06 Dec '17, 6pm

New Aquatic Dinosaur Find Is a Strange and Startling Avian Hodgepodge

That’s a good reason for some elements of Halszkaraptor to be taken with a grain of salt, says Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at University of Edinburgh who wasn’t involved in the study. While the authors have done a good job demonstrating the specimen is real, the fact that its origins are unclear means there’s always some possibility of tampering. Plus, some of the features that the authors suggest indicate a semi-aquatic lifestyle—like the long neck—are seen on other small predatory dinosaurs and living birds like the Ostrich. “[A semi-aquatic niche] is a neat idea, and one that needs to be tested further by new fossil discoveries,” Brusatte says. “If somebody finds soft tissues on one of these fossils, that could help seal the deal whether it had flippers or other signature features of semi-aquatic creatures.”

Full article: http://www.audubon.org/news/new-aquatic-dinosaur-find-str...

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