A fossil of a dinosaur and the mammal that attacked it 125 million years ago was found in China.
A fossil containing nearly complete remains of both a cat-sized mammal that lived approximately 125 million years ago in Northeast China and the moment it attacked a dinosaur was discovered.
In CNN’s news report, it was recorded that a mammal called Repenomamus Robustus, which resembled a cat-sized badger and is believed to have lived during the Cretaceous period, attacked a herbivorous dinosaur species known as Psittacosaurus, which was three times larger in size. Both animals died during the encounter, and their remains were preserved without significant damage until the present day.
The fossil reveals that Psittacosaurus had grasped R. Robustus’s lower jaw with its left front claw while holding the dinosaur’s hind leg with its left rear claw. Meanwhile, the mammal had its teeth embedded in the ribs of its prey.
Jordan Mallon, a paleobiologist from the Canadian Museum of Nature and one of the authors of the research, stated that the finding could challenge the idea that mammals couldn’t attack dinosaurs. Fossils that demonstrate interactions between different animals and shed light on the predatory behavior of extinct creatures are exceedingly rare.
Mallon mentioned, “The mammal found here was one of the largest mammals of its time and was the size of a cat. The previous view was that large dinosaurs would eat small mammals. This discovery turns that idea around. It seems that these mammals could overcome a larger dinosaur when they were hungry or desperate.”
The fossil provides valuable insights into how these ancient creatures interacted with each other and highlights the capabilities of certain mammals to take on larger dinosaurs under certain circumstances.
Jordan Mallon pointed out that Psittacosaurus was a small, beaked, sheep-sized dinosaur that was common in the region at that time. He suggested that both animals might have died during their battle and then quickly buried by a mudflow that followed a volcanic eruption.
The research detailing these findings was published in the Scientific Reports journal, providing valuable scientific insights into the ancient ecosystem and the interactions between different species during the Cretaceous period.