A newly discovered dinosaur fossil has features that may look oddly familiar to us. Found in Mongolia, Halszkaraptor escuilliei looked and hunted like a duck.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different dinosaur species may have lived in Mongolia throughout the Mesozoic, a time period that began 248 million years ago and ended 65 million years ago in a mass extinction that wiped out all dinosaurs except birds. But, today we are not going to talk about “How many dinosaurs’ fossils found in Mongolia” instead wanted to highlight a newly discovered dinosaur fossil and has features that may look oddly familiar to us. Found in Mongolia, Halszkaraptor escuiliei looked and hunted like a duck. It’s related to the Velociraptor, and is one of the few known dinosaurs that lived on the water. The turkey-sized dino roamed Earth’s ancient wetlands more than 70 million years ago. Scientists rescued the fossil after it had illegally been poached and smuggled out of Mongolia.
There are more than 10,000 species of bird living on Earth today. If you recognize that birds are living dinosaurs, which overwhelming evidence indicates that they are, then this makes them more diverse than their living mammalian counterparts. So if you take the number of species to mean anything, this means we’re still in the reign of the dinosaurs! These days they’re just mostly a bit smaller and fluffier than their Mesozoic ancestors.
- Velociraptor, the sharp-clawed predator who starred in the Jurassic Park films, was first discovered at the Flaming Cliffs in the Mongolian Gobi Desert. Scientists now know that it was feathered, and they believe it hunted Protoceratops–not people. It was two meters from head to tail and stood roughly knee high to an adult human.
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