The Elements of Evolution (21-6-4) Halszkaraptor


The first time I examined the specimen, I even questioned whether it was a genuine fossil. ~ Italian paleontologist Andrea Cau

About the size of a mallard, Halszkaraptor was something of a cross between a duck and a penguin: it waddled on 2 legs but had flipper-like forelimbs to aquatically maneuver like penguins. Unable to fly, it was a skillful swimmer.

Halszkaraptor’s goose-like neck made it a fine ambush hunter. Its bill housed sharp teeth.

Like all dinosaurs (and later birds), Halszkaraptor had to come onto land to lay its eggs. This novel maniraptoran arose in the late Cretaceous and belongs in the clade from which birds descended.

The unexpected mix of traits makes it difficult to place Halszkaraptor within traditional classifications. ~ Andrea Cau