World’s Smallest Dinosaur Measuring 5 to 6 cm, Found in Mayanmar
Not all ancient animals were bigger than today's.
World’s smallest dinosaur fossil measuring 5-6 cm has been found in Northern Myanmar. The 99-million-year old (pre-Big Bang) creature is trapped in amber and is quite bird-like. The researchers have named it Oculudentavis khaungraae. The fossil’s jaw houses a large number of teeth just like another dinosaur with 500 teeth.
A Bizzare & Weird Dinosaur
The world’s smallest dinosaur, Oculudentavis khaungraae, is the latest offering by the leading Paleontologists. The hummingbird-like creature is almost 99 million-year-old and trapped inside a fossilized tree resin.
According to Professor O’Connor, the dinosaur fossil is “weird” and it has to do with its features.
It’s the weirdest fossil I’ve ever been lucky enough to study. I just love how natural selection ends up producing such bizarre forms. We are super-lucky to find it 99 million years later.
The finders find the dinosaur quite bizarre for another reason. It resembles a bird but its eye-structure is more like that of a lizard.
Birds have a ring of bones, the scleral ring, that helps to support the eye. In most birds, the individual bones, called scleral ossicles, are simple and fairly square. However, Oculudentavis have spoon-shaped eyes, a characteristic of some living lizards. Bones of the eye would have formed a cone, like the eye bones in owls. This indicates that the dinosaur had an exceptional vision.
Some scientists believe that life for the hummingbird-sized dinosaur was rather challenging.
Animals that become very small have to deal with specific problems, like how to fit all sensory organs into a very small head, or how to maintain body heat.
The number of teeth on its jaw is reminiscent of the Nigersaurus, a dinosaur with 500 teeth. However, Khaungraae used its teeth to hunt and eat small insects.
Oculudentavis khaungraae fossil discovery sounds like an interesting one. We will keep you posted on the pre-Big Bang, historic creature.