Tags: chilesaurus | dinosaur | missing | link

Chilesaurus, Dinosaur Missing Link, First to Eat Veggies?

Image: Chilesaurus, Dinosaur Missing Link, First to Eat Veggies?
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 17 August 2017 08:17 AM

Is Chilesaurus a dinosaur missing link? Researchers reassessed the kangaroo-sized plant eater and now think it was key in the evolution of vegetarian dinosaurs, a new study said.

The remains of the dinosaur, which resembles the meat-eating velociraptor, were dug up in Chile 13 years ago, Agence France-Presse reported about a new study on Wednesday. Experts in 2015 first tied the Chilesaurus with the suborder of meat eating dinosaurs called theropods, despite being a vegetarian.

Researchers even then admitted at the time it was an unusual fit, calling the Chilesaurus "the most bizarre dinosaur ever found," AFP stated.

"Chilesaurus almost looks like it was stitched together from different animals, which is why it baffled everybody," Matthew Baron, a postdoctoral student at the University of Cambridge and the paper's joint first author, told Newsweek magazine.

The dinosaur's upright posture, strong hind legs and foreshortened front limbs resembled theropods, but its inverted, bird-like hip structure, flattened, leaf-shaped teeth, and proof of its vegetal diet, were all traits of the suborder Ornithischia, AFP said.

The new study into Chilesaurus was published in the journal Biology Letters. The dinosaur lived about 150 million years ago, long before researchers initially believed that small group of theropods started to turn away from meat, Paul Barrett, president of the Britain's Palaeontographical Society and a researcher at the Natural History Museum, told AFP.

Newsweek said researchers have now concluded that the Chilesaurus was likely an early ornithischia and marked a point where the two main divisions of the dinosaur family tree split.

"It seems it became more advantageous for some of the meat-eating dinosaurs to start eating plants, possibly even out of necessity," Barrett said, per Newsweek.

Dinosaurs dominated the Earth about 160 million years until they died off about 65.5 million years ago when a meteor was thought to have hit the planet, wiping out many animals that were confined to land, AFP said.

The Los Angeles Times said the breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea into the land masses we have today started about 200 million years ago, allowing plants to spread and grow. That plant availability could have led to the growth of plant-eating dinosaurs.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Is Chilesaurus a dinosaur missing link? Researchers reassessed the kangaroo-sized plant eater and now think it was key in the evolution of vegetarian dinosaurs, a new study said.
chilesaurus, dinosaur, missing, link
361
2017-17-17
Thursday, 17 August 2017 08:17 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved