In an exciting discovery, a team of paleontologists from various institutions has unearthed a new dinosaur species in Phu Noi, Northern Thailand. This significant finding was recently published in the esteemed journal Diversity, shedding light on the creature’s fascinating characteristics and condition.
The fossil was excavated from the renowned Phu Kradung Formation, an area well-known for yielding numerous fossils over the years. The researchers decided to focus their efforts on a remarkably well-preserved fossil embedded in stone, which turned out to be a previously unknown species now named Minimocursor phunoiensis.
The scientists marveled at the fossil’s exceptional state, describing it as an “exceptionally articulate skeleton,” making it one of the most remarkably preserved dinosaurs ever discovered in Southeast Asia. The creature belongs to the neornithischian clade, signifying that it was a plant-eating dinosaur.
Upon closer examination, the team deduced that the dinosaur had not yet reached maturity when it perished. It moved on two legs, supported by four limbs, and boasted a long body and tail. Its snout resembled a beak and featured a bony lump called a jugal boss on its jaw. Additionally, a distinctive ridge along its pelvis helped identify this extraordinary specimen.
Radiometric dating placed the dinosaur in an ancient era, approximately 145 to 163 million years ago. The researchers estimate that if fully grown, it would have measured around 2 meters in length. This remarkable creature’s physical characteristics suggest that it had a herbivorous diet and was quite agile, enabling it to sprint quickly and evade potential predators.
Interestingly, the researchers have discovered other fossils of the same dinosaur species in the surrounding region, indicating that these creatures were abundantly present during their time.
As the study of this dinosaur fossil continues, some bones, notably the skull, are yet to be fully processed. The team anticipates that this additional analysis will provide further insights into the dinosaur’s behavior, ecology, and its significance among its contemporaries.