Newly discovered species of unusual parrot-like dinosaur had one less finger than its close relatives

This is a take a look at what the Oksoko avarsan dinosaurs might need appeared like manner again when.

Michael W. Skrepnick

Newly found fossils of a toothless, parrot-like dinosaur species that lived greater than 68 million years in the past present a creature with solely two fingers on every forearm. That is one much less digit than its shut dinosaur relations had. 

The fossils indicate that the dinosaurs might have developed forelimb variations that enabled them to unfold in the course of the Late Cretaceous Interval, researchers say in a new study revealed Wednesday in The Royal Society Open Science journal. Paleontologists from the College of Edinburgh discovered various full skeletons of the brand new species throughout a dig in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. 

The feathered, omnivorous Oksoko avarsan grew to round 6.5 toes (2 meters) lengthy. Along with two purposeful digits on every forearm, the dinosaurs appeared to have massive, toothless beaks, very similar to modern-day parrots. 

“Its two-fingered hand prompted us to have a look at the best way the hand and forelimb modified all through the evolution of oviraptors — which hadn’t been studied earlier than,” College of Edinburgh professor and research co-author Gregory Funston said in a statement. “This revealed some sudden tendencies which can be a key piece within the puzzle of why oviraptors have been so various earlier than the extinction that killed the dinosaurs.”


The fossil of an Oksoko avarsan’s two-fingered hand.

Gregory Funston

The dinosaurs’ arms and fingers modified dramatically throughout sluggish migrations to new geographic areas within the Gobi Desert and North America.


The fossil stays of three dinosaurs preserved resting collectively.

Gregory Funston

The newly found fossils of 4 younger Oksoko avarsan dinosaurs present them resting collectively, which the scientists suppose could also be additional proof the dinosaurs have been social as juveniles. 

“Oksoko avarsan is attention-grabbing as a result of the skeletons are very full and the best way they have been preserved resting collectively reveals that juveniles roamed collectively in teams,” Funston stated.

Researchers from the College of Alberta and Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Canada, Hokkaido College in Japan, and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences additionally contributed to the research.


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Bonnie Burton