Large-scale excavation in Shestakovo has thrown up fragments of the skeleton of the biggest known psittacosaurus sibiricus, or a parrot-beaked dinosaur, near the village of Shestakovo in Russia’s Kemerovo region in western Siberia.
The excavations have yielded fragments of skeletons of eight dinosaurs — from small raptors to a giant 30-metre tall sauropod. But the most important finds are two well preserved skeletons of endemic parrot-beaked dinosaurs that roamed the Earth some 125 million years ago.
Dinosaurs of the psittacosaurus family lived in Asia about 100-130 million years ago. They were about the size of a gazelle and walked normally on two legs. They had a short snout with a powerful “beak” on their upper jaw, making them look like a giant parrot.
“Psittacosaurus sibiricus is believed to be about twice as big as psittacosaurus gobiensis found in Mongolia. Now that we have fragments of the skull and a vertebra we think it was an adult dinosaur some 1.5 times as big as the ones found here before. It probably reached three metres,” Konstantin Tarasenko of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Paleontological Institute said Friday.
He said that the new fossil finds, if they belonged to an adult dinosaur, would make it possible to trace changes in a psittacosaurus skeleton as the animal was maturing.
Apart from that, these finds would add to the knowledge of their behaviour patterns, for instance, scientists would be able to reconstruct their mode of walking, he said.
The rare finds will go on display at a local museum later this month.