Photo from Reuters
By Alexandra Nuth
China has made yet another astounding discovery that is transforming everything we thought we knew about dinosaurs – a 160 million-year-old creature that supports the claim that modern day birds are in fact dinosaur descendants.
In a Reuters interview by Dr. Xu, a member of the research team that discovered the fossil, as having “unique features… it shares some features with birds. It moves its hands sideways, like how birds can fold their wings. Its head, vertebral column, hind limbs, hands are all bird-like.” That makes it… a lizard parakeet?
The fossil was found in Xinjiang and is a member of the Alvarezsaurs family, this grandpa of a fossil predates all other discoveries by over 63 million years. The fossil shares many similar features to birds, but at this point in history was distinctly a dinosaur.
Because it is older than other fossils, it provides an important link in the evolutionary record showing how birds have slowly developed from dinosaurs. Now we can say with more certainty that our feathered friends are actually prehistoric living dinosaurs, which is pretty cool.
The fossil is one of 132 new dinosaurs found by China. Some of our other incredible and long named dinosaur discoveries include a dinosaur with four wings called Anchiornis huxleyi, a gigantic bird raptor called Gigantoraptor Erlianensis and a small feathered dinosaur called epidexipteryx.