Thursday, July 09, 2009

Nut-Eating Dinosaur Found

According to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times by Maudlyne Ihejirika, a fossil dinosaur has been discovered that ate nuts. The story notes:

The discovery of the Psittacosaurus, announced last week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was made in 2001, in the Gobi Desert of Inner Mongolia.

But famed University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno and two colleagues from the People's Republic of China who made the find, then spent years preparing and studying the specimen.

The finding is significant in that Psittacosaurus presents the first solid evidence of nut-eating in any dinosaur, according to Sereno. And Psittacosaurus, like other of his fossil findings in recent years, provides further evidence of the ancestry of dinosaurs to modern birds.

"The parallels in the skull to that in parrots, the descendants of dinosaurs most famous for their nut-cracking habits, is remarkable," said the internationally renowned Sereno, currently a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.
Another piece of the puzzle linking dinosaurs to birds and another nail in the coffin of those denying that there is such a link.

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