BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of specialists revealed the details of their latest study, one which analyzed the remains of three young dinosaurs that were all snug and comfortable at the time of their death.
Young Dinosaurs, More Complex, Less Savage than Believed?
A team of scientists got the chance to analyze the fossilized remains of three young dinosaur specimens discovered in the Gobi desert by poachers. These were dated to be some 70 million years old and were covered in a thick layer of soil or ash, even in their rocky tomb.
Greg Funston, of the Alberta University, led the study, after uncovering the fossils earlier this year. The results led to a wave of enthusiasm among specialists as they point to the dinosaurs’ roosting.
Communal roosting is the habit of sleeping in groups and is a custom common among many present-day species. Nonetheless, this is the first time scientists detected signs of roosting among dinosaurs.
The three young dinosaurs are believed to have had “quite a close bond. They were living together at the time of death.”
These specimens are believed to have been killed by either a volcanic eruption or by a sandstorm. Scientists reached this conclusion as the fossil were noted to be covered by a thick layer of soil or ash.
The young dinosaurs have yet to be named, however, they were calculated to have lived in between 145 million to around 65 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
These dinosaurs, which were about the size of a large dog each, presented a domed crest on their heads, similar to modern-day cassowary. They also seem to have walked on two legs and been warm-blooded.
“They probably had feathers, although they could not fly. However, they were undoubtedly social creatures,” says the team.
Scientists will likely continue analyzing these snuggling dinosaurs, although the specimens were affected by their being poached and the remains are not intact.
However, the team still considers this an exciting discovery. It shows that dinosaurs living in the Jurassic Period were already presenting signs of social interactions, including sleeping together in flocks, just like modern0day birds.
Study details were presented during the most recent meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
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