Archeologists in China have found two perfectly preserved fossils of a new 125 million-year-old dinosaur species believed to have been trapped by a volcanic eruption.
Paleontologist Pascal Godefroit, who co-authored a study of the recent discovery, said they discovered two intact fossils the Changmiania liaoningensis species of dinosaur.
“These animals were quickly covered by fine sediment while they were still alive or just after their death,” said Godefroit in a statement published by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
The discovered fossils of the newly discovered species of dinosaur were discovered in the western Liaoning Province in China.
Paleontologists named the new Changmiania liaoningensis, which means “eternal sleeper from Liaoning” in Chinese.
According to a statement from the paleontologists, the Changmiania were a small, herbivorous, bipedal dinosaur measuring about 1.2 meters long.
“However, certain characteristics of the skeleton suggest that Changmiania could dig burrows, much like rabbits do today,” said Godefroit.
“Its neck and forearms are very short but robust, its shoulder blades are characteristic of burrowing vertebrates and the top of its snout is shaped like a shovel. So we believe that both Changmiania specimens were trapped by the volcanic eruption when they were resting at the bottom of their burrows 125 million years ago,” he added.