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A team of scientists announced in Beijing that they discovered a new species of dinosaurs 120 million years ago in Hebei, which is of great significance to our understanding of the evolution of dinosaurs. The research paper was published in “Cretaceous Research” by Elsevier Publishing Group.

New species of dinosaurs 120 million years ago

We know that not all members of the dinosaur family are big men, and Compsognathus is a very small one. If you add a long tail to a featherless chicken, add teeth to its mouth, and change the front ends of its wings into tiny claws, it will look like a Compsognathus. Because its body structure is so bird-like, when the skeleton fossils of Archaeopteryx were first discovered, people thought they were Compsognathus.

Xing Lida’s team described a new species that is between the ages of the two main fossil-producing strata, Xunmenglong yingliangis, from the Huajiying Formation in North China. The genus name “Xun Meng” expresses the fast movement and ferocious temperament of this small dinosaur, and the species name “Ying Liang” pays tribute to the Ying Liang Stone Natural History Museum where the specimens are collected.

There are still questions in the scientific community about the habitat preferences and diversity patterns of compsognathid dinosaurs, but Velociraptor Yingliang provides us with two broader possibilities or basis: (1) According to the previously proposed anti-avian assemblage diversity, the Huajiying Formation may preserve the oldest fauna in the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota, which is related to the Late Jurassic Daohugou Biota and the Yixian Formation that produced other compsognathids. The combinations are all different. (2) Velociraptor Yingliang can serve as a useful calibration point for reconstructing biogeographic and stratigraphic patterns and estimating allometric trends in the Compsognathus clade.

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