A species of Cretaceous crane enters the fossil record as a long-legged wading dinosaur found in China
China gave many things to the world – paper, fireworks, gunpowder, clouds, but it was also in China’s soil that the greatest scientific advance in paleontology was discovered – dinosaurs became birds.
China has produced more feathered or gliding dinosaurs, or ones that share intimate similarities with flightless birds like emu, than any other country, including this one: A new 150-million-year-old flying theropod has been released. Found in Chenghe County, Fujian Province.
Chinese scientists say that this previously unknown species was a “high-speed runner” that lived in a “swamp-like” environment during the Jurassic period.
They said new species, named FujianVinator Miracleor (Fujian fisherman) shows a strange combination of traits in common with its other ancestors in today’s birds.
Study author Dr Wang Min, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: “Our comparative analyzes show that the observed changes in body plan occurred along the early flight line, which is largely driven by the forelimb, eventually giving rise to the typical avian limb ratio.” Science in Beijing.
“but, fujianventure It is an alien species that deviated from this main path and evolved strange hind limb architecture.
The surprisingly elongated lower leg and other features indicate this, Dr. Wang said fujianventure It lived in a “swamp-like” environment and was a fast runner or long-legged wader, representing a previously unknown version of early birds.
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A Jurassic wading bird – awesome. Other aquatic birds/dinosaurs have been found in China, e.g natoventator, Which one paleontologist described as a type of Cretaceous cormorant.
Researchers say that between the late Jurassic and early Cretaceous, southeastern China underwent intense tectonic activities, resulting in an unusual landscape where… fujianventure is found.
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“The exceptional diversity and unique composition of vertebrates and paleoenvironment strongly suggest that this area documents a terrestrial fauna that we have named the Chenghe fauna,” said study author Dr. Zhou Zhonghe.
The team says their findings, published in the journal Science, open a “new window” into the planet’s late Jurassic terrestrial ecosystem, and they plan to continue their exploration of Zhenghe and surrounding areas.
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