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.
Click here for free access to our latest coronavirus/COVID-19 research, commentary, and news.
Support nonprofit science journalism
Science’s extensive COVID-19 coverage is free to all readers. To support our nonprofit science journalism, please make a tax-deductible gift today.