A team of paleontologists led by experts from the University of Edinburgh has discovered a new species of toothless, two-fingered dinosaur.
Multiple feathered skeletons named Oksoko Avarsan have been found in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, giving crucial clues about evolution.
The ubiquitous dinosaurs, about two meters long, evolved 68 million years ago.
They had two functional numbers at the end of each wrist, and had a large beak with no teeth similar to modern parrots.
The team says the fossils provide the first evidence of the loss of numbers in the three – fingered dinosaur family known as Oviraptors.
The new species has only one finger longer than its next of kin, suggesting adaptation, which enabled the animals to proliferate during the Cretaceous period, the researchers said.
The team claimed that the discovery that Forlimb Adaptations could enable the group to change their diet and lifestyle and enable them to diversify and increase.
Dr. of the University of Edinburgh. Gregory Funston said: “The Ozoko Hourson is interesting because the skeletons are so complete that the way they rest together shows that the juveniles roam together in groups.
“But more importantly, its two-fingered hand led us to see how the hands and forelegs changed throughout the evolution of previously unreleased aviators.
“It reveals some unexpected trends and is an important part of why aviators were so diverse before the extinction of the dinosaurs.”
According to the researchers, in evolutionary history, ovipraptors gradually lost a third finger, which first reduced in size and then completely disappeared.
The changes in the arms and hands of the creatures took place during the migration to new geographical areas, especially now to North America and the Gobi Desert.
Like other prehistoric creatures, the Oxaco Awarson was seen as very social as a juvenile – the remains of four young dinosaurs resting together.
The study, published in the Royal Society’s Journal of Open Science, is funded by The Royal Society and the Council of Natural Sciences and Engineering of Canada.
Researchers at the University of Alberta, the Philip J. Curry Dinosaur Museum in Canada, the University of Hokkaido in Japan, and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.