This newly discovered dinosaur fossil was almost obliterated to oblivion. A blasted dynamite could've broken up to pieces, what happened to this 'muddy dragon' fossil gave the scientsists a relief of their lives.
It was revealed to have died 72 millions ago as it was mired in mud and struggled to break free. It was discovered in a strange posture with its toothless beak raised in its head with dome-shaped wattle and feathered wings outstretched.
The fossil was found in Nanxiong Formation in Jiangxi Province, southern China. Though the dinosaur fossil was blasted off at the construction site in the area, only a fraction of the pieces were broken. The two-meter long fossil remarkably has remained in tact.
Tongtianlong Limosus - Photo by Zhao Chuang
, "muddy dragon on the road to heaven" is the name given to the newly discovered omnivore dinosaur. It was revealed that these dinosaurs were the last dinosaurs to thrive before the asteriod hit.
He added that they almost didn't know about the dinosaur.
According to Dr Brusatte, palaeontologist of University of Edinburgh, "It's about the size of a sheep, and it's part of a group of very advanced bird-like, feathered dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs."
tongtianlong limosus fossil
The bird belongs in the Cretaceous Period. The bird belongs to the oviraptorosaurs which are the closest relatives to birds.
The discovery of the muddy dragon provides the insight on how the early dinosaurs transitioned to birds. This will give a glimpse of what the ancestors of modern birds were like.
Dr Brusatte said, "Fossils like these capture evolution in action."