If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Unless it looked like a duck and swam like a penguin, like this ancient dinosaur. It’s the first discovered dinosaur that was able to both walk and swim. Andrea Cau and his colleagues at Geological and Palaeontological Museum in Bologna, Italy researchers named the new species Halszkaraptor escuilliei. They used synchrotron radiation scanning so they could determine the structure of the fossil while it was still partially embedded in the rock rather than risk excavating it and harming the specimen. They have determined that it would have looked a little clumsy with heavy weight on its hips to balance out its long neck so the animal could stand upright and flipper forelimbs that would have helped it to swim. This newly discovered dino lived 75 million and 71 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period, but the next time you see a duck you can imagine what it would look like crossed with a penguin and you’ll have a pretty good idea how this ancient would have roamed the Earth.
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Image Credit: Lukas Panzarin, and Andrea Cau for scientific supervision
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