In the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert, a well-preserved skeleton of a previously unknown species of theropod was found, that is, a bipedal, relatively strong, muscular dinosaur that moved in a semi-upright position. Representatives of this suborder should be well known, as they included, among others, tyrannosaurs and velociraptors.
What distinguishes this creature is its anatomical adaptation to swimming resulting from a flat, streamlined body. These hydrodynamic advantages, of course, did not appear by chance and clearly indicate that the Natovenator polydontusgen in question must have been an excellent swimmer.
– The skeleton was very thin, but in very good condition. After close examination, we realized that this specimen is truly unique,” said paleontologist Young Nam Lee.
Moreover, the newly discovered species is evidence that non-avian theropods had different shapes—which wasn’t so obvious. Today we can admire a great variety of birds that are relatives of dinosaurs, which also belong to the suborder of theropods. However, when we look at tyrannosaurids, velociraptor, and other such species that lived millions of years ago, we will see that they generally look similar, with the only difference being their size.
Natovenator polydontusgen lived about 71 million years ago in what is now Mongolia, and looked like ducks or geese. Perhaps the main component of his diet was fish, which he would hunt like today’s penguins. More than 100 sharp little teeth certainly helped him catch prey.
The study on this discovery has been published in the journal Communications Biology.
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