A team of researchers from several institutions in China, one in Argentina and one in Belgium, have identified the fossils of two previously unknown dinosaurs in China. In their article published in the magazine Peerj, the group describes the fossils, gives the name of the new dinosaur and illustrates possible clues to explain their excellent preservation.
The new dinosaur was actually discovered by farmers working in Liaoning Province in northeast China. They found the remains of two of the same new species that researchers have named Changmiania liaoningensis. They were both almost virgin. The name means “eternal sleeper” in Chinese, as both dinosaurs appear to have been buried while alive with their eyes closed, as if asleep. Researchers have suggested that the cause of the rapid demise and the almost virgin condition was probably due to a volcanic eruption that caught them both asleep in their burrows. The area where the dinosaurs were found was part of a plain that was covered in debris from an ancient massive volcanic eruption that encompassed many other creatures. The area is a well-known archeological site.
Both dinosaurs would be a little over a meter long when they were alive, with long, almost inflexible tails. They were an early ornithopod, a species of dinosaur that walked upright on its large hind legs and buried itself in the ground like rabbits. They also had shovel-shaped muzzles that would help dig quickly and efficiently. His neck and forearm were short but strong, and his shoulders looked like modern burrowing animals. Researchers have suggested that the holes in which the dinosaurs slept may have collapsed under the weight of the debris from the volcano, which does not give the dinosaurs a chance to dig. They also note that the dinosaur’s tails were stretched due to stiffness. They also found a small pile of rocks near the stomach area of one of the specimens – a sign that the dinosaur devours them like modern birds to help digestion.
The satsizaur helps to fill a gap in the evolution of the Ornithic
Yuqing Yang et al. A new basal dinosaur from lower Cretaceous ornithopods, PeerJ (2020). DOI: 10.7717 / peerj.9832
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