I am sure you would have also thought that all dinosaurs were fierce and huge (thanks to the images we see in the movies), but looks like in the real world there was a dino that literally decided to “chicken out”. In Dec 2020 the Paleontologists were amazed by a new species of dinosaur that used to be the size of a chicken 🐔 with a beautiful mane and long fur. The discovery was made by a team of researchers at the University of Portsmouth.

The chicken dino has been named Ubirajara Jubatus (wow, looks like I broke some teeth 🦷 trying to pronounce that) and is believed to have lived approximately 110 million years ago along the shores of an ancient lagoon in what is now northeastern Brazil. The two-legged Cretaceous Period dinosaur made a living hunting insects and perhaps small vertebrates like frogs and lizards, just like the present day bird that we humans recognize more as our 🍗 food.

Isn’t it fascinating that while on the inside this bird dino was an ordinary dinosaur, with a skeleton similar to many small dinosaurs from the preceding Jurassic Period, on the outside, it was anything but.

Ubirajara’s hair-like structures were actually a rudimentary form of feathers called protofeathers. This was not actual hair (which is an exclusive mammalian feature). Many dinosaurs are know to have had feathers. In fact, our present day birds 🐦 evolved from the small feathered dinosaurs about 150 million years ago.