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The paleontological discovery that could forever change what we know about dinosaurs – Teach me about Science

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Among the most extraordinary extinct animals that could have inhabited this Earth are the dinosaurs, these amazing reptiles that dominated the world in the Mesozoic era were considered the kings of almost all ecosystems, due to their size, strength and their aptitudes for housekeeping. , were in a privileged place in the food chain. That is what was known until now, however, a recent study could completely change what we thought about these amazing species.

Can you imagine a mammal hunting a dinosaur? A new discovery in China challenges the idea that dinosaurs were the dominant predators of their time.

The amazing find

In an article published in the important scientific magazine Nature (one of the most important in the world), an unusual find was reported in China that suggests that some of the first mammals could have hunted dinosaurs for dinner. The fossil shows a badger-like creature gnawing on a small beaked dinosaur, with the skeletons intertwined. The find comes from a site known as “The Pompeii of China,” where mud and debris from ancient volcanoes buried creatures in their path.

“It appears to be a prehistoric hunt, captured in stone, like a frozen image,” paleontologist Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh, a scientist who reviewed the study but was not involved in it, said in an email. The fossil, described that was described in the magazine Scientific Reports shows two creatures from about 125 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

Although the mammal is much smaller, researchers believe it was attacking the dinosaur when both became trapped in the volcanic flow, the study's author said. Jordan Mallon, paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The mammal is perched on top of the dinosaur, its paws gripping the reptile's jaw and a hind limb while its teeth sink into the ribcage.

Analyzing the fossil of two intertwined skeletons

A badger-like mammal, called Repenomamus Robustus, about the size of a domestic cat. A small, large-beaked dinosaur, Psittacosaurus Lujiatunensis, about the size of a medium dog. The location of the discovery was in “Chinese Pompeii” (Sanyangzhuang), Henan province, China. The estimated age is 125 million years, Cretaceous period.

Fossil discovered by researchers, credits to Nature

What the fossil tells us: The mammal is on top of the dinosaur, with its legs clinging to the jaw and a hind leg, and its teeth sunk into the ribs. It suggests that mammals hunted dinosaurs, not just carrion, as previously believed. Even dinosaurs bigger than them.

What Implications does this finding have?

It is amazing discovery paleontology completely changes our vision of the era of the dinosaurs, since not only dinosaurs but other animals dominated. Mammals were also active hunters, this opens new questions about the interaction between dinosaurs and mammals.

Research and authenticity

You may be wondering if this study is authentic or real, it offers more evidence in addition to the fossil. We tell you that the authors of the study verified the authenticity of the fossil, through analysis of rock samples, comparison with other fossils in the region, and they also invite other scientists to study it to confirm their findings.

This is an exciting discovery, as it changes our understanding of the history of life on Earth and highlights the importance of paleontological research.

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