Science

Scientists Found Skull of World’s Smallest Bird-Like Dinosaur

Recently, palaeologists have discovered the entire skull of a formerly unknown species of a bird-like dinosaur. The fossil remained in a piece of a 99-million-year old amber. It is smaller than the height of the present-day hummingbird. Researchers say the bird-like dinosaur had its jaw filled with serrated teeth, a thumbnail-sized head, and lizard-like bulging eyes. Despite having tiny stature, scientists surmise the creature was a meat-eater. As per the researchers, the remains, Oculudentavis, signified the smallest dinosaur ever discovered on the planet.

In general, the Mesozoic is well-known for making colossal. But the research, released in the journal Nature, reveals this period also included surprisingly small-sized animals. The creature having a 7-mm long skull reveals a new type of bird-like dinosaur. The beaked creature survived around 99 million years before the Cretaceous age of Myanmar. As per scientists, who recognized the fossil, said the bird-like predator seems just like it expired yesterday. Notably, the scientists have designed a computer-build prototype of the dinosaur’s skull using a quarter-inch sized sample. Jingmai O’Connor, a research associate at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, said when he saw the specimen for the first time, it blew his mind. Jingmai added he has not ever seen such creature.

Researchers noted a small quantity of tree resin, which fell on the head of a bird-like dinosaur, would have resulted in its death. The leading author of the research, Lars Schmitz, said the amber preservation of birds is rare. As per the author, the finding has offered them a window to peek into the world of dinosaurs at the lower edge of the body-length spectrum. Lars noted its exclusive functional features indicate one of the smallest and most longest-serving birds ever discovered. Well, Oculudentavis probably had weight, not more than an ounce. Still, it is unclear whether the bird-like dinosaur had the potential to fly. In the end, the finding of Oculudentavis, formerly missing from fossilized remains, will offer scientists a new perception of the evolution of birds. Even more, it may shed light on how birds reduced in size during the development phase.

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Stefen Marawa

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