Scientists have discovered a complete set of skeletons belonging to parrot-like dinosaurs that existed 68 million years ago. These remains were dug up in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The dinosaurs, which have since been christened Oksoko ovarian, flourished in the crustacean period.
This recent discovery was led by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh. They found a well-preserved group of fossils having feathers, two digits, and looking every bit like parrots. This latest discovery has now helped scientists to determine how these dinosaurs may have evolved over time.
The fossils of the juvenile dinosaurs were found buried together. This finding shows that these creatures were, by all means, social beings who loved moving in herds.
The team was led by Dr. Gregory Funston of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geoscience, with inputs from researchers from the University of Alberta, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Canada, Hokkaido University in Japan, and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, was financed by the Royal Society and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada.
Dr. Gregory Funston, stating the findings of his team, said, “Oksoko avarsan is interesting because the skeletons are very complete and the way they were preserved resting together shows that juveniles roamed together in groups.”
Giving some other details such as their features, he said they had feathers, were about two meters long, and looked very similar to today’s parrots, with long and toothless beaks. They ate vegetation and meat, which grouped them into the omnivorous class of animals.
The dinosaurs, researchers understood, may have been part of three-fingered dinosaurs known as oviraptors, only that Oksoko aversion had only two functional clawed digits which looked like fingers.
With the discovery of these well-preserved fossils, scientists have their first evidence in studying more about how the dinosaurs underwent a series of evolutionary changes that left them with fewer fingers.
Dr. Funston stated that this new evidence gives researchers the opportunity to study the evolution of vital body parts of dinosaurs such as the hand and forelimb, which has never been explored before. The limbs of these dinosaurs may have evolved very quickly as they migrated to present-day North America and the Gobi Desert, the study noted.