Researchers have discovered a dinosaur species which might be the relative of the famous and terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex. But the similarities between the two are not that many. First of all T- Rex’s relative was a herbivore, much smaller in size and less scary, explained scientists.
The news species has been discovered in Chile and received the name Chilesaurus diegosuarezi after Chile, the country where it was found and the name of the seven year old boy who discovered its bones, Diego Suarez.
This strange dinosaur has been categorized as a platypus dinosaur, meaning that it is a weird mixture of features belonging to several dinosaur groups.
The platypus is an animal that looks like a strange combination between a beaver a duck and an otter and is one of the most unusual animals on the planet.
The Chilesaurus’s physical appearance was made out of a small looking skull, its hands had two fingers just like the T-Rex and its feet and leaf shaped teeth were similar to the long neck dinosaur species. Its different body parts were adapted to a certain type of diet and lifestyle.
The result of this, showed that dinosaurs living in certain area evolved similarly with the different dinosaur groups living on other regions, a process named evolutionary convergence.
Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is a dinosaur that belongs to the theropod group, which contains the notorious meat eaters the Velociraptors, the T-Rex and the Carnotaurus. From this particular dinosaur group present birds have evolved.
The theropods is a group known to be carnivore and closely related herbivore known species were only birds. However Chilesaurus has proved to be a herbivore.
The seven year old boy who discovered the dinosaur found its fossils in the southern region of Chilean Patagonia at the Toqui Formation in Aysen while he and his sister accompanied his geologist parents to study rocks.
The remaininsg were inside rocks which were dated from the end of the Jurassic, around 145 million years ago.
Given the fact that this dinosaur species incorporates so many unique anatomical features, specialists initially believed that the boy had discovered different species.
Since the discovery, there have been found over 12 Chilesaurus out of which four with complete skeleton. This is the first time to be found fossils dating from the Jurassic period in Chile.
The majority of the skeletons are not bigger than a turkey, but there have been some bones indicating that the Chilesaurus could reach a maximum length of three meters.
Paleontologists from Argentina and Chile, together with Manuel Suarez and Rita de la Cruz (Diego’s parents) have started to study the skeletons.
The Chilesaurus proves how much information remained unknown about how diversified dinosaurs groups were. This study will make paleontologists more aware in the future when identifying fragments or isolated dinosaur fossils, explained researcher from the Birmingham University, Martin Ezzurra.
Image Source: nbcnews