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New Dino Species Discovered

Scientists revealed the discovery of the first known nonavian theropod—a two-legged carnivorous dinosaur—in a study published yesterday.

Named Natovenator polydontus, meaning “many-toothed swimming hunter,” the dinosaur is believed to have had a streamlined body like current diving birds (such as penguins) and a long neck like modern water birds (such as geese). These characteristics, along with a jaw filled with teeth, hint that it may have swum and dove to capture prey—likely fish or insects.

The 2008 discovery in Mongolia's Gobi Desert included the fossilized remains of a nearly complete skeleton. The duck-sized species is believed to have lived in the late Cretaceous period around 71 million years ago, and belongs to the same group of dinosaurs as the Velociraptor. The dinosaur shares traits with another species, Halszkaraptor escuilliei, discovered in 2017 and thought to be aquatic.

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