Dining dinosaur fossil has mammal in belly, sheds light on ancient ecosystems

A rare fossil revealing a dinosaur’s last meal is shedding new light on ancient ecosystems and behaviours.

University of Alberta paleontologist Corwin Sullivan says the fossil of a crow-sized, birdlike dinosaur he describes in a new paper has a mammal’s foot in its belly.

Microraptor Zhaoianus lived about 120 million years ago and is known to have eaten fish and other lizards.

But this is one of only a few fossils that show the dinosaur preyed on the small mammals of the time as well.

Sullivan says the fossil is an exceedingly rare glimpse into how these ancient animals looked.

But it’s also helping researchers understand how they behaved and what their environment was like.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2022. 

View original article here Source