Scientists Discover World’s Tiniest Dinosaur Trapped In 100 Million-Year-Old Amber with A Complete Set of Teeth

Archaeologists are finding more amazing discoveries about prehistoric earth as never before. One such discovery in 2016 by a Chinese scientist Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences made headlines around the world when he found something incredible in a piece of amber or fossil tree resin as it is called. The fossil that came from a mine in North Myanmar or former Burma intrigued Xing who suspected what it was. Without speaking in anyone he sent it to his colleagues in the Beijing Chinese Academy of Sciences Jingmai O’Connor who suspected what it was. The secrecy was due to issues with amber fossils in Myanmar but more of that later.

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1The fossil of the smallest known dinosaur-bird

Believe it or not but the amber piece turned out to be 99 million years old. Dr O Connor said, “When I was first given the specimen by Lida Xing, he’s like ‘Don’t tell anyone about this.” The report that has subsequently appeared in Journal Nature this month revealed that the piece of amber contained within it the skull of the smallest known bird and dinosaur ever discovered. It was given the name Oculudentavis khaungraae.

Image Source: nyt.com

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2Its head measured only half an inch

Oculudentavis khaungraae derived from Latin means eye, teeth and a bird. The skull of the dinosaur measured just 14.25 millimetres from beak to end and that’s pretty small roughly around the size of a fingertip. The animal also had bulbous eyes on the sides of its head instead of straight from its face like a barn owl or human.

Image Source: nyt.com

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3A skull smaller than a hummingbird

Commenting on the find Dr. O’Connor said “We were able to show that this skull is even smaller than that of a bee hummingbird, which is the smallest dinosaur of all time — also the smallest bird,” Dr. O’Connor said. “This is a tiny skull, and it’s just preserved absolutely pristinely.”

Image Source: nbcnews.com

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