Scientists discover new creatures that seem to have come out of Avatar
The 2009 movie "Avatar" surprised everyone with its first-rate three-dimensional effects and stunning alien creatures - though the story itself is somewhat cliché. Here you can see flying reptiles, giant dinosaurs and hybrid creatures from more than one animal.
Recently, scientists have found creatures very similar to those of Avatar. Among them, animals half duck and half crocodile; a pterosaur with the same attributes as a pelican; and two giant tyrannosaurs. These new discoveries expanded the knowledge of science about the earliest inhabitants of the earth and inspired new searches - maybe even new movies?
Straight from the movies: Indrako Avatar
These flying creatures were discovered by Chinese scientists. They are a species of pterosaur that had a pouch around its neck, something similar to that of pelicans. Despite their size, they fed on small freshwater fish, flew low over the water and caught their prey with a flick of their lower jaws.
The neck pouch also served to store food. As in the James Cameron movie, this 120 million-year-old pterosaur had an appendix in its lower jaw.
"The head structure of Indrako Avatar is similar to that of Al Ikran [the flying creatures of the Avatar movie], " confirmed paleontologist Xiaolin Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Vertebrate and Paleoanthropology Institute in Beijing. "But it is obvious that nothing, nor anyone, could assemble them, " jokes the scientist.
The fierce spinosaurs
In the Sahara Desert in Morocco, researchers discovered spinosaurus ( Spinosaurus aegyptiacus ), a dinosaur that looked like a hybrid between a duck and a crocodile, being the first underwater dinosaur ever found. Measuring over 15 meters and weighing about 20 tons, they could be more dangerous than T-Rex itself and inhabited both water and land.
These creatures had paddle-shaped paws, a crocodile-like muzzle, broad trunk and neck, short legs, and narrow hips. Scientists considered it a kind of chimera, as it was half duck and half crocodile.
"Working with this animal was like studying an alien from another space: it is entirely different from any other dinosaur I have ever seen, " said researcher Nizar Ibrahim of the University of Chicago.
An adaptive predator
In analyzing the fossils, scientists realized that spinosaurus's adaptations allowed it to live on earth and part of its time under water. They had nostrils on top of their heads, which allowed them to breathe while keeping part of it submerged. In addition, the long and large forelegs had membranes that facilitated swimming and walking on marshy terrain.
Spinosaurs also had a gigantic crest on their backs, similar to a boat's sail that could reach up to 2 meters in height. Their long necks and trunks shifted the body's gravitational center forward, which made walking on their hind legs difficult, but facilitated movement under water.
Like the first whales and hippos, the dinosaur had a large bone density that allowed it to submerge rather than just float on water.
The gigantic Rukwatitan bisepultus and Dreadnoughtus schrani
This new species of titanosaurus lived during the mid-Cretaceous period over 100 million years ago in present-day Tanzania. The lower limbs of the Rukwatitan bisepultus were 2 meters tall and its body could weigh much more than an entire family of elephants. Despite their frightening appearance, the creatures were herbivorous and used their huge necks to reach the highest leaves.
The discovery of these dinosaurs complemented the finding of the Dreadnoughtus schrani, a giant animal measuring 26 meters and almost 65 tons. Discovered in southern Patagonia, Argentina, the skeleton had more than 70 percent of the complete bones - not counting the head.
According to experts, this species lived 77 million years ago. To give you an idea of its grandeur, you can compare its weight to more than seven rex tyrannosaurs together and more than one Boeing 737. According to Kenneth Lacovara, a professor at Drexel University in the US, the fossil found was not an animal. which had grown completely, so this species may be even larger.