Chinese archeologists have discovered a pair of preserved fossils of a new 125 million-year-old dinosaur species in China from a volcanic eruption.
The new species of excavated dinosaur was detected in the Lujiatun Beds, the oldest layers of the popular Yixian Formation in northeast China.
The nearby volcano erupted and sent lava down the valley, trapping the dinosaur in an underground grave.
The story has been found to be true following the farmers in China discovering the perfectly preserved creature, which was an unknown species, in their final place of rest.
According to scientists, the explosion would have confined the creatures at their burrows' bottom. "These animals were quickly covered by fine sediment while they were still alive or just after their death," stated Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences paleontologists Pascal Godefroit, reported by Inty 3000.
The scientist further stated that the impact would be identical to what transpired in Pompeii. The new species was named Changmiania liaoningensis that means "eternal sleep" in Chinese.
According to researchers, the creatures were most probably smothered by volcanic ash while asleep in their underground burrow. They added that their nest possibly became their tomb when they were confined underground by lava and ash, reported All That Is Interesting.
As they were suffocated alive, paleontologists found their eyes were closed. Hence, they were termed everlasting sleeper. The posture of the bones indicates the probability that the dinosaur died from asphyxiation, infections, and toxins.
Godefroit added that they "believe that both Changmiania specimens were trapped by the volcanic eruption when they were resting at the bottom of their burrows 125 million years ago." He described that the 125 million-year-old dinosaurs in China are the "most primitive ornithopod dinosaur" as of now.
Dubbed as 'Eternal Sleeper'
It is tentatively believed that both specimens of the "eternal sleeper" were unprecedentedly confined while sleeping in a collapsing underground den. This explains their perfect lifelike postures with not a sign of weathering and hunting.
Detecting that the pair was laying on the ground with their eyes closed, it is deciphered that they died in their sleep.
According to Godefroit, there were no traces of feathers on the bones, but the species were remarkably well-preserved due to the fact that they were not moved in 125 million years.
Scientists think that the animal was a part of the herbivore ornithopod family and would have thrived amid the Cretaceous Period.
"It is probably theorized that both Changmiania liaoningensis examples were unexpectedly ensnared in a crumpled underground tunnel while they were resting, which would clarify their ideal similar stances and the total nonappearance of enduring and rummaging follows," remarked by the investigation in PeerJ, reported News Naira.
Markings on their hip bones are a singed that they tunneled. This supports the belief that they were sleeping underground when the ejection transpired.
The Lujiatun Beds are located in Jinzhou, a Chinese city in the central-west Liaoning province. The Lujiatun Beds are the Yixian Formation's oldest layer prominent for its preserved fossils where the 125 million-year-old dinosaurs in China were detected.
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