Dinosaurs Even Had Mammals on the Menu

Dinosaurs Even Had Mammals on the Menu

Ah, the good ol’ days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth! These giant reptiles had a varied diet, depending on their size and preferred food group. The sauropods and hadrosaurs were veggie lovers, munching on ferns and other plants. Meanwhile, the theropods and ceratopsians were meat eaters, chowing down on other dinosaurs and animals. We know this because scientists have found fossilized teeth and dino poo (fancy term: coprolites) to give us clues. But let’s be real; we still have a lot to learn about these ancient eaters.

Some dinosaurs had special adaptations that helped them to eat tough, fibrous plants. For example, the hadrosaurs (also known as “duck-billed” dinosaurs) had a series of small, interlocking teeth that formed a grinding surface, which allowed them to efficiently chew and grind up tough plant material. These dinosaurs also had a large, expandable gut that helped them to digest the tough plant fibers they ate. Some paleontologists believe that hadrosaurs may have even had bacteria in their gut that helped them to break down cellulose, the main component of plant cell walls.

Fossil of Microraptor zhaoianus re-examined 20 years later

The Microraptor zhaoianus fossil was initially discovered in the year 2000 in the Jiufotang Formation in China. The fossil was recently re-analyzed by a group of international researchers, and they found evidence of another fossil being placed inside the one of the Microraptor. Thus, they have the first evidence of a dinosaur devouring a mammal, according to Phys.org

Dinosaurs and mammals are two distinct groups of animals that evolved from different ancestors and have a number of differences between them. Some of the main differences between dinosaurs and mammals consist of physical characteristics, reproduction, time period, and more.

Microraptors were just about the same size as a dog, which means that they were significantly smaller than most dinosaurs. The biggest dinosaur, by comparison, the Argentinosaurus, is estimated to have been about 30 meters long and weighed an estimated 100-110 tons.

The new study was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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