posted on May, 3 2013 @ 05:01 PM
Ah, the Jurassic...
No, not Jurassic Park, the REAL Jurassic, when dinosaurs stomped around, chomped on
mammals, and sneered at the earliest birds.
(not the rock band)
was breaking up, and a whole lot
of shaking was going on.
Most of the rocks with Jurassic material have been eroded away (or buried under younger rocks) but one of the few places they can still be found is
China. These largely unexplored fossil beds are now a very active research area, producing new and exciting finds like this
newly announced juvenile therapod (meat eater)
that dates from the Jurassic.
When it died (about 160 million years ago), it was around a year old, was about 3 feet long, and weighed about 3 lbs.
No, that's not a typo by anyone. Therapods (coelurosaurs, specifically
) are relatives of the
birds and are built very lightly -- this little darling was about the length and weight of a macaw (those big red (or blue) parrots from the
The skull they show is beautifully preserved, showing the characteristic facial structure and teeth of a therapod (with a US quarter in the photo to
show scale (good paleontological practice!)).
Like most wild animals, dinosaurs grew very quickly during their first year of life... the adult would possibly be 9 feet long.
Some additional information here (here)