Speedy turkey-sized dinosaur that roamed Earth 113 million years

A turkey-sized dinosaur that once roamed the rift valley 113 million years ago has been discovered according, to Daily Mail`.

It appears the plant-eating dinosaur became trapped in a log jam where it died in pain and became immortalised.

The new find sheds light on the diversity of the small, bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs called ornithopods.

The partial skeleton named Diluvicursor pickeringi or Pickering's Flood-Running dinosaur was found in sea cliffs. 

'Diluvicursor shows for the first time that there were at least two distinct body-types among closely related ornithopods, said lead author Vertebrate Palaeontologist Dr Matt .

 'One was lightly built with an extraordinarily long tail, while the other, Diluvicursor, was more solidly built, with a far shorter tail', he said. 

Ornithopods were the dinosaur equivalent of today's cattle and deer - their horny beaks were used to crop vegetation which they then ground using molar-like cheek teeth.

They flourished around 229 to 65.5 million years ago and were one of the most successful dinosaurs to ever walk the planet.

They ranged in size from 5 to 23 feet tall (1.5 to 7 metres) and may have subsequently evolved into more advanced iguanodontids and hadrosaurs who walked on all fours.

A preliminary reconstruction of the tail of the new dinosaur suggests it was a good runner, with powerful leg retracting muscles.

'Understanding the ecology of these dinosaurs - what they ate, how they moved, where they roamed - based on the interplay between anatomy and the environment presents exciting challenges for future research', said Dr Herne. 

Fossil vertebrate remains at this site were buried deep at the base of a powerful river, along with flood-transported tree stumps, logs and branches.

'The carcass of the Diluvicursor pickeringi holotype appears to have become entangled in a log-jam at the bottom of this river,' explained Dr Herne.

'The sizes of some of the logs in the deposit and the abundance of wood suggest the river traversed a well-forested floodplain.'

N.H.Kh

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