Tiny Fossil May Be New World's Smallest Dinosaur

Daniel McCall

Paleontologists in the UK have discovered what may very well dethrone Anchiornis, a birdlike dinosaur that lived in China approximately 155 million years ago, as the smallest known dinosaur.

Researchers have dubbed the tiny dinosaur Ashdown maniraptoran in lieu of an official latin name, as it hasn't been confirmed if the bone found is a misidentification of an already-known species of dinosaur.

The bone in question is a mere quarter-inch vertebrae found in East Sussex, UK. Paleontologists believe that the dinosaur, in its adult stage, would have measured only roughly 30 centimeters from head to tail.

"Based on other oviraptorosaurs and other small maniraptorans, it was perhaps an omnivore, eating small animals, including insects, as well as leaves and fruit," said Darren Naish, one of the authors of the paper announcing the discovery.

Thanks, Wired UK.