A Kulindadromeus fossil was discovered in the Siberian region of Russia, buried deep under the mountain beds. The discovery of this dinosaur is credited to a number of paleontologists, including- Pascal Godefroit, Yuri Bolotsky, Michael Benton, Alexander Sizov, Paul Spagna, Maria McNamara, Danielle Dhouailly, and Sofia Sinitsa. Although this was an uncanny place to be located, it is known to belong to a bonebed containing hundreds of disarticulated specimens. The procured remains, the fossil feathers, are rare to find according to science. To add to its uniqueness, this dinosaur shows evolutionary structures similar to that of modern birds. Although completely different genera, the filaments of this Ornithischian dinosaur resembled the body structures of many other feathered theropods. As the feathers were an important element of this discovery, they were well studied to draw further correlations to the theropods and other possible dinosaur groups. The filaments of the Kulindadromeus were mainly of two types. The first type, the filaments covering the head, neck, and upper body, which were unbranched. These types of feathers were thought to be exclusive to the theropods. The leftover feathers, especially the central feathers, were somewhat downturned. The other type of filaments were the long ribbon-like filaments that extended all the way down to form the Kulindadromeus tail. The feathers present on the body also suggest that pterosaurs and dinosaurs, including birds, had body structures that made them ancestrally fluffy. Earlier, science held that only theropods possessed the feature of being covered in feathers. This idea was likely because all the specimens that had been discovered supported this idea. However, this dinosaur from the Siberian Jurassic debunked that long-held belief. In fact, the discovery indicated that feathered body structures covered a larger section of dinosaurs and were more common than we think. Different species contained feathers and scales, and there were still so many unnamed dinosaurs present across history that weren't discovered to highlight this. Thus, the discovery of the Kulindadromeus truly opened up new ideas. The discovery itself was a complex, intriguing, and one of a kind discovery in the history of science.
Kulindadromeus is pronounced as 'Ku-lin-da-dro-me-us'.
The description of the Kulindadromeus was given as an Ornithischian dinosaur of the Jurassic. Ornithischian dinosaurs were a group of bird-hipped dinosaurs. The tiny Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus followed a herbivore diet.
The Ornithischian dinosaur inhabited the Earth during the mid-late Jurassic of the Mesoic era, which lasted from about 174.1 to 163.5 million years.
These dinosaurs went extinct after the mid-Jurassic Mesoic era dating back to 144 million years ago.
Fossils of the Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus showed that the species were known to have lived in the Middle Jurassic of Siberia, Russia.
This dinosaur, discovered by Godefroit, was discovered in the mountainous part of Siberia, which is a tough Vegetation. It comes under the frigid zone, which means that the habitat was extremely cool and dry. Even the available plant matter was difficult to feed on.
This group of feathered dinosaurs was found in an uncommon geographic location which was a pole of the Earth. However, similar species, such as the Nipponosaurus and the Amurosaurus, were known to have lived in Siberian Russia, although in different time periods.
The specific life span of the Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus is unknown. However, other Ornithischians are known to have a lifespan of around 30 years.
They were known to reproduce in groups. Like many animals from the present day, the Kulindadromeus was known to come together in groups during the mating season. Clutches were found in shallow depressions on the ground.
A small plant-eater, the Kulindadromeus' head was tiny and round with a nose cum beak. It was feathered all over and feathers and scales covered most of the head, neck, and body, covering up to 80% of the body, excluding the legs and feet. The length of the feathers was unknown, however, they were scaly feathers and not absolute feathers. The feathers were more like tiny, non-overlapping scales. All in all, they resembled birds like hens and kiwis.
There have been 28 bone fragments of the Kulindadromeus discovered so far.
This Ornithischian dinosaur probably communicated through hissing or squeaks.
Generally, the Kulindadromeus size was as tiny as an adolescent or teen human child. It might sound astonishing, but they were actually smaller than the average adult human.
The Ornithischian was bipedal, meaning it had more speed than quadrupedal dinosaurs like the giant Sauropods or Ceratopsians. Although their exact speed is unknown, their genus was classified as a group of fast runners.
While the average adult human weighs around 198.4 lb (90 kg), the Kulindadromeus weighs not more than 110.2 lb (50 kg). Thus making it almost half as light as the average human.
Both males and females of this dinosaur are known by the common name, Kulindadromeus.
The baby was known as a hatchling, just like its cousin reptiles.
Fossils reveal that the Kulindadromeus diet included plants and plant covers. They had leaf-like pointed teeth to easily chomp on the spiky leaves and fruits.
These Ornithischian dinosaurs were probably only as aggressive as they needed to be to protect themselves. They were also known to have good reflexes. Nonetheless, they were too tiny to be harmful and were probably hunted down by other bigger dinosaurs.
The Kulindadromeus evolution means they can be linked as potential ancestors to modern-day birds.
Pascal Godefroit stated that we could be very sure that various dinosaurs had scales due to the different bits of skin impressions of fossil skin found in rocks.
Dr. Pascal Godefroit was a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels.
The Kulindadromeus is a basal member of the Neornithischia clade, placed just above Hexinlusaurus, another basal ornithischian in the evolutionary tree.
The Kulindadromeus skeleton correlates with the tail of the Scansoriopterygid and Psittacosaurus (bat-winged dinosaur), and the three were known to have similar tail structures.
The Kulindadromeus was known for its running speed rather than the ability to fly. One may assume it could fly due to its feathery structure, however, they were actually flightless. Their tiny legs were known to have carried them to rivers and this led them to be known by another name, the 'River runner.'
The Kulindo sites are the Russian sites of the Ukureyskaya Formation where the dinosaur was first discovered. The word 'dromeus' means runner, hence the name Kulindo -dromeus.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures by exploring our Metriorhynchus interesting facts or Yinlong facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Kulindadromeus coloring pages.
Main image by Nobu Tamura
Second image by ★Kumiko★