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Well-preserved fossils of a newly discovered species that scientist are calling 'dancing dragon' are shedding new light on evolutionary gaps between dinosaurs and birds.
Researchers say Wulong bohaiensis, which translates to ' a dancing dragon' was a two-legged Cretaceous Period dinosaur that was a bit larger than a crow and lived in lakeside environments about 120-million years ago.
Face - Pointy - Teeth - Toe - Claw
It possessed a scaly face, a mouth full of pointy teeth and one particularly dangerous toe claw, and most likely fed on small mammals, lizards, birds and fish.
Wulong's fossil, unearthed in Liaoning Province in northeastern China nearly a decade ago and recently unveiled in a paper publish The Anatomical Record, includes a complete skeleton as well as soft tissues like feathers rarely preserved in such detail.
Arms - Sets - Feathers - Bird - Wings
Its long arms and legs each had sets of feathers that looked similar to those on bird wings, while most of the rest of its body was covered by fluffy filaments.
At the end of its long, bony tail - fused into a stiff rod - were two very long feathers.
Scientists - Dinosaur - Feathers - Feathers - Discovery
While scientists know that the dinosaur was covered with feathers, they're less sure exactly how those feathers were used and say its discovery could help further illuminate a period in which dinosaurs spread their wings and began to evolve into present-day birds.
'The new dinosaur fits in with an incredible radiation of feathered, winged animals that are closely related to the origin of birds,' said Dr. Ashley Poust,...
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