New species of lizard found in stomach of dinosaur

Photo: Bang

A new species of ancient lizard has been found perfectly preserved in the stomach of a dinosaur fossil.

The team of palaeontologists uncovered the small flying lizard in the stomach of a featured dino - which is known as a microraptor and lived between 125 and 122 million years ago - after it swallowed the newly discovered creature entirely whole.

The lizard, named the Indrasaurus wangi after an ancient Hindu legend, was found to have teeth unlike any other previously known from the Jehol Biota - a collection of 130-million-year-old fossils from northeastern China.

Professor O'Connor told New Scientist: "This is an independent origin of flight separate from birds. It flew with four wings."

Previous fossils have shown the microraptor, which had long feathers on all four limbs, eating small mammals, fish, and birds, but the new specimen reveals that the prehistoric animal had a taste for swallowing lizards whole and head-first.

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