Scientists have discovered a new plant-eating theropod dinosaur species in Chile; they are calling it Chilesaurus diegosuarezi. With an upper body similar to the ones found in long-necked dinosaurs, arms resembling that of Tyrannosaurus rex and pelvis similar to that of raptors, this newly discovered animal cannot be tagged as ordinary.
Scientists are saying that this newly identified species is related to the Velociraptors and T. Rex; however, they have made it clear that in spite of being related to just these two species, Chilesaurus diegosuarezi carried traits of different groups of dinosaur. These characteristics forced the scientists to describe Chilesaurus as a bizarre prehistoric reptile.
For those who are wondering whether the scientists have followed any pattern to name these big reptiles: yes, they have. “Chilesaurus” has been derived from Chile, the place inhabited by this species. Diegosuarezi is derived from the name Diego Suarez.
Diego Suarez, who is an 18-year-old guy now, holds the key to this discovery. In 2004, the then seven-year-old Suarez discovered the fossil of this dinosaur species during a research expedition at a southern Chile-based Jurassic dig site. He visited the site along with his parents.
Due to its bizarre features, Chilesaurus will surely cause serious confusions among paleontologists searching for a particular category in the ancestral tree for placing this dinosaur.
According to the study’s co-author Martín Ezcurra, Chilesaurus diegosuarezi belongs to an new lineage, genus and of course species of dinosaur. Ezcurra is a researcher representing the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
Ezcurra further informed that the theropod identified by him and his team during the recent study is the first plant-eating theropod dinosaur found in Chile. Here, it must be mentioned that theropods were pretty common in the Mesozoic era.
The majority of the recently discovered dinosaur species used to be meat-eaters or carnivores. However, as mentioned above, Chilesaurus used to follow a strict vegetarian diet. According to the scientists, these bizarre theropods possibly lost the taste for meat due to convergent evolution, which is a process that makes some parts of a living being act like those of others.
Experts believe that this discovery will make researchers think about reptile evolution differently.