HomeWorld NewsBizarre long-legged bird-like dinosaurs have mesmerized scientists.

About 148 to 150 million years ago, a strange pheasant-sized, bird-like dinosaur with long legs and arms that resembled feathers lived in southeastern China, a strange anatomy that suggests it may have been So was a fast runner or lived a lifestyle like a modern wading. Bird

Scientists said Wednesday they have unearthed a Jurassic-period dinosaur fossil in Fujian province, which they have named Fujianvenator prodigiosus — a creature that sheds light on an important evolutionary stage in the origin of birds.

According to study leader Min Wang, a paleontologist at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the question of whether Fujianvenator, with its bizarre mix of skeletal features, should be classified as a bird hinged on does how one defines a bird. Science.

Asked about one word to describe the FujianVenator, Wang replied, “I would say ‘quirky.’ Fujianvenator bears no resemblance to any modern bird.”

A notable event in the evolution of dinosaurs occurred when small feathered two-legged dinosaurs of the lineage known as theropods gave rise to birds at the end of the Jurassic period, the oldest known bird – Archeopteryx – lived in Germany around 150 million years old. It was earlier.

Fujianvenator is a member of a group called avians, Wang said, which includes all birds and their closest non-avian dinosaur relatives. Despite their humble beginnings, birds survived the asteroid strike 66 million years ago that doomed their non-avian dinosaur companions.

The Fujianvenator fossil, which was discovered last October, is largely complete but lacks the animal’s skull and parts of its legs, making it difficult to interpret its diet and lifestyle.

Fujianvenator’s lower leg bone—the tibia—was twice as long as its thigh bone—the femur. Such dimensions are unique among theropods, a group that includes all meat-eating dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus and many others. It also had a long bony tail.

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“Generally the forelimb is made like a bird’s wing, but there are three claws on the fingers, which are absent in modern birds. Therefore, you can call it a wing. It cannot be determined whether it can fly. Whether it is or not. Based on the characteristics of the skeleton, FujianVenator is probably not good at flying, at least,” Wang said.

“The fossil itself does not preserve feathers. However, its closest relatives and nearly all known avialan theropods have feathers, and feathers are widely distributed among dinosaurs. Therefore, it would not be surprising if Fujianvenator had feathers.” Yes,” Wang said.

Based on the anatomy of its long legs, the researchers proposed two possible lifestyles – either running fast or walking in marshy environments like modern cranes or herons.

Wang said, “I’d put my money on the runner.”

Scientists are searching for a better understanding of the origins of birds as well as non-avian dinosaurs with bird-like traits.

Paleontologist Zhonghe Zhou of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology said, “To me, Fujianvenator represents another interesting piece of evidence that different bird-like dinosaurs lived at roughly the same time and shared the same habitat with their bird descendants.” indicates a wide distribution of Co-author of the study published in the journal Nature.

The early chapters of the history of birds remain hazy due to the paucity of fossils. After Archeopteryx – a crow-sized bird with teeth, a long bony tail and no beak, fossils of which were first found in the 19th century – a gulf of about 20 million years before the next birds appeared in the fossil record Is.

“One thing is certain. There is still a huge gap between the oldest known bird and the second oldest known bird,” Zhou said.

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