Smaller Dinosaurs Existed

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | October 14, 2010 | Comment Now

When we think of dinosaurs, the first pictures to enter our mind would be that of gigantic beasts that either ate leaves off really tall trees or the carnivores that ate smaller animals. It is almost improbable for us to imagine smaller dinosaurs; especially dinosaurs the size of a chicken.

Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? But it is true.

Meet Albertonykus borealis:

This is said to be a chicken sized dinosaur who seemed to have a profound taste for termites; and must have been like the ‘anteater’ of the era it lived in. It would have been the smallest of dinosaurs that have ever been discovered in the whole of North America.

This new species has been given the name Albertonykus borealis and is said to be a member of the group of dinosaurs called Alvarezsaurus. It is said that this group of dinosaurs are said to be very peculiar looking and may not have fitted the exact understanding of dinosaur species that we were aware of in the past. The new species has also been spotted in South America and Asia.

There have been discoveries involving about a dozen bones of the arms and the legs that have been dated back to about 70 million years ago. These have been found in Alberta, Canada in the year 2002; but actual analysis has begun on these bones only now.

Bizarre Is the Word:

These animals could be best described as freakish. Alvarezsaurus are said to have long snouts that resembled tweezers. They also had slender legs that were closer to the structure of birds’ legs. They had longer tails that were rigid; and they were stumpy overall.

At about 2.5 feet long, this new species that was discovered may have well been the smallest of the Alvarezsaurs that were found in the region of North America. Proportionally speaking, the arms of this species were said to be much shorter than that of the T. rex, but they were said to be more powerfully built. Their limbs were said to resemble the limbs of a mole. But even unlike the moles, the arms of the Albertonykus would not have helped it in the process of digging. The hand had two stunted fingers and along with it, it had a massive thumb that resembled a pick.

According to the team of researchers working on this case, the Albertonykus would have dined on insects and it may have used that large thumb of its’ to tear open logs that were rotten. Such logs would have been packed with critters and termites.

The skull fragments of the Alvarezsaurs that were found in the regions of Asia have suggested that the Albertonykus would have had a long snout and it must have been equipped with small teeth; which would have been similar to the ones you would see in mammals that are insect eaters that are alive in today’s day and date. These would include the armadillos and the anteaters.

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