Human babies and adults look very different,media CNET reported. The skeleton fossils of the Plateosaurus larvae suggest that they may be very similar in shape to adult dinosaurs. The dragon was a large long-necked dinosaur that once lived in Europe. A special skeleton fossil of a baby dragon is helping scientists better understand the lives and times of these long-extinct animals.
The baby dinosaur, weighing 130 pounds (60 kg) and 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) long, was discovered in Switzerland in 2015. Paleontologists at the University of Bonn in Germany published their study of the dinosaur, nicknamed Fabian, this week in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
An adult plate dragon can weigh more than 4 tons. Scientists compared the skeleton fossils of a baby dinosaur with adult specimens and found that it looked like a smaller version of a large dinosaur. “Given that the larvae weigh 1/10 of the weight of adult dinosaurs, it is all the more remarkable that the pythons already look so similar to adult dinosaurs.” Study co-author Jens Lallensack said in a statement friday from the University of Bonn.
The team compared Fabian to the currently known dinosaur babies, who were thought to be four-legged at a young age and walked on two feet as adults. This makes Fabian’s adult dinosaur-like features all the more striking.
220 million years ago, the dragon roamed the earth. Researchers have found specimens of adult plate dragons in the “bone bed” of mud-capture organisms, but bone fossils of baby crickets are rare. Study co-author Martin Sander said: “Smaller individuals may not be as likely to sink into the mud, so they are underrepresented at bone beds. “
Fabian is filling in the blanks about what young dinosaurs might look like, but researchers are eager to find more specimens to determine whether the baby dinosaur is an exception or typical of the species’ young dragons.