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Mammal Preys on Dinosaur: Extraordinary Fossil Find

Scientists announced on Tuesday that a recently discovered fossil in China reveals a fight scene indicating that small mammals may have preyed on dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period more frequently than previously believed. The fossilized skeleton of Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis, a dinosaur, depicts a gripping confrontation. Mammal Preys on Dinosaur: Extraordinary Fossil Find.

The dinosaur’s curled body exhibits its ribs inside the mouth of a predator with sharp teeth, while its beaked jaw is held by a clawed forefoot. Its hind foot is braced against its own thigh. Dr. Jordan Mallon, a paleontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, describes the intertwined struggle between the two animals as “mortal combat” and notes that it provides one of the earliest pieces of evidence showcasing predatory behavior by a mammal towards a dinosaur.

Unprecedented Fossil Unveils Mammal Engaging in Mortal Combat with Dinosaur

The predator responsible for the attack is identified as Repenomamus, weighing between 6 and 8 pounds. Mallon expressed his astonishment when he first encountered the fossil, saying, “My eyes popped out of my head.” The evidence signifies the first occurrence of such mammal behavior towards larger prey, as previous knowledge had primarily focused on R. robustus preying on smaller Psittacosaurs.

Mammal Preys on Dinosaur: Extraordinary Fossil Find

The fossil’s discovery challenges the prevailing belief that dinosaurs faced minimal threats from their mammalian counterparts during the Cretaceous, a time when dinosaurs reigned supreme. Mallon explains, “The thinking has always been that it was the dinosaurs that ate the mammals and not vice versa.” This unique find, part of a study led by Chinese researchers, demonstrates an unprecedented encounter between a mammal and a dinosaur. The fossil’s rarity and significance have led it to be housed in the Weihai Ziguang Shi Yan School Museum in Shandong Province, China.

Groundbreaking Fossil Unearthed: Mammal Caught Biting Dinosaur in Astounding Find

Mallon emphasizes the significance of this discovery, stating, “What’s interesting about this find is it shows that mammals were capable of attacking and eating dinosaurs too, which is pretty exciting.” Despite their small size, mammals were previously considered incapable of preying on the dominant dinosaurs that inhabited the Earth for millions of years. Mallon adds, “The co-existence of these two animals is not new, but what’s new to science through this amazing fossil is the predatory behavior it shows.”

The well-preserved fossil features a Psittacosaurus species, roughly the size of a large dog. Dating back 125 million years to the Early Cretaceous period, the fossil was unearthed in the Liujitun fossil beds in Liaoning Province, China. Psittacosaurs, plant-eating dinosaurs with parrot-like beaks, represent some of the earliest known horned dinosaurs and inhabited Asia from approximately 125 to 105 million years ago.

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