Bird-like dinosaur and her eggs discovered in Patagonia

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An Argentine-Swedish team of paleontologists have found the remains of an Alvarezsaurus in the Rio Negro province of Argentine Patagonia. Among the fossils were remnants of eggs that the researchers believe were still inside the body of the turkey-sized dinosaur when she died.

Alvarezsaurus lived around 70 million years ago and had short, strong arms, long ostrich-like legs, and a small head with few teeth for eating fruit and insects, according to Fernando Novas, a paleontologist at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences.

Novas believes Argentina is entering a "Golden Age" for dinosaur research because of the quantity of specimens Patagonia is yielding and the new hypotheses these are allowing scientists to generate, he told the BBC.

He described the dinosaur's "strange" anatomy as "enigmatic" to the BBC. There is a general consensus among paleontologists that the Alvarezsaurus lineage gave rise to birds, according to Novas. 

And though other specimens of Alvarezsaurus have been found in Mongolia, Patagonia is fertile hunting ground for paleontologists. It has yielded fossils of one of the largest dinosaurs to have ever lived, the aptly named Argentinosaurus, an herbivorous behemoth that measured up to 115 feet in length.

The researchers published their findings in the journal Cretaceous Research.

Photo credit: Illustrator: Gabriel Lio


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