unlikely carnivores


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“Hey there, Betsy..” You approached the older triceratops, hand gentle rubbing across her head and down her back, a easy way to check for any damage caused in any little fights without her getting angry about you prodding and poking at her. “How’re you today?” The herbivores had always been your favourites, docile, calm and you could actually interact with them unlike the carnivores which were just as likely to take your arm off as they were to eat a whole goat. 

Limusaurus inextricabilis, a dinosaur whose name roughly translates to “lizard stuck in the mud”. Around 1.7m long (5′7″), and living in the Late Jurassic of China about 160 million years ago, it was the first ceratosaur known from Eastern Asia – and a very unusual one at that.

Unlike its carnivorous relations, Limusaurus was a herbivore, possessing a toothless beak and gastroliths preserved in its gizzard. With its long neck, tiny forelimbs, and hindlimbs adapted for fast running, it seems to have convergently evolved to closely resemble both the earlier Triassic shuvosaurid stem-crocs like Effigia and the later Cretaceous ornithomimosaurs.