The ancestors of the current predators of this world were Dinosaurs known so far. Recently a team of fossil hunters found fossils of a 63-year-old meat-eating dinosaur with the feathered body. The study of these fossils reveals, raptor dinosaurs were thriving right up to the collision of an asteroid with the earth which occurred around 66m years ago.
The fossils including 20 bones were found in the San Juan Basin in New Mexico. And they are believed to be from a type of dromaeosaurid – a family of theropod dinosaurs that includes raptors. This appears to be a close cousin of the velociraptor.
Researchers claim that the fossil shows a number of unusual feathers. “The upper arm bone has a very distinct angle in it, and basically what that means is that muscles attaching there would have been more efficient than other [dromaeosaurids],” said Dr. Steven Jasinski, of the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of the research.
The claws of the animals show a large projection on the bottom side where muscles and the tendons would have attached. “They are especially large, which would have given this animal a really strong grip and ability to grasp things with both its hands and feet,” said Jasinski.
The newly discovered fossil projects an idea towards super mobility in this dinosaur with a stiff, reinforced tail which helps in balancing to make the beast run faster.
“The one major thing that is different about Dineobellator is that at the base of the tail, the vertebrae are set up differently so it makes the tail highly mobile at the base,” said Jasinski.
“It looks like the ancestors of Dineobellator would have basically migrated from Asia and then diversified once they got back to North America at the very end of the Cretaceous, right before they went extinct,” said Jasinski.