Tuesday December 11, 2018

Dinosaur tracks have been found in China’s Jilin province: Scientists

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Skeleton of a dinosaur, VOA
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Beijing, March 11, 2017: Dinosaur tracks have been found in China’s Jilin province, scientists said.

The tracks were found on a rural mountain road in Longjing city in August 2015, Xinhua news agency quoted the scientists from China, South Korea and the US as saying.

“The tracks include footprints of 55 cm long hadrosaurs. The trackmaker’s body could have reached seven metres long,” Xing Lida, associate professor from China University of Geosciences, said.

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Several tracks of carnivorous dinosaurs were also discovered with various footprint sizes ranging from 43 to 21 centimetres, Xing said.

The discovery will help with research to understand the region’s landscape during the Cretaceous period, Xing said. (IANS)

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Palaeontologists Find Similarities Between Ancient Dinosaurs And Birds

The new Alvarezsaurian dinosaurs are among the most bizarre groups of theropods, with extremely short, robust forelimbs with a single functional claw and gracile, bird-like skulls and hind limbs.

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Dinosaurs' faces
Dinosaur. Wikimedia

An international team of palaeontologists have found how a meat-eating species of dinosaurs, that share many similarities with birds, lost their fingers.

The fossil specimens of “Xiyunykus pengi” and “Bannykus wulatensis”, discovered in China, are an enigmatic group of theropods known as alvarezsaurs.

Their bodies were found to be slender, with a bird-like skull and many small teeth instead of the usual large, sharp cutting teeth of their meat-eating relatives.

“Alvarezsaurs are weird animals. With their strong, clawed hands and weak jaws, they appear to be the dinosaurian analogue to today’s aardvarks and anteaters,” said Jonah Choiniere, Associate Professor at the Wits University in South Africa.

Fossils, dinosaurs
Fossils. Pixabay.

However, “the new fossils have long arms and show that alvarezsaurs evolved short arms only later in their evolutionary history, in species with small body sizes. This is quite different to what happens in the classic example of tyrannosaurs, which have short arms and giant size,” said co-author Professor Roger Benson from Britain’s Oxford University.

According to the researchers, the alvarezsaurs did not always look this way. Early members of the group had relatively long arms with strong-clawed hands and typical meat-eating teeth. Over time, they evolved into dinosaurs with mole-like arms and a single claw.

Bannykus and Xiyunykus are important because they show transitional steps in the process of alvarezsaurs adapting to new diets, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal Current Biology.

The new Alvarezsaurian dinosaurs are among the most bizarre groups of theropods, with extremely short, robust forelimbs with a single functional claw and gracile, bird-like skulls and hind limbs.

Also Read: Fossils of 400 Year Old Invertebrate Marine Species Found in China

These specialisations have led to a controversy about their phylogenetic placement, biogeographic history and ecological role in Mesozoic ecosystems, the team notes. (IANS)