Scientists have uncovered a new type of dinosaur that they say looks like a hybrid of a duck, croc, ostrich and swan.
The scientists unvailed their findings in a new study published today in the journal Nature, unvailing what they are calling the Halszkaraptor escuilliei dinosaur.
The little dino appears to have the bill of a duck, teeth like a crok, a neck like a swan and big claws. It also appears to have flippers which would make it the first 2-legged dino to have the ability to swim.
According to study co-author Paul Tafforeau, the mashed up little body allowed the creature to hunt both on the ground, and as well in water.
“It’s such a peculiar animal,” said Dennis Voeten, a paleontology researcher at Palacky University in the Czech Republic. “It combines different parts we knew from other groups into this one small animal.”
According to the study, the Halszkaraptor escuilliei existed as long as 75 million years ago in what is now Mongolia.
The fossil was first discovered in a sandstone rock, and to actually identify it as a dinosaur, scientists had to use a Synchrotron to create three-dimensional images of the fossil.
In an email to Bloomburg, lead study author Andrea Cau, stated: “I asked myself, ‘Is this a real, natural skeleton, or an artifact, a chimera? If this is a fake, how could I demonstrate it?’ Assuming it was a fake instead of starting assuming that the fossil is genuine was the most appropriate way to start the investigation of such a bizarre fossil.”
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca