New dinosaur looks like odd mix of duck, croc, ostrich, swan
New dinosaur looks like odd mix of duck, croc, ostrich, swan This photo provided by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility shows, from left, researchers Pascal Godefroit, Andrea Cau, and Paul Tafforeau at the ESRF facility in Grenoble, France with a Halszkaraptor escuilliei fossil. (Pierre Jayet/ESRF via AP/Lukas Panzarin via AP)
New dinosaur looks like odd mix of duck, croc, ostrich, swan
Lexile: 740L

Assign to Google Classroom

A new dinosaur species has been uncovered by scientists. It looks like something Dr. Seuss could have dreamed up. It had a bill like a duck. But it had teeth like a croc. And it had a swanlike neck and killer claws.

It also had flippers like a penguin. And while it walked like an ostrich it could also swim. That's the first time swimming ability has been shown for a two-legged, meat-eating dinosaur.

It was a tiny creature. It was only about 18 inches tall. It roamed 75 million years ago in what is now Mongolia. Its full curled-up skeleton was found in a sandstone rock.

"It's such a peculiar animal." That's according to Dennis Voeten. He is a paleontology researcher at Palacky University. That is in the Czech Republic. "It combines different parts we knew from other groups into this one small animal."

It was described in a study released Wednesday by the journal Nature. Voeten and coauthors named it Halszkaraptor escuilliei (HAHL-shka-rap-tor ES-key-lay-ee) or "Halszka." It was named for the late Polish paleontologist Halszka Osmolska.

Kristi Curry Rogers called it "a pretty crazy chimera. It has a swan neck and dinosaur body, but with a mouthful of tiny teeth and hands and feet that look like they might be good for swimming." Kristi is a paleontologist at Macalester College. It is in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kristi didn't participate in the study.

Its mashup body let it run and hunt on the ground and fish in fresh water. That's according to  Paul Tafforeau. He was the  study co-author. He's a paleontologist at the ESRF. It is known as the European Synchrotron in Grenoble, France, a powerful X-ray generator where numerous tests were made on the fossil.

The lead author is Andrea Cau. He is a paleontologist at the Geological Museum Capellini in Bologna, Italy. He said he was at first highly suspicious about the fossil's authenticity. He doubted it both because of its appearance and the fact that the rock containing the skeleton had been smuggled out of Mongolia. It was left in a private collector's hands.

"I asked myself, 'Is this a real, natural skeleton, or an artifact, a chimera? If this is a fake, how could I demonstrate it?'" Cau said in an email. "Assuming it was a fake instead of starting assuming that the fossil is genuine was the most appropriate way to start the investigation of such a bizarre fossil."

So researchers used the Synchrotron to create three-dimensional images of the fossil. It showed the creature was indeed a single animal and not a concoction built up from several sources. For example, an arm hidden in the rock perfectly matched the visible left arm, and lines indicating growth matched up across the bones.

Even though the creature wasn't dreamed up by Dr. Seuss, it got a blessing from a Dr. Sues.

Hans Sues is a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution. She wasn't part of the research. She praised the work and said it "shows again how amazingly diverse dinosaurs were."

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 483 times
How can a dinosaur be a mix?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • AnaiyahD-pay
    12/12/2017 - 01:57 p.m.

    i think a dinosaur can be mixed because anything is possible and maybe this breed, breeded with different animals to maybe become this creature.

  • AlexanderH-pay
    12/12/2017 - 01:57 p.m.

    this story is so funny it is a very it shows a lot of imformataion and is a very good story to read and it is cool that they shared this with us.

  • RoodmilleA-pay
    12/12/2017 - 01:58 p.m.

    It can be a mix of different species of animal and there was plenty of animal that don't look alike that means that there not the same species and the can have their own ancestor of animal or species.

  • EmmanualR-pay
    12/12/2017 - 02:01 p.m.

    It was a veary strange dinosor because it was mix with many different animal and it walk like an ostrige and no animal walk like an ostrige and ostrige are the onley one to walk like that

  • JavonD-pay
    12/12/2017 - 02:05 p.m.

    Dennis Voeten was a paleontology researcher that he knew every part from the other small animals.Dennis knew every part in thetown he went to.

  • JosephA-pay
    12/12/2017 - 02:06 p.m.

    maybe the dinosaur is part of more then 1 animale that mean hes or hers old parants was not only dinosur hes or hers was part parents of orther animale. that can happen because we see lion in tiger are friend in orther animale that shoude not be friend are friend

  • Ja'khiaW-pay
    12/12/2017 - 02:06 p.m.

    why do dinosaur look crazy

  • KiaraA-pay
    12/12/2017 - 02:06 p.m.

    I'm not much of a dinosaur's but it was pretty interesting to learn about this one. my brother loves dinosaur's and he has told me a lot of strange one's but not like this one

  • ClaudiaH-pay1
    12/12/2017 - 02:08 p.m.

    The all different creatures mated and created this weird species.

  • ayannaC-pay
    12/12/2017 - 02:08 p.m.

    The dinosaurs were different species so that when they mated they created new species.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment