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Doyle Trankina

Bizarre dino fossil reveals a lizard swallowed whole

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, but long before dogs ever roamed Earth, it would be fair to call it a reptile-eat-reptile situation. Researchers have found a fossil of a microraptor, a crow-size dinosaur that had four wings, containing an unknown lizard species in its stomach, according to a study in Current Biology. The lizard had “unusual, widely spaced teeth unlike anything else found in this part of China,” Newsweek reports. The new species of lizard, Indrasaurus wangi, is named for Chinese paleontologist Wang Yuan and Indra, a Vedic god who was swallowed by a dragon according to legend. The 120-million-year-old specimen appears to have been swallowed whole, without prior chewing or mutilation. This is the fourth microraptor fossil found containing preserved stomach contents, and the first documenting lizards as part of its diet. The find confirms previous research showing the microraptor was an opportunistic eater that also consumed fish, birds, and mammals.

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