Multiple skeletons of the Oksoko avarsan, a feathered omnivorous dinosaur that grew to 2meters in length, were dug up in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, according to a news statement published Tuesday.
It had a large, toothless beak like modern-day parrots and just two digits on each forearm — one less than its close relatives.
It’s the first time scientists have seen evidence of digit loss among oviraptors, a family of three-fingered dinosaurs.
Evolving to have fewer digits suggests they could also “alter their diets and lifestyles, and enabled them to diversify and multiply,” according to the statement.
The “very complete” juvenile skeletons were found resting together, showing that young Oksoko avarsan roamed in groups, said paleontologistGregory Funston, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh who led the study.
“But more importantly, its two-fingered hand prompted us to look at