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A new species of dromaeosaurid, a carnivorous dinosaur with large curved claws on its hind legs, has been discovered by archaeologists in China. The dinosaur had a length from nose to tail of about one and a half meters and a weight of 20-25 kg and fed on rather small prey from insects to medium-sized mammals. The lizard was given the name Daurlun, which means “Daurian dragon”, writes Naked science.
They ate mostly quite small prey: their menu included fish, primitive birds, mammals, lizards, frogs and even large insects.
Even more interesting was not the dinosaur itself, but its contents: along with the bones, the remains of a decomposed intestine were found, using which scientists were able to restore the internal structure of the dinosaur. Preservation of the intestines in an animal about 120 million years old – already a remarkable case, but even more valuable to paleontologists is the fact that Daurlun belongs to an evolutionary lineage close to the ancestors of modern birds.
from a modern crocodile or a previously discovered spicyonix – a more primitive carnivorous dinosaur.
Studies of the find led scientists to the conclusion that the digestive system of carnivorous dinosaurs evolved relatively slowly, beginning to acquire features characteristic of birds only before the separation of birds from their ancestors. The researchers suggest that terrestrial animals, although they had an accelerated metabolism compared to crocodiles, did not need to digest as quickly as modern birds.
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