A weird duck-like dinosaur once roamed the earth

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Photo Credit: The New York Times

Paleontologists (those who study fossils) have rescued a fossil of a dinosaur that is more than 70 million years old. This was rescued from poachers. It was found in Mongolia. It looks like one of the strangest dinosaurs to ever have lived. Meet Halszkaraptor escuilliei!

It could swim in the water, but could also use its legs and walk and run on land. It had sharp teeth inside its bill and superbly sharp claws – both of which it could use to shred its prey. Scientists think that it was related to the dreaded velociraptor.

What are fossils exactly? The remains of creatures that are preserved in rock.

Why do people poach fossils? There are some people who will pay a lot of money to own a dinosaur bone. Poachers steal fossils and sell them to private collectors who show them off in their houses or collections.

Why is this not such a great idea? It takes specimens away from scientists who can study these and learn and share more information about these creatures and about the earth at that time.

How do scientists study fossils without damaging the specimen? Through many powerful imaging techniques, like intense X-rays, called x-ray michrochromatography. They also now use other 3D imaging techniques.

 

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