by Neeharika Beru ’22
Around the world, there have been amazing findings in the paleontology field. In 2020 alone, scientists have discovered a dinosaur about the size of a hummingbird, a new megaraptor species, and a new swimming dinosaur called the Spinosaurus.
In March, a dinosaur skull the size of a thumbnail was found buried in northern Myanmar, making it one of the smallest dinosaurs ever to be discovered. Scientists found that it lived 99 million years ago in the Cretaceous time period and gave it the scientific name of Oculudentavis Khaungraae, meaning “eye-teeth-bird.” It has a small beak full of teeth, claws on its wings, and a brain slightly smaller than that of a bee hummingbird.
Contrary to the Oculudentavis Khaungraae’s small size, a new megaraptor was found in Patagonia, Argentina. This giant dinosaur, with terrifying 14-inch claws and a 10-meter-long body, is believed to be the last of its kind to go extinct. It is one of the largest megaraptors ever to be discovered. In this finding, researchers dug up its vertebrae, ribs, parts of the chest, and shoulders, and were able to date the bones to 70 million years ago, near the end of the dinosaur time period.
In Casablanca, Morocco, scientists discovered the fossils of a 50-foot long and seven-ton Spinosaurus. Most Spinosauruses are believed to have lived on land in the Cretaceous period around 95 to 100 million years ago. When analyzing the structure of this new Spinosaurus’s bones and tail, however, scientists concluded that it actually must have spent the majority of its life in water.
There have been many other scientific discoveries around the world that have unfortunately been overshadowed by other global events. Luckily, scientists will continue to make new findings, which will always serve as a source of excitement and delight.