In Jurassic Park, the deadly, fast-moving velociraptors are among the most terrifying of the dinosaurs – so a new dinosaur find is more than a little surreal.
It’s described as a ‘mixture between a velociraptor and a goose.’
The dinosaur, named Halszkaraptor escuilliei is thought to have walked on two legs like an ostrich – but spent a lot of time floating in water, catching small fish about 75 million years ago in Mongolia.
The Mongolian fossil had been sold to private collectors before it was acquired by a French fossil dealer who gave it to researchers.
The scientists used a scanning device called a synchrotron to peer inside solid rock to make out anatomical details of the well-preserved, nearly complete fossil skeleton.
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‘It combines different features from different groups of dinosaurs in an unexpected and bizarre mix,’ said study lead author Andrea Cau, a paleontologist at the Capellini Geological Museum in Bologna. ‘It looks like a mixture between a Velociraptor and a goose.’
‘Halszkaraptor was able to run like all dinosaurs, and probably hunted its prey using an ambush strategy that used the long neck to quickly catch small animals.
‘It was also able to swim and hunt in water, using again an ambush strategy thanks to its long and flexible neck,’ Cau said.
The researchers say it probably lived a lifestyle similar to that of a heron