently absent in Microraptor, researchers said.
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