Scientists have stumbled upon a ‘weird’ relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex. Although closely related to the notoriously carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex, the new lineage of dinosaur discovered in Chile is weird in the sense that it preferred to graze upon plants.
Paleontologists are referring to Chilesaurus diegosuarezi as a ‘platypus’ dinosaur because of its extremely bizarre combination of characters that include a proportionally small skull and feet more akin to primitive long-neck dinosaurs.
“Chilesaurus can be considered a ‘platypus’ dinosaur because different parts of its body resemble those of other dinosaur groups due to mosaic convergent evolution,” said researcher Martin Ezcurra from the University of Birmingham.
“In this process, a region or regions of an organism resemble others of unrelated species because of a similar mode of life and evolutionary pressures,” Ezcurra explained.
Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is nested within the theropod group of dinosaurs, the dinosaurian group that gathers the famous meat eaters Velociraptor, Carnotaurus and Tyrannosaurus, and from which birds today evolved.
The presence of herbivorous theropods was up until now only known in close relatives of birds, but Chilesaurus shows that a meat-free diet was acquired much earlier than thought.
Read More: https://taazakhabarnews.com/meet-chilesaurus-a-plant-eating-relative-of-t-rex-dinosaurs/