New parrot-like dinosaur's fossils found in Gobi desert

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Paleontologists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have found the fossils of four members of a brand new oviraptor-type dinosaur in the Gobi desert.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Gobi area seen on spinning globe, zoom in
2. Paleontologists digging, finding fossils
3. Avarsan transforms from fossils to living animal
4. Compare avarsan to oviraptor
5. Transformation of 3-digit claw to 2-digit claw
6. Avarsan group interacting together.

VOICEOVER (in English):
A while ago a research team from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland invested in an archaeological dig in the Gobi Desert. And now that investment in time, money and effort has paid off handsomely.

The team's efforts were richly rewarded when they found a brand new type of dinosaur from the dinosaur branch called oviraptors. The species were named Oksoko avarsan and are thought to have lived around 68 million years ago.

This newly discovered dinosaur species would have been around 2 meters long and were first introduced to the world of humans a few days ago when the researchers found the well-preserved fossils of a group of four juvenile Oksoko avarsans.

This rare find showed that the avarsans had feathers and two finger-like digits, as well as large beaks that look a bit like the beaks of parrots. Scientists find it interesting that they had only 2 finger-like digits, as all other oviraptors had three such digits.

The fossils have given researchers their first evidence of the dinosaurs changing over generations to have fewer fingers. It prompted them to look at the way the hand and forelimb changed throughout the evolution of oviraptors, which hadn't been studied before.

The leader of the research team, Dr Gregory Funston added that the find is also very interesting because the skeletons are very complete and the way they were preserved resting together shows that juveniles roamed together in groups."


SOURCES: BBC, The Telegraph, The Independent, scitechdaily, Royal Society
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/54449628
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/07/newly-discover-species-toothless-two-fingered-dinosaur-thrived/
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dinosaur-new-species-fossils-parrot-mongolia-oksoko-avarsan-b836020.html
https://scitechdaily.com/newly-discovered-toothless-two-fingered-dinosaurs-lost-digits-point-to-spread-of-parrot-like-species/
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.201184