When you look at the claws it looks like a Velociraptor; if you see the long flexible neck you may think it’s a reptile; when you have a look at the flippers, it looks like a penguin. If you put all together what you get is a new extraordinary discovery from Mongolia that is half duck and half dinosaur.
It was unearthed in an unknown time during a not authorized digging, passed to a private owner and only brought back into science in 2015. It may be 10 million years older than the extinct dinosaurs. Its name…Halszka (aka ‘Halszkaraptor escuilliei’ for scientists), and its remains were recovered in Mongolia.
The last owner hopefully donated the bizarre fossil to the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (the only one having official agreements with the Mongolian government to bring fossils back into the country). Andrea Cau, a palaeontologist at the Geological Museum Capellini in Bologna, was asked to examine it and determine its nature.
In a press release he said it looked like a fake at the beginning, an artefact made putting together parts from different animals. But after a deep, highly specialised X-Ray analysis at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Esrf), he discovered it was truly real.
The duck dinosaur has the claws of a Velociraptor, the long, flexible neck of a predator reptile and the flippers of a penguin, that allowed it to swim. Further more, it features tiny teeth and yet bones arranged like those of a modern duck.
The brand new species was documented in an article published in the journal Nature and demonstrates that mother Earth has yet a lot to unveil and we may be just at the beginning.