Amongst the animals to ever walk the surface of the earth, dinosaurs never cease to exist in the minds of many.
Whenever dinosaurs are mentioned, we often picture large creatures like the T-Rex or the Apatosaurus. And when we imagine the small ones, we picture the Velociraptors which still weighs around 180 pounds, but no one ever pictures a dinosaur as little as 1.5 cm.
Well, the narrative soon changed when Archaeologists in Myanmar discovered the preserved skull of the smallest dinosaur to ever live on earth.
This dinosaur was found entombed in amber – a bird-like creature, not bigger than the smallest birds alive today, that lived for nearly 100million years ago.
40 Razor-Sharp Teeth Found Intact
According to the researchers in the journal – Nature, the fossil is only 1.5centimeters long from the back of the head to the tip of the snout. It’s just about the width of a thumbnail.
Archaeologists explained that the skull is almost the same size as the bee hummingbird, which is most active during the day.
With the upper and lower jaws stacked with 40 razor-sharp teeth, it has contains the most teeth ever found in an ancient bird.According to the researchers, the dinosaur is lighter in weight than a dime.
This newly found dinosaur preserved within the amber during the Mesozoic era is represented by nothing other than a skull.
From its tiny and sharp teeth to its ringed eyes bones, the skull is a little more than half an inch.
The dinosaur had bulbous eyes that shot out from the sides of its head rather than straight like that of an owl or a human.
Some researchers believe that the dinosaur’s skull is smaller than the skull of a bee hummingbird.
These researchers also believed that the dinosaur belongs to a group of dinosaurs that evolved into modern birds.
It was named Oculudentavis Khaungraae, the Latin words for “eye tooth and bird.”
A Senior Professor at the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing Jingmai O’Connor, said:
“When I first saw this specimen, it blew my mind. I have never seen anything like this.”
She further stated that there are over 100 teeth present in the jaws. These weird eyes were sticking off, looking to the side. There is nothing like this alive today.
Although Ryan Carney, a paleontologist at the University of South Florida, wasn’t directly involved in the study, described this discovery as one of the rarest and most spectacular of finds. He said:
“This is truly one of the rarest and most spectacular of finds! Like capturing Cretaceous lightning in a bottle, this amber preserves an unprecedented snapshot of a miniature dinosaur skull with exciting new features.”
Experts suggest that this discovery is an eye-opener. It will provide insights into the evolution of modern birds.
They believe that this prehistoric bird was a predator that most likely fed on insects and other small invertebrates.