- The Loom
Dinosaurs: Beyond Cute
At about a pound and a half, Mahakala omnogovae was certainly a cute dinosaur. But cuteness is not why paleontologists traveled to the remote ends of Mongolia to find it. It’s part of a much bigger story.
Paleontologists have known for a while now that birds evolved from one group of dinosaurs called theropods–the two-legged beasts that include the likes of Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor. But precisely which lineage of theropods birds belong to has been the subject of a lot of debate. These debates, like all debates in science, are fueled by uncertainty. Paleontologists can base their arguments only on the fossils they have already pulled out of the ground. So when a new dinosaur turns up, it provides an