Caenagnathasia was a small caenagnathid oviraptorosaurian theropod that belonged to the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. Their generic name is a combination of Caenagnathidae and Asia, while their specific name was received as an honor to Gerbert Genrikhovich Martinson. This discovery of the genus was a result of the specimen of a pair of fused dentaries of the lower jaws in the year 1994 by Philip J. Currie, Stephen Godfrey, and Lev Nesov. This specimen of lower jaws was found near Dzharakuduk in layers of the Bissekty Formation which dated back to the Turonian-Coniacian age. Later a new material of evidence that consisted of a right dentary of a slightly smaller individual was also found followed by specimens of several vertebrae, a dentary, and a femur was also found. However, even though we do have evidence of vertebrae, dentary, and femur, these specimens are not enough to learn everything about this wonderful dinosaur. With that, let's find out what we do know about this bird-like dinosaur.
The name 'Caenagnathasia' is pronounced as 'Ciski-nag-na-th-ey-z-aa'.
Caenagnathasia, which can be translated into 'recent jaw from Asia' is a caenagnathid oviraptorosaurian theropod that has a bird-like structure.
Caenagnathasia roamed this planet during the Bissekty Formation.
These dinosaurs became extinct during the mass destruction by the end of the Late Cretaceous period.
Caenagthesia was found to have lived in the Asia region, especially China and Uzbekistan.
The Bissekty Formation, which the Caenagnathasia were found to have belonged to, consisted of a diverse seashore that was full of swamps and braided rivers along the coast.
The Caenagnathasia coexisted with dinosaurs like Levnesovia, Gilmoreosaurus, Turanoceratops, Cionodon, Bissektipelta, Itemirus, Urbacodon, Euronychodon, and Timurlengia, along with early birds like Zhyraornis, Platanavis, and enantiornithines like Explorornis, Catenoleimus, Incolornis, Abavornis, Kizylkumavis, Kuszholia, Sazavis, and Lenesornis. Other non-dinosaur animals like Azhdarcho, different types of fishes, amphibians, turtles, and sharks were also presumed to have coexisted with this animal.
There has also been evidence of crocodylomorphs like Zhyrasuchus, Kansajsuchus, Zholsuchus. The ecosystem also included other reptiles such as alligatoroids. Along with these animals, the presence of Iguanas was also found along with early mammals such as the herbivorous Zhelestids, the burrowing little Asiorhyctitherians, the insectivore Zalambdalestids, infraclass Metatheria mammals- marsupials, and Cimolodonts. Although no fossils related to plants were found, the Caenagnathasia might have been surrounded by ferns, horsetails, cycads, and early flowering plants.
The lifespan of a Caenagnathasia remains unknown so far.
Caenagnathasia were oviparous, meaning they reproduced by laying eggs. The eggs were oval and may have been teal or turquoise in color.
Caenagnathasia looked like a chickenparrot that had a uniquely long and shallow jaw with complex ridges. When compared to Oviraptoridae, they were lightly built and had hollow bones. Apart from the complex ridges, they also had leaner arms and longer legs and couldn't run like other Oviraptorosaurs could. However, what set the fossil of a Caenagnathasia apart were their jaws, vertebrae, and femur. These dinosaurs are also known to be the smallest of all oviraptorosaurs and had features of a bird such as a beak and extensive wings, although they didn't allow them to fly. This feature also made them the smallest non-avian dinosaurs. They were not slimy.
Due to the lack of evidence, so far, any study in vertebrate paleontology could not determine how many bones a Caenagnathasia had. However, in general, a dinosaur could have around 200 bones. It is not known if these rare species had strong teeth or not.
Caenagnathasia was said to have a fascinating way of communicating. In addition to sounds, like any other dinosaurs, Caenagnathasia communicated through their wings among each other. They were also presumed to have used their wings as a sexual display.
The Caenagnathasia was a really small animal that was just 2 ft (0.6 m) long. It was way shorter than a T-Rex.
Although information about a Caenagnathasia's movement and speed is unknown, scientists have done enough research to find out that these dinosaurs could not move as fast as other Oviraptorosaurs could.
Caenagnathasia weighed only around 3 lb (1.36 kg), making it one of the smallest as well as lighter weight as compared to other Oviraptorosaurs.
There are no specific names for a male and a female Caenagnathasia species. These dinosaurs were simply referred to as male and female Caenagnathasia.
Like any other oviparous newborn, a baby Caenagnathasia is referred to as nestlings or hatchlings.
Although these bird-like species were omnivorous and fed on meat as well, given their size, they were not very aggressive.
The first specimen of fossils that linked the relation between a bird and a dinosaur was the fossil of the Archaeopteryx, which was discovered during the 1860s. The Archaeopteryx had feathers that were similar to the modern birds.
The earliest fossils associated with birds date back to 150 million years ago. Skull specimens of a Caenagnathasia suggested that their total skull estimation was just at 3 in (7.6 cm).
Caenagnathasia is considered to be peaceful by nature and would eat whatever they could manage to find for themselves.
A Caenagnathasia's nest used to be a large one with eggs on the edges. They would then sit on the center and protect the eggs with their wings and keep them warm. Their diet included meat, eggs, insects, along with seeds and plants.
*We've been unable to source an image of Caenagnathasia and have used an image of T-Rex instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Caenagnathasia, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]