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A previously unknown species of winged dinosaur very similar to a dragon discovered in China

Artistic representation of how the Wulong bohaiensis could have been. Credit: Erick Toussaint / San Diego Natural History Museum

A new species of dinosaur, a relative of Velociraptor, has shown scientists a little more about the origins of similarities and differences between the feathers of dinosaurs and birds.

The fossil belongs to a fierce dinosaur from the Cretaceous period called the “dancing dragon” who lived 120 million years ago in what is now China.

‘Dancing dragon’

Fossil of the Wulong bohaiensis. Credit: Erick Toussaint / San Diego Natural History Museum

Called Wulong Bohaiensis, It was a two-legged carnivore, a little bigger than a raven, that resided in an environment next to lakes. He had a scaly face, a mouth full of pointed teeth, a particularly dangerous toenail, and probably hunted small mammals, lizards, birds and fish.

He was gound in the Chinese province of Rehe, in northeastern China and his name translates as ‘dancing dragon’, as it refers to the articulated position in which his skeleton is.

Conserved in its entirety, the skeleton included soft tissues such as feathers, which appear together on its arms and legs, very similar to those of birds now. In addition to its four long limbs and two long feathers at the end of the tail, his body was covered by spongy filaments.

At the end of its long bone tail, fused in a rigid rod, there were 2 very long feathers.

«The Wulong specimen is a magnificent fossil. With the feathers and claws, I think it would have been beautiful and a little scary. I would love to see one alive, ”said leading research paleontologist Ashley Poust of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Plumage differences between birds and feathered dinosaurs

A thorough examination of the bones showed that this Wulong individual was approximately one year old, that is, he was a young male still growing.

A new species of feathered dinosaur in China

This characteristic puzzled the experts, since usually the feathers appear in the adult stage. “Either the young dinosaurs needed these tail feathers for some function we don’t know, or they were cultivating their feathers very differently than most current birds”, Poust explained

Birds evolved from small feathered dinosaurs approximately 150 million years ago. But there were many feathered dinosaurs that didn’t fly, like Wulong.

Young Wulong seemed to have the plumage of an adult.

«It has long and isolated feathers that extend from its long tail. This is quite different from live birds and tells us that these decorative feathers preceded adulthood in dinosaurs. Of course, they may be using these feathers in a very different way from live birds too, ”said the expert.

Paleontologists are eager to understand many more plumage differences between birds and these feathered dinosaurs.

The finding was described in the scientific journal. The Anatomical Record.

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Planet Earth

Space sailing ship sent amazing pictures of the Earth

The space ship LightSail 2, launched in June last year, received amazing photos of our planet.

LightSail 2 is a project of the Planetary Society; It was launched in June 2019 with the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster rocket. Unlike other spacecraft, the solar sailboat does not rely on traditional rocket engines – it uses solar energy.

The device has been operating in Earth orbit for about eight months; all in all, its mission should last about a year. According to experts who studied the work of LightSail 2, the design of a space sailboat with solar panels on only one side caused a number of technical problems, so in their opinion, future similar vehicles should have solar panels on both, Space.com reports.

The Planetary Society showed several images taken by the LightSail 2 camera. The solar sail of the apparatus is partially visible on them (in general, the sail area is about 32 square meters), and our planet is also visible.

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Planet Earth

Immediate enormous volcanic disaster predicted

Since 1999, Tungurahua has often been active, then 25 thousand people had to be evacuated from nearby settlements

Researchers at the Cambridge Mining School in Britain have predicted an imminent catastrophe, which is associated with the eruption of a large volcano in South America.

The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador, also known as the Black Giant, shows signs of instability on the slopes, which can lead to a huge landslide. The reason for this is the recent volcanic activity and the imbalance between the erupted and incoming magma, which led to the deformation of the western flank of the mountain and increasing stress.

Since 1999, Tungurahua has often been active, then 25 thousand people had to be evacuated from nearby settlements. The previous large eruption of the Black Giant occurred about 3 thousand years ago and provoked a partial collapse of the western flank of the volcano cone. A landslide from soil, stones, snow and water covered an area equal to 80 square meters. km Later, the cone gradually recovered, reaching a height of 5 km.

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Planet Earth

A huge meteorite hit the Indian state of Rajasthan, creating a 20-meter crater and turning night into day

When it fell, the meteorite created a huge crater with a diameter of 20 and a depth of 7 meters in the factory complex at Tuesday dawn in the industrial zone of Itaran Alvara, Rajasthan.

Suddenly a rocket-like object appeared, falling from heaven to earth, changing night to day. A celestial phenomenon occurred in the Fauladpur region of Shahjahanpur in the Alvar region around 5:00 a.m. on February 12, 2020.

In the following video surveillance frames, flashes and the subsequent meteorite fall to the ground are visible. People living in the immediate vicinity were not harmed.

People living in the area woke up from weak shocks, similar to an earthquake. The birds began to scream.

Many surveillance cameras were able to record a meteorite explosion. People who witnessed the heavenly event were shocked.

Local resident Rajesh Kumar Gupta said that he felt an explosion and after leaving his house felt a gust of strong wind. Farmers in the city of Fauladpur Shahjahanpur also saw a meteorite.

Ajay Chaudhari, a resident of the Kotkashim region, said that light suddenly appeared and an object similar to a rocket appeared in the sky.

A team of scientists was sent to the crater to explore the mysterious meteorite.

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