Scientists discover new species of dinosaur – small winged carnivore

Scientists discover new species of dinosaur - small winged carnivore
Overoraptor chimentoi or winged carnivore (Photo: Gabriel Lio / Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales)

The remains of a new species of small winged carnivorous dinosaur that lived in Patagonia 90 million years ago have been found in Argentina, paleontologists estimate.

The remains of the animal, which was no longer than a foot and a half, were found at a site in the central province of Rio Negro, about 1,100 kilometres south of Buenos Aires, according to the Scientific Agency of the National University of Matanzi.

This new species is called Overoraptor chimentoi and is classified into a group of dinsoaurus carnivores called Paraves, explained Matias Motta, a scientist at the Argentine Museum of Natural History (MACN).

The first revelations were made in 2013, and in the second campaign in 2018. More remains were found in 2014.

This animal had a very pointed claw on the index finger used to attack its prey. She had elongation paws that hinted that it was an animal that was running, explained Motta, the study leader published in the journal The Science of Nature.

Motta assessed that “this animal belongs to a new group of southern hemisphere dinosaurs, a dinaosaur that must have been fast, agile and, like its relatives, had to be carnivorous.”

The scientists noted in wonder that the paws of these extinct animals were similar to the legs of predators, and the upper part (paw) was robust and elongated, resembling the legs of modern birds, they explained.

Until this new discovery, all the bird-like carnivorous dinosaurs that have been discovered in Patagonia so far belong to the Unenlagia group, and were agile and moving with their hind legs.

Contrary to what we initially believed, Overoraptor does not belong to the Unenlagia family, but to another group that includes a species from Madagascar called Rahonavis, paleontologist Fernando Novas explained.