This Tiny, Odd-Looking Dinosaur Ambushed Its Prey by Moonlight

A tiny, meat-eating dinosaur had superb low-light vision and hearing that was likely as good as an owl’s. And like an owl, the wee dinosaur probably used those exceptional abilities to stalk and catch its desert prey under the cover of darkness.


Owl-like Shuvuuia (shu-VU-ya) was a theropod – a three-toed and bipedal carnivorous dinosaur.

There’s only one known species, Shuvuuia deserti, and it was smaller than a domestic cat, measuring just 2 feet (0.6 meters) long. Shuvuuia lived about 75 million to 81 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago), in what is now the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. 

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