In 2022, fossilized remains of a dinosaur were found in a swamp in China. The fossil was named Fujianvenator prodigiosus (which translates to “bizarre hunter from Fujian”) and is considered to be one of the earliest bird-like dinosaurs from the Jurassic period.
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In a paper published by Nature, the dinosaur was described as having lanky legs, couldn’t fly, and didn’t follow accepted bird evolution. There have been very few bird-like fossils from the Jurassic period, and scientists believe that this species could help bridge gaps in the knowledge about this time period. In general, there are a limited number of fossils of bird-like dinosaurs due to their fragile, hollow bones.
According to CNN, the bird weighed less than 2 pounds and had elongated lower legs. This trait suggests that this dinosaur was a fast runner or lived a lifestyle similar to that of modern wading birds.
Scientists have described the Fujianvenator prodigiosus as “weird,” and there are still many unanswered questions about how this creature fits in with the evolutionary story of birds. You can read the full essay about the discovery here.