One can see the outline of a pristinely preserved small skull with a prominent eye socket, a dome-shaped crown of the head, a long snout and small teeth in a small piece of polished yellow amber.
In a 99-million-year old amber from Myanmar the skull of Oculudentavis Khaungraae, one of the smallest newly described dinosaurs, was discovered.
The size of this creature makes paleontologists rethink the evolutionary transition of dinosaurs to modern birds.
A team of paleontologists scanned the skull with high-resolution X-rays and created a digital model with a very fine bird-like anatomy. The extent and pattern of bone growth, as well as the proportional size of the eye signified that it was a mature bird.
The small size of Oculudentavis, a total skull length is a little more than half an inch (14.25 millimeters), which is astonishing. The bulbous eyes looked out from the sides of its head, which suggests that it probably was adapted to move around in the daytime. The upper jaw carried at least 23 small sharp teeth which indicated that Oculudentavis fed on small bugs.
The skull is preserved pristinely and it is even smaller than that of a bee hummingbird, the smallest dinosaur of all time.
There are still many questions that are left unanswered. The discovery suggests that the largest and the smallest dinosaurs may have been living at the same time nearly 100 million years ago.