Scientists discovered the fossils of a strange-looking dinosaur while digging in Mongolia. The creature had a long neck just like a duck, but could savagely kill its prey by slashing it with its sharp claws. This weird duck dinosaur was also quite ancient, as its bones were found to be 75 million years old.
The duck dinosaur was the first raptor that could swim
The creature couldn’t have been a true duck dinosaur if it weren’t amphibious. This means it could walk on two legs while on land but, as soon as it jumped into water, it used it forelimbs to swim. They were shaped like flippers, so it was easy for it to move around. While doing it, the dinosaur could hunt and search for prey with the help of its long neck.
The duck dinosaur was nicknamed Halszka, from its scientific name Halszkaraptor escuillie. Researchers gave it this name to honor Halszka Osmólska, a Polish female paleontologist who was well-known for studying dinosaurs discovered in Mongolia.
This creature looks extremely unusual so, at first, the scientists wondered if the fossil was real. They suspected remains from several animals got mixed, and then got fossilized together. The dinosaur’s head resembles a duck, while it has a swan-like neck and the body of a velociraptor. However, the most interesting thing about it was the fact that it was amphibious.
Although small, it was a vicious killer
Although it was a ferocious creature, the duck dinosaur was one of the smallest predators of its kind. It wasn’t bigger than a goose, and hunted mainly crustaceans and fish. However, from time to time, it also fed on lizards or insects. No matter how scary it looked, its size still put it at risk. Since it lived during the same period as the velociraptor, the duck dinosaur was on the menu for most bigger carnivores.
Thanks to an advanced X-ray technique, researchers managed to make plenty of valuable discoveries. After analyzing this odd creature, they could establish that dinosaurs of the raptor kind couldn’t only walk or fly, but were also able to swim. The study was published in the journal Nature.
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