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Chilesaurus Theory Changes What We Used to Think About Dinosaurs

Sophie Macko

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The dinosaurs’ transition in their evolution from herbivores to carnivores has always been a mystery because there were only theories lacking supporting evidence, until now. Scientists believe that they have a specimen, called the Chilesauras (uncovered in Chile), that represents this phase of evolution. The Chilesauras, nicknamed the “Frankenstein” dinosaur, has the head of a carnivore, the teeth of a herbivore, and additional characteristics representing both of these different types of consumers. Having characteristics of both a herbivore and carnivore is not usually apparent in a dinosaur, which in turn stumped scientists. Although, at Cambridge University a revolutionary theory was developed that this specimen may have been one of the many dinosaurs that was evolving to become a carnivore.  Thus a new group in the dinosaur family tree of evolution was created: the ornithischians.

However,  why is this dinosaur so important to our overall understanding of dinosaurs, especially since it was already theorized that this group existed? First of all, this new dinosaur category was only theorized and had no evidence that actually proved its existence. Additionally, this dinosaur has filled in a gap in our knowledge of dinosaurs and their evolution by providing an example of what a dinosaur in this significant phase of evolution could’ve looked like and had the bodily functions of. As Bella Rose (9) put it, this discovery “paved the way for [us to know about] different animals and how they evolve”  and will allow us to “make more inferences on dinosaurs.” Amanda Lyon (11) said that this will “impact how we see their evolutionary mystery” and that “scientists [are] place[ing] more pieces together …. slowly over time.”

All and all, the Chilesaurus is a revolutionary find, and what it reveals opens up a new world of discovery that everyone can’t wait to see.

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Chilesaurus Theory Changes What We Used to Think About Dinosaurs