10 Surprising Facts About Fossil Animals

At the bottom of our hearts, we are grateful that prehistoric monsters died out millions of years ago, leaving us this amazing planet as a legacy. However, some facts about dinosaurs make us regret that they disappeared. Because dinosaurs were actually amazing creatures that could capture any imagination

ten. Dinosaur eggs were colorful

Dinosaurs were much more colorful than they are shown in movies. And even the eggs they carried were multi-colored . For example, oviraptor eggs were painted in soothing green and blue tones.

The age of such a find, made in China, is about 67 million years. Most fossilized dinosaur eggs are covered in dark spots as the shell absorbs minerals. But the eggs in this clutch remained relatively unstained, which allowed scientists to detect the coloring pigments biliverdin and protoporphyrin in the shell. The same pigments, by the way, are found in the eggs of emus and cassowaries.

9. Archeopteryx wore “trousers” made of feathers

Archeopteryx, whose remains were first discovered in Germany in 1861, is a transitional species from dinosaurs to birds. Teeth, claws and beady eyes make this creature related to a dinosaur, and its plumage connects it with modern birds.

For a long time, paleontologists did not know for sure whether the entire body of Archeopteryx was covered with feathers or whether they were only on the wings. But recently it was possible to find almost intact fossils, thanks to which it became obvious that Archeopteryx had feathers on its hind legs.

These “trousers” could perform several functions: thermal protection, disguise, and possibly attracting individuals of the opposite sex.

eight. The mouth of Atopodentatus unicus resembled a zipper

The ancient reptile Atopodentatus unicus got its name from its terrible mouth: Atopodentatus means “strange teeth.”.

The needle-like teeth of the 3-meter monster protruded from the sides of the jaw, causing the monster’s mouth to resemble a zipper. But in addition, Atopodentatus had a set of relatively standard “nippers” located along the lower and upper jaws.

In total, the reptile had about 400 teeth. Despite its formidable appearance, Atopodentatus did not claim to be a great hunter. He fed on benthic organisms, using vertical needle teeth as a filter, and not at all to intimidate victims.

7. Crowned Triceratops

A close relative of Triceratops, Regaliceratops peterhewsi, is called “Hellboy” because of the small horns above its eyes. Regaliceratops translates as “royal face with horns,” and peterhewsi is a tribute to amateur paleontologist Peter Hughes, who first discovered the remains of this dinosaur.

Unlike Triceratops, which had large horns on its forehead and a smaller protrusion on its nose, Regaliceratops had short forehead horns and a huge spike on its nose.

The latter, apparently, he inherited from dinosaurs of a different species, extinct 2 million years earlier. The shield on the forehead of Regaliceratops was bordered with pointed growths, which made it look like a crown.

6. Synapsids couldn’t sleep at night

About 300 million years ago, even before the advent of dinosaurs, the Earth was inhabited by synapsids the ancestors of mammals with features of lizards. The preserved periocular bone rings of these creatures allowed scientists to judge their nocturnal lifestyle.

What is very strange: the first mammals began to hunt at night in order to avoid meeting with dinosaurs. Synapsids had nothing to worry about, however, even the huge Dimetrodon preferred to stay awake at night. Paleontologists can’t figure out why, but it clearly has nothing to do with a defense strategy.

5. Rhinorex and his royal nose

Rhinorex means something like “King of Noses” and Rhinorex condrupus lives up to its name. This strange dinosaur with an outstanding schnobel roamed the primeval wilds of Utah about 75 million years ago.

No one knows why this creature needed such a long nose, but it is unlikely that this is due to the scent. Perhaps the nose was used to attract the other “half”.

four. Relative of the T-rex and the fly did not offend

The recently discovered Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is a cousin of the formidable Tyrannosaurus rex, although its appearance is more of a smile than a horror. And rightly so: after all, the relative of the T-rex was a staunch vegetarian. And the largest representative of the species reached a ridiculous 3 meters in length.

3. Ancient snakes had legs

The ancestor of all snakes, who lived in a humid southern climate about 130 million years ago, was not much different from modern heirs. The only significant difference is the presence of hind limbs. Yes, ancient snakes had small legs with real shins that ended in toes.

2. Early birds resembled bats

Yi qi or “strange wing” this is how paleontologists called a creature that lived in the second half of the Jurassic period. Its long fingers were covered with a membrane, which made the creature look like a modern bat.

Yi qi had feathers, but they hardly played a special role during the flight. Perhaps the “strange wing” could not fly at all. Most likely, this creature climbed trees using its claws, and then planned from branch to branch for short distances.

one. The spermatozoa were larger than the adult

Living millimeter-sized ostracods are super fertile, and one of their ancestors boasted some really impressive sperm. Recently, scientists were lucky enough to find a portion of sperm preserved in the reproductive organs of a female ancient ostracod, whose age is estimated at 16 million years.

Ancient spermatozoa reached 1 cm in length, which significantly exceeded the size of an adult. This is a rather rare phenomenon, although it is observed in some species of moths and fruit flies.

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