A cretaceous "swan" relative to Velociraptor

A cretaceous "swan" relative to Velociraptor

If we put in a shaker: the arms of a penguin, the neck of a heron, the head of a swan, the body of a goose and the hind legs of a Velociraptor; We would get something similar to the dinosaur presented this week by Philip Currie in the journal: Nature.

Halszkaraptor is a relative of the Velociraptor, a dinosaur that was popularized after the movie Jurassic Park, but although they are related, they have so many interesting differences that make the Halszkaraptor a "different" dinosaur to all those known so far.

The paleontologist Philip Currie and the National Geographic magazine, were involved in a controversy by presenting in 1999 the fossil of a supposed dinosaur called Archaeoraptor, which was related to birds. This fossil turned out to be the combination of several skeletons of different species and therefore a fraud. In that case as in this, both fossils came from the illegal market and therefore had no data from the excavation, to avoid again the embarrassment of a fraud this time Currie has made a thorough examination of the fossil using high technology in "X" rays.

All doubts have been cleared, and we can say that we are facing one of the most "rare" dinosaurs that are known. He lived in the aquatic environments of Mongolia 70 million years ago, swimming or walking along shallow water shores in search of prey; it had a long neck and a mouth with a duckbill with 112 tiny teeth that guaranteed that the prey would be held between its jaws.

Fossil of Halszkaraptor

Fossil of Halszkaraptor

It is not the only dinosaur adapted to semi-aquatic environments, but it is the only one that shares these characteristics with the current aquatic birds. It is also striking that this evolution has occurred in a group of dinosaurs such as the Dromeosauridae or "raptors", which we would never have imagined as cretaceous swans.


Germán Z. López
This post can also be read in Spanish at our partner blog Made in Pangea.

Illustrations Author: 

Sarah Forrester

Link to her Works (https://www.deviantart.com/gooxen)


- http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

- http://www.magazine.unibo.it

- http://www.cbc.ca

- http://www.nature.com

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