New 'land and sea' velociraptor-like dinosaur discovered
2017-12-08 14:38:00

A new species of semi-aquatic dinosaurs that could kill prey on land and in water has been discovered by scientists, researchers said Wednesday.

The swan-necked and flipper-forelimbed creature was related to velociraptors – made famous by the "Jurassic Park" films – and lived about 75 million years ago, in what is now Mongolia.

"You have to imagine a mix between a velociraptor, an ostrich and a swan, with a nose of a crocodile and the wings of a penguin," said Paul Tafforeau, a paleontologist at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, and co-author of the study.

"It's a little extraterrestrial," he said.

Scientists made the discovery after studying a fossil, nicknamed "Halszka" for Halszkaraptor escuilliei, which was found at Ukhaa Tolgod in southern Mongolia, a well-known spot for dinosaur enthusiasts searching for the skeletal remains of the long-lost creatures.

The well-preserved fossil had an unexpected mix of features which indicate that some bird-like dinosaurs walked on land and adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle, the scientists said in a study published in Nature, noting this was the first such discovery.

"Halszka was able to run and hunt on land and capable of swimming and fishing in the water," Tafforeau said. Editor:Hiram