Found: A Dinosaur With Features Borrowed From Swans, Penguins, and Crocs


A reconstruction of <em&gtHalszkaraptor escuilliei</em>, an amphibious dinosaur discovered in Mongolia.
A reconstruction of Halszkaraptor escuilliei, an amphibious dinosaur discovered in Mongolia. Credit: Lukas Panzarin and Andrea Cau for scientific supervision.

The story of “Halszka,” a dinosaur fossil found in Ukhaa Tolgod, also known as Mongolia’s “dinosaur graveyard,” sounds like a steppe epic. After being unearthed, it was sold on the black market—Ukhaa Tolgod is notorious for its flourishing trade in illicit fossils—and was held in private collections around the world for years until 2015, when it was donated to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Since then, it has gone through extensive examination by paleontologists—maybe more experiments than any other fossil has seen. All this work revealed that it is the fossil of a new kind of duck-like dinosaur previously unknown to science.

Some of its features, including the sickle-shaped claws on its feet, are like those of velociraptors, but…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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