Ravenous meat-eating dinosaur’s guts preserved in exceptionally rare fossil

Ravenous meat-eating dinosaur's guts preserved in exceptionally rare fossil

The “exceptional” fossil of Daurlong wangi from the Upper Cretaceous period of Inner Mongolia, China. (Image credit: Wang, X. et al. Scientific Reports (2022); (CC BY 4.0))

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More than 100 million years ago, a fearsome birdlike dinosaur was swept into a lake and transformed into an exceptional fossil in what is now China, preserving one of the few intact gut remnants known from nonavian dinosaurs, a new study finds.

Paleontologists knew they had unearthed something special when they saw “a large bluish layer in the abdomen” of the fossilized beast, which belongs to the newly discovered species Daurlong wangi, as well as a dinosaur lineage called the dromaeosaurids, which includes the ancestors of modern birds. This bluish layer had “exceptional preservation” of the dinosaur’s gut, the researchers wrote in the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports (opens in new tab) on Nov. 19.

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