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'Mud Dragon': Dinosaur Skeleton Found in China During Excavation

Image: 'Mud Dragon': Dinosaur Skeleton Found in China During Excavation

Workers found the "mud dragon" dinosaur fossils as they excavated a school. (Zhao Chuang/Scientific Reports)

By    |   Thursday, 10 Nov 2016 05:25 PM

Workmen using dynamite helped discover a nearly complete skeleton of what scientists are calling the mud dragon dinosaur, found in recently in China.

The workmen nearly blew the well-preserved skeleton to pieces, but fortunately placed the dynamite far enough away to avoid serious damage to it, Fox News reported. Many dinosaur skeletons have been found in China in recent years as rural areas become more developed.

The Tongtianlong limosus, which means “muddy dragon on the road to heaven,” is a two-legged creature with flightless wings and a beaklike mouth. It is believed that the species was omnivorous, eating both plants and meat, probably including small lizards and mammals.

The diversity of is food made it a successful species up until the time when dinosaurs became extinct, according to University of Edinburgh paleontologist Dr. Steve Brusatte who studied the fossils, Fox News reported. Mud dragons also had bony crests on their heads, which may have been used to attract mates or to scare away predators.

The way the fossil was discovered suggests it died with its lower body stuck in mud, fighting to get out. Brusatte called it “one of the most beautiful, but saddest, fossils I’ve ever seen,” according to National Geographic.

The specimen is part of the oviraptorosaurs family and had feathers similar to a bird’s. The animal lived during the late Cretaceous period, around 66 to 80 million years ago. They were thought to be some of the last species to diversify before a large impact caused the extinction of all the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago, scientists believe.

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Workmen using dynamite helped discover a nearly complete skeleton of what scientists are calling the mud dragon dinosaur, found in recently in China.
mud, dragon, dinosaur, skeleton, found
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2016-25-10
Thursday, 10 Nov 2016 05:25 PM
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