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Tiny dinosaur was the size of a coffee cup

Posted on Wednesday, 8 July, 2020 | Comment icon 19 comments

Not all dinosaurs were enormous... Image Credit: PD
Scientists have discovered a pint-sized dinosaur that was so small you could literally hold it in your hand.
If there's one thing dinosaurs have a reputation for, it's being enormous, which makes this latest discovery - a 10cm-tall species known as Kongonaphon kely or 'tiny bug slayer' - so unique.

This miniature dinosaur lived in Madagascar 237 million years ago and was special, not only due to its size, but because it belonged to a group known as Ornithodira which was the last known common ancestor of all the dinosaurs and pterosaurs that would follow.

"There's a general perception of dinosaurs as being giants," said palaeontologist Christian Kammerer from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. "But this new animal is very close to the divergence of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, and it's shockingly small."
Kongonaphon's diminutive size would have most likely enabled it to take advantage of resources for which there was relatively little competition.

"It seems the origin of ornithodirans was associated with a 'size squeeze'," said Kammerer.

"Which may have helped this group to flourish at a time when large-bodied roles in terrestrial ecosystems were mostly being filled by crocodile-relatives and protomammals."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (19)

Tags: Dinosaur

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Tatetopa on 7 July, 2020, 22:16
Gonna be awfully hard on oak trees doncha think?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney on 7 July, 2020, 22:23
Fox squirrels get near cat size.  Well, they supplement their diet with songbirds. Maybe they'll go full carnivorous. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Wepwawet on 7 July, 2020, 22:44
You're probably familiar then with the TV documentary "The Future is Wild" and it's land octipi swinging by their tentacles from tree to tree.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Orphalesion on 8 July, 2020, 0:11
Ooooh yes, I love that one!  Though as a kid it kinda upset me because they had mammals become extinct at the end of the second episode. Later I learned they only did that because gci was new and für was expensive to animate 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Piney on 8 July, 2020, 1:53
The "squibbon" makes no biological sense. 
Comment icon #15 Posted by Wepwawet on 8 July, 2020, 7:16
But would be really cool. The producers were probably smoking something when they came up with that one.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Wepwawet on 8 July, 2020, 7:26
And they had birds go extinct and replaced by actually flying fish. I couldn't go with that one at all as it jumps over all the evolutionary stages of getting a vertebrate into the air. A bird is a flying fish in the sense that it's remote ancestors were fish, but there's no free pass to skip all the hard work needed to get into the air.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Seti42 on 8 July, 2020, 13:30
I think I've found a new wizard's familiar.
Comment icon #18 Posted by DieChecker on 10 July, 2020, 4:22
First teacup dogs, then teacup pigs... now teacup dinosaurs?
Comment icon #19 Posted by Carnoferox on 10 July, 2020, 4:56
I don't know, it seems pretty plausible since we already have the Pacific Northwest tree octopus. 

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