Chicken-sized dinosaurs had strange traits that had never been seen before

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Researchers say they have discovered fossils of a dinosaur the size of a chicken with features unlike anything seen in the fossil record before.
Chicken-sized dinosaurs had strange traits that had never been seen before
Rebuilt dinosaur Ubirajara jubatus image.

The ancient creature known as Ubirajara jubatus, lived about 110 million years ago in present-day Brazil. It has a long mane of hair that runs down its back with stiff bands protruding from the shoulders.

"What is particularly unusual about the beast is the presence of two very long, possibly stiff ribbons on the sides of its shoulders, perhaps used for mating attraction, competition among males or for making fear the enemy, "said paleontology professor David Martill of the University of Portsmouth.

Ubirajara joongatus is named after a Tupi Indian meaning "lord of spear", related to the long, hard structure of the creature and the Latin word.

Scientists believe that the Ubirajara jubatus eats large insects and other creatures such as frogs and lizards. The fossil is possibly that of a newly grown male.

Martill added: "With its lustrous beauty, we can imagine that the dinosaur could have been passionately dancing to show its appearance."

The ribbons on the dinosaur’s body may be made of keratin, the same substance that makes up the hair and nails, making it unlike any other creature that has been discovered in nature before.

Lead author of the study, Robert Smyth, informed: "We know a lot of dinosaurs with crests, spines and frills but we don’t see them very often in live birds. In birds, crests are made. with feathers.

Bone requires a lot of energy for the body to grow and maintain, it is also heavy and can cause serious injury if broken. Keratin - the material that makes hair, hair, and scales - is a much better substitute for small animals like this dinosaur. Meanwhile, keratin is light, flexible and can be replaced regularly if damaged. "

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