The researchers identified this small dinosaur called “Pertasaura leopoldinai”, which was one meter long and 80 centimeters high, thanks to a group of fossils that were found as a result of excavations in Parana state between 2011 and 2014.
It is known that theropods are two-legged dinosaurs, and they are generally carnivores and herbivores, and they have teeth.
But the National Museum explained that the discovered species “has a beak and is devoid of teeth, unlike all other species discovered in Brazil so far.”
The study, conducted in cooperation with the Contestado Center for Paleontology in the state of Santa Catarina (southern Brazil), was published Thursday in the scientific journal Nature.
“We have a skull, jaw, spine, pelvis, pectoral girdles, and remains of the forelimbs and hind limbs, making Berta one of the most complete Cretaceous dinosaurs ever discovered in Brazil,” the director of the National Museum, paleontologist Alexander Kellner, told a news conference.
Scientists considered that the lack of teeth of this species “a real surprise” raises several questions about the nature of its diet.
Giovanni Alves de Sousa, who co-authored the study, said: “Maybe he ate differently from other legged dinosaurs, but his lack of teeth does not mean that he could not eat meat.”
The animal was named “Pertasaura Leopoldinae” in honor of the Brazilian scientist and researcher at the National Museum Berta Luth and Empress Maria Leopoldinai, wife of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, who was interested in sponsoring natural science studies.
Last week, work began to rebuild the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, which was destroyed by a fire in September 2018 and housed one of the most valuable natural history collections in Latin America.