Rare! Researchers discover a 70-million-year-old dinosaur that slept like birds.

Recently, a new species of dinosaur that lived about 70 million years ago was uncovered. It has some strange characteristics. In the remote area of the Gobi Desert in south Mongolia, paleontologists discovered the fossilized bones of the recently discovered species, Jaculinykus yaruui. The study was released in the PLOS One publication.


The method used to discover the recently discovered dinosaur species was an intriguing feature. It was found by researchers in an odd resting posture that resembles how contemporary birds sleep. Paleontologists consider this to be an uncommon discovery for a dinosaur.

A major discovery 

The researchers consider this to be a significant finding, particularly since it offers a fresh viewpoint and sheds light on the evolution of bird behavior.

The specimen was found in a position that suggests it was asleep when it died, which is the most intriguing part of the discovery.

The nearly complete and “exceptionally” well-preserved skeleton of the J. yaruui specimen, according to the study’s authors, represents a subspecies of small theropod dinosaurs called alvarezsaurids.


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Since J. yaruui was discovered in the Nemegt Basin in the Gobi Desert, these dinosaurs are mainly known from that area. They have also been found in a number of other places, including as China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Canada, and the United States.

The Paleobiology Research Group at Hokkaido University in Japan’s Kohta Kubo, one of the study’s authors, told Newsweek that these dinosaurs shared many traits with birds, including some “unique” features.

Characteristics of newly-found dinosaur fossils

The Late Jurassic (ca. 163–145 million years ago) and Cretaceous (ca. 145–66 million years ago) periods are represented by the fossils discovered.


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According to the study, Jaculinykus yaruui was a little dinosaur that was probably less than 65 pounds in weight and measured around 3 feet in length. It possessed relatively short forelimbs with two fingers and legs that were proportionately very long compared to the rest of the body, suggesting that it had advanced running abilities. Its lightweight, bird-like cranium featured big eye sockets.

Jaculinykus, a fascinating creature whose name intertwines both ancient mythology and linguistic roots, stands as a testament to the wonder and diversity of prehistoric life. Unearthed from the annals of time, this remarkable dinosaur embodies a fusion of historical lore and scientific exploration.

At the heart of its denomination lies an amalgamation of languages and cultures, each contributing a layer to its nomenclature. “Jaculinykus” finds its origins in the Latin term “onykus,” denoting ‘claw,’ an apt descriptor for the creature’s formidable appendages that once navigated the primordial landscapes. This reference to ‘claw’ not only underscores the physical attributes but also hints at the prowess and adaptability of this ancient being.


The second part of its name, “Jaculus,” traces its roots back to Greek mythology, evoking images of a diminutive dragon or snake. Within the realms of ancient tales, the “Jaculus” is often portrayed as swift and agile, embodying qualities that potentially resonated with the behavior or appearance of this enigmatic dinosaur. The amalgamation of ‘claw’ and ‘swift’ in its name paints a vivid picture of a creature adapted for both strength and agility, likely a formidable predator in its ecosystem.

Adding further depth to its nomenclature, the inclusion of “yaruui” from Mongolian enriches the essence of its identity. “Yaruui,” translating to ‘hasty’ or ‘swift’ in the Mongolian language, encapsulates a key aspect of its character. This linguistic addition not only enriches the name but offers a glimpse into the behavioral traits or perceived characteristics of this ancient reptilian marvel.

The amalgamation of these linguistic elements not only serves as a means of identification but also encapsulates a narrative. It intertwines the cultural tapestries of Latin, Greek mythology, and Mongolian language, forming a multi-layered representation of this prehistoric entity. Each component of its name unveils a story—a story of strength, agility, and swiftness woven into the fabric of time.

Imagining the world in which Jaculinykus roamed, adorned with its formidable claws and swift movements, opens a gateway to a distant era. Picture it navigating lush landscapes, perhaps engaging in pursuits that reflect the essence of its name—swift and agile, a predator traversing its domain with grace and power.

In the vast expanse of the prehistoric world, Jaculinykus stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of life forms that once graced our planet. Its name, a harmonious blend of ancient tongues and cultural motifs, echoes the interconnectedness of human history and scientific discovery. It serves not merely as a label but as a doorway inviting us to explore and appreciate the magnificence of the natural world and the stories it holds within its folds.



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