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Scientists Have Found A Funny-Looking Species That They're Calling A "Platypus" Dinosaur

It's a relative of the T. rex, but with some dietary restrictions.

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Scientists have identified a new "platypus" dinosaur that had an odd combination of features.

Gabriel Lo

They don't look like platypi, but their mash-up of characteristics from various species is why they're being referred to as platypus-like.

Theropods, a group of dominant predatory dinos that included Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptors, were typically meat lovers. But the new discovery, Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, was an herbivore during the late Jurassic Period.

Gabriel Lo

Measuring at about three meters — or about 10 feet — it had a beak, two fingers like its T. rex kin, and hips like herbivorous dinos. It also had feet typically associated with primitive long-neck species and leaf-shaped teeth, according to a University of Birmingham release.

Here's a baby platypus for reference.

Greg Wood / AFP / Getty Images

If you're not familiar with platypi, they're like the Frankenstein of mammals, with duck-like bills and webbed feet, a beaver tail — and they also happen to lay eggs.

Bonus fun fact: Baby platypi are called puggles.

But back to these inquisitive fellows.

Gabriel Lo

Found in Chile, the name Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is in reference to both its origin of discovery as well as Diego Suárez, the seven-year-old boy who found the first bone remains about a decade ago.

As the Verge points out, the dinosaur's amalgamation of both primitive and advanced traits indicates there might be intermediate relatives that would help explain Chilesaurus' mosaic of features.


Science Writer

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