KOMPAS. com – Paleontologists have discovered a 71-million-year-old carnivorous dinosaur in southern Mongolia.
Though similar to modern birds, dinosaur This biped was actually a non-avian dinosaur whose body was designed for swimming and diving in search of prey.
With its appearance, researchers think it’s an example of convergent evolution, a phenomenon in which unrelated creatures develop similar traits.
To collect Gizmodo, On Monday (5/12/2022) this dinosaur was then named Natovenator polydontus or a hunter swimmer with many teeth.
“Finding semi-aquatic dinosaurs means very high ecological diversity in dinosaurs,” said Yuong-Nam Lee, a paleontologist at Seoul National University and lead author of the study.
In addition to its many teeth, N. polydontus has a slender body and long neck.
From the bottom up, this extinct dinosaur might have looked like a swan or a cormorant, a modern diving bird, but it had a long tail.
When found, the skeleton is incomplete. The researchers managed to obtain only a skull, vertebrae, forelimbs and about two hind legs. But the morphology of the animal can be deduced from the remains found.
“The angle between each rib and the associated articular vertebra is very shallow, like many diving birds, but in contrast to terrestrial theropods,” Lee said.
“Even some extant diving birds, such as alcids and phalacrocoracids, have ribs that extend backwards. In these animals, the ribs directed backwards aid in swimming by making the body more streamlined.”
The research team also hopes to be able to find the stomach contents of dinosaurs to learn more about their food.
Previously, another team discovered an armored ankylosaurus from the same region of Mongolia last year.
They suggest that ankylosaurs may have dug defensive trenches when threatened, like modern horned lizards.
More fossils need to be found to better test these ideas, but taken together they demonstrate the dynamics of biodiversity in the Cretaceous.
Results published in Communication biology.
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