When we use the word “dinosaur,” we most often imagine a huge formidable predator with a full mouth of razor-sharp teeth. Be that as it may, according to an article published on livescience.com, we can be very confused about the appearance of some of the ancient fauna. So, one of these examples of the amazing effect of evolution has perfectly adapted to modern climatic conditions, acquired a bright color and plumage, while acquiring five centimeters in size. In other words, the smallest dinosaur in the world is a hummingbird!
The smallest dinosaur
Birds are one of the lineages of dinosaurs that accidentally survived to the present day. It is believed that the smallest bird on the planet is the bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae), which lives in Cuba. These tiny birds, just over 5 centimeters long and weighing less than two grams, are often mistaken for bees, according to the National Audubon Society.
A possible ancestor of modern hummingbirds may be the 70-centimeter Mahakala omnogovae dinosaur, whose skeleton was found in 2007 in the Mongolian Gobi Desert. It is known that the dinosaur lived in the Cretaceous period about 80 million years ago, and its size could only compete with the herbivorous micropachycephalosaurus, which also had a similar length.
Ambopteryx longibrachium is a species of feathered dinosaur
One of the smallest dinosaurs that has ever lived on the planet is the so-called Yi Qi, a feathered dinosaur from China with webbed wings similar to those of a bat. The miniature creature weighed only about 380 grams and was the closest relative of the even smaller dinosaur Ambopteryx longibrachium. By the way, this species also lived in China and was about 32 centimeters long and weighs about 306 grams.
Sometimes the small size of the fossils can mislead scientists. So, when in the 1970s archaeologists discovered the bones of a tiny dinosaur, the find prompted researchers to call the fossil animal "muszaur" or "mouse lizard". However, scientists were quite surprised when, after a while, giant versions of this dinosaur were found! Thus, archaeologists were quite surprised when they were first able to find fossils of a Muszaurus cub, whose adult weight could reach 113 kilograms.
Another type of tiny dinosaur has been shown to exist by footprints rather than fossils. In 2018, an international team of researchers discovered tiny dinosaur footprints in South Korea's Jinju province that date back 110 million years. each footprint was only 1 centimeter long, which hinted at the extremely small size of the dinosaurs that left them - no more than a modern sparrow. However, it still remains unknown whether the found mini-dinosaurs were mature individuals or were the cubs of some kind of ancient predators still undiscovered by scientists.