Wednesday, February 1, 2023

A dinosaur fossil suggests it delighted in eating our ancestors

  • Paleontologist Hans Larsson found a small mammalian leg on the rib of a dinosaur fossil.
  • According to McGill University, the reptile was carnivorous and bird-like.
  • It is one of 21 dinosaur fossils that have been found with food inside.
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The key to the survival of a tiny four-winged dinosaur species was not being selective about what you ate, an investigation of a rare fossil has revealed.

Paleontologist Hans Larsson, a professor at McGill University, was the first to notice the presence of a small mammalian leg nestled among the bones of a fossilized Microraptor, a carnivorous dinosaur with bird feathers.

This discovery suggests that dinosaurs ate a long list of animals. For example, mammals, fish, birds and lizards, the university announced in a press release.

“These findings are the only solid evidence we have about the food consumption of these long-extinct animals. They are exceptionally rare,” Larsen said in the statement. The revelation that the animal was an “opportunistic” predator “provides a new perspective on the functioning of ancient ecosystems,” he said.

According to McGill, only 20 other fossils have been found with the bones of their meal. But this is the first time a fossil has shown that any dinosaur ate mammals, The Economic Times reported.

Microraptor fossils were first discovered in the early 2000s in Liaoning, China, which is located on the coast of the Yellow Sea in the northeast of the country. Scientists speculate that this species became extinct because it had four wings and the extra two created drag when it moved.

His ability to eat all kinds of animals was not enough to compensate for the weight of his two wings.

now read: De-extinction: what if we resurrected a mammoth and then a dinosaur?

Read also: 14 Recent Discoveries That Changed The Way We Think About Dinosaurs

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