If there’s anything we’ve learned from archaeologists’ discoveries, it’s that dinosaurs are weirder than our imaginations perceive.
The latest discovery of a nearly complete preserved fossil in China continues to prove this. The dinosaur was found with hair-like feathers and wings like a bird, according to Reuters. However, scientists say that the creature likely couldn’t fly. On top of it all, the dinosaur was a meat eaterÂ with extremely sharp teeth.
The dinosaur has been namedÂ Zhenyuanlong suni, and it comes from the Early Cretaceous period (about 125 million years ago). It also had quill-like feathers on the end of its wings and long tail. In total, it was about six feet long. Paleontologist Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh called it the “fluffy poodle from hell.”
“Zhenyuanlong was a dinosaur that really looked like a bird,” Brusatte told the news source. “You wouldn’t think of it differently than a turkey or an emu or a big chicken.”
He went on to say that although it looks like it could’ve flown, it was primarily raptor-like in dinosaur terms. For this reason, Brusatte doesn’t think it could have done anything in the air.
But if you think theÂ Zhenyuanlong suni is weird, consider the following creaturesÂ that used to roamÂ our planet:
- Pliosaur -Â Almost like the gigantic aquatic dinosaur that saved the day in “Jurassic World.” They were 52 feet in length with enormous jaws, making them killing machines in the world’s oceans. Technically, the pliosaur can be considered a marine reptile.
- Deinocheirus mirificus -Â This beaked, humpbacked dinosaur had arms that were about eight feet long.Â Its duck-like bill likely didn’t hold any teeth, and it is assumed that it had hoof-like claws. To top it all off, it was about the size of a T-Rex.
- Chilesaurus diegosuarezi -Â It’s been called the plant-eating cousin of the T-Rex and raptor. It has an incredibly small head and large feet, which are similar to those found on long-necked dinosaurs. With a horned beak and two-finger hands, this dinosaur is more ugly than anything else.
- Spinosaurus aegyptiacus -Â This dinosaur was about 50 feet long and weighed seven tons. Picture a T-Rex, but nine feet longer on average. It’s also the only predatory dinosaur known to walk on all fours, unlike the T-Rex and Allosaurus. Scientists believe that it had a relatively aquatic lifestyle, finding food in water with its slender jaws and conical teeth.
In short, there’s always more that is waiting to be discovered in terms of the Cretaceous period. As archaeologists share their findings with the world, it’s safe to say that we’re in for more weirdÂ discoveries in the future.
- Duhaime-Ross, Arielle. “This animal is so weird that researchers are calling it ‘the platypus of dinosaurs.'” The Verge. April 27, 2015.
- Dunham, Will. “New dinosaur called ‘fluffy feathered poodle from hell.'” Reuters. July 16, 2015.
- Dunham, Will. “Scientists say Spinosaurus breaks the mold for weirdest dinosaur.”Â Reuters. September 12, 2014.
- Khan, Amina. “With extra-long arms, Deinocheirus mirificus was one weird dinosaur.” Los Angeles Times. October 25, 2014.
- “Pilosaurs.” BBC. Retrieved July 2015.