Picture: Lee Hall/MSU
Fossils of digger dinosaurs are discovered in Montana, US recently. These small dinosaurs used to burrow into the ground 95 million year old. These Montana dinosaurs are been seen by palaeontologists for the first time. They are given the scientific name — Oryctodromeus cubicularis — which means “digging runner of the lair”.
The fossil remains of an adult and two juveniles burrowing dinosaurs were unearthed in a chamber at the end of a 2.1m-long sediment-filled tunnel.
Dr David Varricchio and colleagues tell journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B,
Burrowing also represents a mechanism by which small dinosaurs may have exploited the extreme environments of polar latitudes, deserts and high mountain areas.
What reveal the animal’s nature of digging into the ground are the species’ snout, shoulder girdle and pelvis with digging-supporting features.
Examining the preserved vertebrae of the fossils, the scientists think that the adult would have been about 2.1m (6.8ft) from nose to tail, with the tail (about 1.2m; 3.9ft) being the major part of it.