Chinese paleontologists found a new species of dinosaur in northeast China. The skeletons were almost perfectly preserved. Despite this, the fossils do no longer contain traces of feathers. “These animals were quickly covered by fine sediment while they were still alive or just after their death,” says paleontologist Pascal Godefroit of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. So we believe that both Changmiania specimens were trapped by the volcanic eruption when they were resting at the bottom of their burrows 125 million years ago.”
Pathologists suspect this sediment came from a volcanic eruption. The new specie was given the Chinese name, Changmiania. Based on the Chinese word changmian, which translates to ´eternal sleep´. The dinosaur was a small and fast herbivore. It was about 1.2 meters (about 4 feet) long. “However, certain characteristics of the skeleton suggest that Changmiania could dig burrows, much like rabbits do today. Its neck and forearms are very short but robust, its shoulder blades are characteristic of burrowing vertebrates and the top of its snout is shaped like a shovel. ” Godefroit stated.
The Changmiania is classified as an Ornithopod. A group of dinosaurs that had there epoch in the cretaceous period. Well-known family members are the Bernissart Iguanadones and Hadrosaurs.