Ningyuansaurus

Name: Ningyuansaurus.
Phonetic: Ning-yu-an-sore-us.
Named By: Ji Qiang,‭ ‬Lü Jun-Chang,‭ ‬Wei Xue-Fang‭ & ‬Wang Xu-Ri‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Oviraptorosauria.
Species: N.‭ ‬wangi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain,‭ ‬but possible herbivore.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Yixian Formation.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: ‭ ‬Fairly well preserved remains of one individual.‭ ‬Feather impressions are also known.

       At the time of its description,‭ ‬Ningyuansaurus is considered to be one of the earliest known oviraptosaurs to appear on the‭ ‬Mesozoic landscape.‭ ‬So primitive is Ningyuansaurus,‭ ‬that the skull it proportionately longer than later oviraptosaurs,‭ ‬and still contains teeth,‭ ‬ten in the upper jaw‭ (‬four premaxilla,‭ ‬six maxilla‭)‬,‭ ‬and at least fourteen teeth in the lower jaw.
       It has been notoriously difficult to determine what oviraptosaurs ate since they could have eaten either meat of plants,‭ ‬and even feasibly both.‭ ‬The teeth of Ningyuansaurus do‭ ‬not‭ ‬seem to have‭ ‬had‭ ‬any special adaptations,‭ ‬and they didn’t even have any serrations.‭ ‬They are tightly packed though which suggest a dietary specialisation of some kind.‭ ‬An insight though might be gleamed from the discovery of small oval shaped structures found within the holotype remains of Ningyuansaurus.‭ ‬With the largest of these only having a ten millimetre diameter,‭ ‬these may indicate that Ningyuansaurus might have included seeds in its diet.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new oviraptorosaur from the Yixian Formation of Jianchang,‭ ‬Western Liaoning Province,‭ ‬China‭"‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Geological Bulletin of China‭ ‬31‭ (‬12‭)‬:‭ ‬2102‭–‬2107‭ ‬-‭ ‬Ji Qiang,‭ ‬Lü Jun-Chang,‭ ‬Wei Xue-Fang‭ & ‬Wang Xu-Ri‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.



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