New dinosaur discovered by Belgian scientists
The new dinosaur species, called "Halszkaraptor" in honour of the Polish palaeontologist Halszka Osmólska, travelled on land and in water.
"For the first time, we can confirm that some dinosaurs swam", highlighted Pascal Godefroit of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. The discovery was possible due to a fossil dating from 71 to 75 million years old, which was unearthed a few years ago in Mongolia.
The Halszkaraptor is a bipedal carnivorous dinosaur, the dominant predator 160 million years ago. This semi-aquatic raptor, closely related to the velociraptor, measured 80 centimetres. It probably moved in water due to the movements of its front legs. "Its swan-like neck and long teeth enabled it to trap fish underwater", stated the Museum of Natural Sciences. Until now this characteristic had never been clearly established in the dinosaurs.
According to Koen Stein of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, one of the study's authors, the discovery is "a great find. (...) It shows how diverse dinosaurs were and how much there is still left to discover".