Meet Microraptor – The Fishy Dinosaur!

Microraptor gut, zoomed to show traces of fish bone

Image Credit: W. Scott Persons, Univesity of Alberta

A new discovery published in the journal Evolution reports that Microraptor, a four winged dinosaur previously known to feast on small mammals and birds, might have loved eating fish!

A team led by University of Alberta, Canada, have found a new fossil of Microraptor in North East China. Now this fossil is remarkable – this is the first time paleontologists have found traces of fish bone in the dino’s intestines! Yum! And all this while we thought that the Dinos did not know how to catch fish :)

Microraptor are small crow shaped Dinosaurs known to have flown around the Earth  about 120 million years ago. Now they did have teeth like crocodiles – and that makes perfect sense since you do need croc-like teeth to feast on fish :)

Microraptor jaw, showing its teeth

Image Credit: W. Scott Persons, Univesity of Alberta

Now let us ask a question – what do you think was around North East China 120 million years ago – mountains or lakes? Obviously lakes, and that is how the Microraptor got better at catching the fish.

Journal Reference:
Lida Xing, W. Scott Persons, Phil R. Bell, Xing Xu, Jianping Zhang, Tetsuto Miyashita, Fengping Wang, Philip J. Currie. Piscivory in the Feathered Dinosaur Microraptor. Evolution, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/evo.12119

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