Two New Chinese Dinosaurs, Bannykus and Xiyunkus Discovered
Dinosaurs (Photo credits: Pixabay)

The mystery around dinosaurs who once inhabited this planet like the only rulers still continues, years after their disappearance. The evolution of dinosaurs is a far deep subject that researchers have been studying. The diverse species among them have provided more insight into the early times of the planet. Now an international team of researchers has announced the discovery of two new dinosaur species. Named the Bannykus and Xiyunkus, these belong to the group Alvarezsaurs, the theropod or meat-eating dinosaurs. Oldest Known Lizard 'Megachirella' From The Dinosaur Era Found in Italian Alps.

These two new discoveries are made based on fossils collected by a  joint research team led by XU Xing from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The findings were published in the journal Current Biology. The study also sheds light on how these dinosaurs reduced and lost on their fingers. 'First Giant' Dinosaur Found in Argentina, Fossil Weighing Around 10 Tons Uncovered! 

The newly discovered dinosaurs are short, have robust forelimbs with a single functional claw. They have bird-like skulls and hindlimbs. Professor Jonah Choiniere, co-author on the research compared them to analog of today's anteaters. This discovery is also instrumental in studying the adaptive diet pattern of the alvarezsaurs. "The fossil record is the best source of information about how anatomical features evolve," said James Clark, co-author and an Honorary Professor at Wits University. "And like other classic examples of evolution such as the 'horse series', these dinosaurs show us how a lineage can make a major shift in its ecology over time."

The unspecialized alvarezsaur fossils were known as the meat-eating, catching more of small prey. They later evolved into members with reduced teeth, a hand with a huge claw and probably into opening anthills. The new dinosaurs fall in the 90-million year temporal gap between the earliest known alvarezsaurs.