The Cub Reporter

Researchers Discover Two New Chinese Dinosaurs: Bannykus and Xiyunykus

Archaeologists+digging+in+the+ground
Archaeologists digging in the ground

Archaeologists digging in the ground

via National Park Service

via National Park Service

Archaeologists digging in the ground

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There were two dinosaurs discovered and they were called, Bannykus and Xiyunykus. The Xiyunykus was 7.3 inches tall and it was 20 inches long. It lived 89.3 million to 83.6 million years ago. It was classified under the Alvarezsauridae dinosaur species. The other dinosaur was Bannykus, which oddly, resembled the Xiyunykus, making some scientists think that one may have evolved from the other! Both dinosaurs were theropods and both lived on land. (theropod dinosaurs walk on their hind legs, for example, humans are theropods.

These creatures range in size from the 2-foot long Microraptor to the 40-foot long tyrannosaurus rex.) It is believed that some theropods might have evolved into some of our modern-day birds. Bannykus and Xiynuykus are Alvarezsauridae, they generally had long snouts and small hands and were thought to eat insects. They also had very short arms and hands characterized by long claws, probably to help them dig or make nests. Scientists are still unable to say whether the behavior of the two Chinese dinosaurs had ever changed or evolved. Before Bannykus and Xiynukus the only known early Alvarezsaurus was the Haplocheirus. The next Alvarezsaurus found was late Cretaceous or younger than 100 million years. The hind legs of these dinosaurs were specialized for running, and their overall design helped them caught their prey and escape from their predators.

According to Sullivan, the Bannykus and Xiynuykus are extremely important because they fall into the evolutionary gap, and are considered the “missing links” between Haplocheirus and the late Cretaceous Alvarezsaurus. Bannykus was also estimated to be larger than the Xiynuykus. Bannykus and Xiynuykus both had slender builds which would also help them in running. Bannykus was discovered in 2005 inside the Zhunggar Basin, northwestern China and Bannykus were discovered later in 2009 in western Inner Mongolia, north-central China.

Alvarezsaurus have strong arms and hands and weak jaws. these dinosaurs are may some way be related to the tyrannosaurus rex, due to both being theropods and having short arms. These two new dinosaurs also helped prove that the dinosaur Haplocheirus was, in fact, an Alvarezsaurus. This is because the Haplocheirus lived far further back in time than most of the other Alvarezsaurus that lived in the late Cretaceous period but since the discoveries of Bannykus and Xiynuykus, scientists were almost 100% positive that Haplocheirus was an Alvarezsaurus.

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About the Writer
Kumail A., Reporter

12-year-old Kumail is a 7th grader attending Kraemer Middle School. He doesn’t play any sports but some of his hobbies include playing video games, reading...

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Researchers Discover Two New Chinese Dinosaurs: Bannykus and Xiyunykus