If you like poultry, you have one thing in common with a little dinosaur Microraptor gui. Jingmai O’Connor, Zhonghe Zhou, and Xing Xu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing recently made an intriguing discovery about the diet of this dinosaur. Digging in Jehol, China, the paleontologists uncovered a fossil of Microraptor that had the preserved remains of a bird inside its abdomen. Besides being clear evidence that this dinosaur feasted on birds, this find tells paleontologists where M. gui lived. Because the bird in its gut was a tree-dwelling bird, the dinosaur probably hunted in trees. This “fossil inside a fossil” also points to other inferences about dinosaur evolution. Microraptor had feathers on its wings and was arboreal, using its wings to glide (but not fly), suggesting a scenario toward understanding the evolution of flight. Read the full study in the November 21, 2011 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Find the original article at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.