A New Digging Dinosaur
News recently emerged from Korea concerning a fairly interesting new dinosaur. Called by the imaginative name of Koreanosaurus, it at first glance appears to be a very typical ornithopod–small head, long tail and legs, etc. But a few small anatomical details have revealed something rather more interesting about it. Like its earlier cousin Oryctodromeus from North America, it apparently burrowed its way through the loam and dirt tha characterized its Cretaceous habitat.
How do we know? Namely, the stoutness of the arms and hands and the way in which its legs could splay. Much like a wombat which braces itself on its thick legs as it digs with its paws, Koreanosaurus had legs that could assume a position somewhat similar to that of other burrowing mammals. Likewise, its stout hands and arms would have assisted in tunneling.
It should be noted, however, that Koreanosaurus probably did not live underground. Instead it likely dug burrows that served as shelter for the night, like the aforementioned Wombat or Badger, and sallied forth during the day to devour the tender plants that grew on the floodplains around it.
(And yes, I’m back. Posts are going to be a bit shorter for a while while I catch up on the back log.)
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