A team of researchers from several institutions in China, one in Argentina and one in Belgium have identified fossil remains of two previously unknown dinosaurs in China. In his letter published in the journal PeerjThe group describes the fossils, provides the name of the new dinosaurs and gives possible clues to explain their excellent preservation.
The new dinosaur was actually discovered by working farmers in Liaoning province in northeast China. They found two remains of the same new species, which the researchers have named Changmia lioningensis. Both were in almost pristine condition. The name in Chinese means “eternal sleeper”, as both dinosaurs appear while they were buried alive with their eyes closed while they were sleeping. Researchers point out that the cause of the accelerated demise and the volcanic eruption were likely to be an almost pristine condition, as they both ran away with their burrows. The area where the dinosaurs were discovered was part of a field covered in debris from an ancient large-scale volcanic eruption, including many other creatures. The area is a famous archaeological excavation site.
Both dinosaurs survived with long, almost inflexible tails, only over a meter in length. He was an early ornithopod, a type of dinosaur that walked upright on its large hind legs and sunk into the ground like a rabbit. They also had shovel-shaped snakes, which helped to dig quickly and efficiently. The neck and forearm were short but strong, and its shoulder blades resembled those of modern bourgeois animals. Researchers suggest that the volcanoes in which the dinosaurs were sleeping probably fell under the weight of debris from the volcano, leaving the dinosaurs no chance to dig themselves. They also note that the dinosaur’s tail was pulled out due to rigidity. They also found a small cluster of rocks near the stomach area of one of the specimens – a sign that dinosaurs swallowed them like modern birds to help digest food.
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Yangqing et al. A new basal ornithopod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of China, PeerJ (2020). DOI: 10.7717 / peerj.9832
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