A dinosaur the size of a rooster could change the history of bird evolution

He Fujianvenator prodigiosus It was a small, rooster-sized dinosaur that may have been one of the first ancestors of birds.

A A rooster-sized dinosaur And very similar to birds Rewrite the history of bird evolution. About 150 million years ago, this ancestor of feathers (Fujianvenator prodigiosus) He was trapped in a swamp, where he remained until 2022.

Their fossil remains were there Found in Southeast China The researchers called it a stroke of luck. The curators described this new species Nature magazineThere they describe it The remains were in a place where dinosaurs have never been found Very close to Nanping in Fujian Province.

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Fujianvenator prodigiosus, a prehistoric rooster

Fujianvenator prodigiosus had unusually long legs and was unable to fly. Source: Mr. Chuang Zhao/Nature

He Fujianvenator prodigiosus, How this young dinosaur was named shows that it was one The first bird-like species from the Jurassic period. creature had remarkably long limbs And he probably doesn’t have the ability to fly. Besides, The bird doesn’t quite fit the accepted story of evolution.

A fossil described by paleontologistshave no head and no complete tailbut its body and limbs show a A combination of traits similar to other bird-like dinosaurs, Like the length of the fingers and the details of the hips and spine. He Fujianvenator prodigiosus However, flight did not experience many favorable adaptations. It had long legs, indicating remarkable running ability, similar to that of a road runner.

Researchers describe that the species existed A reduced shoulder blade and fingers are highly specialized for grip. Very curious is its excessively long hind leg. The tibia was twice as long as the femur Paleontologists believe that these stilts allowed this dinosaur to walk.

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Fujianvenator’s invention is sure contributes to fill some gaps in the early evolution of birds, Paleontologist Bart-Anjan Buller of Yale University explained.

“Even in their earliest stages, birds’ closest fossil relatives diversified in interesting ways,” he said. “There’s a lot to discover. We’ve only scratched the surface of the anatomical and lifestyle diversity of these animals.”

You can also read: 67 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, they discovered that dinosaurs “could sing like birds”.

Archeopteryx, the first feathered dinosaur

Scientists consider Archeopteryx Like the first birdA feathered dinosaur discovered in Germany and He lived on earth 150 million years ago. However, new inventions such as fujianvenatorSuggest that there was a Early Diversification of Dinosaurs with Bird Traits.

Hailu Yu, a paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said that during the Jurassic period, Dinosaurs with bird-like characteristics may have occupied different ecological niches. however, Fossils of bird-like dinosaurs are extremely rare. This is because fossilization is achieved under special conditions such as the weakening of bones and the absence of oxygen to prevent decay.

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