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Analysis of the stomach-acid etched bones found in the abdominal cavity of two specimens of the large Compsognathid predator Sinocallipteryx gigas shows that these ground-dwelling predators ate a variety of prey including primitive birds.

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The fossilised remains of two Early Cretaceous birds has led some scientists to speculate that this cursorial, big-eyed hunter used stealth and guile to enable it to stalk and catch flying creatures. The fossils are approximately million years old and date from a time when lush, tropical forest covered the area. There were active volcanoes nearby and several large lakes.

This indicates that dinosaurs were also on the menu for these hunters.

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The unfortunate victim may have been a Sinornithosaurus, a feathered dinosaur that may have reached lengths in excess of a metre. It looks like one predatory dinosaur was eaten by a bigger predator. The Holotype Specimen of S. The presence of two bird skeletons inside the stomach has led some scientists to propose that Sinocalliopteryx was an active hunter, able to catch birds, perhaps by leaping up and plucking them out of the air.

A dinosaur preying on birds is not a new concept.


The predator was roughly the size of a wolf, about 6 feet 2 meters long, and had feathers or hairlike fuzz covering its body to help keep it warm. Back when this dinosaur was alive, about million years ago, the area was a warm, wet forest, with a diverse fauna of dinosaurs, birds and crocodilians. One of the Sinocalliopteryx specimens, a complete and remarkably well-preserved skeleton, apparently dined on a birdlike, cat-size feathered dinosaur known as Sinornithosaurus , judging by the partial leg found in its gut.


The other Sinocalliopteryx specimen, an incomplete skeleton, held the remains of at least two primitive crow-size birds known as Confuciusornis , as well as acid-etched bones from a dinosaur. Confuciusornis was probably limited to slow takeoffs and short flights. Yet their descendents — domesticated cattle — live on, and "back-breeding" programs have tried to resurrect the auroch by selecting for characteristics of the wild ancestor. An early German attempt resulted in Heck cattle, which have been reintroduced to parts of Europe.

We once shared the planet with other human species, like the Neanderthal, with whom we even interbred. Many of us still carry Neanderthal DNA.

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But we are also prime suspects in their extermination. What would it be like to confront the relations we once wiped out? Scientists are growing homo sapiens-Neanderthal hybrid brain matter in the lab to examine the differences between them and us. Every evening, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here. A fossil dug up and smuggled in the early s by Chinese farmers has finally revealed its secrets.

A fossilized embryo shows what was inside the giant dinosaur eggs that were sold all over the wolrd. The mighty Tyrannosaurus rex used to be very small, and evolved over 20 million years into a massive super predator. Scientists say that newly discovered fossils provide a missing link showing how the dinosaur evolved.

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