The Adasaurus was a small dinosaur which lived somewhere between 72 million and 66 million years ago. With only a limited amount of fossil evidence available, paleontologists have found it remarkably difficult when it comes to determining the actual time period that the dinosaur lived in. It is currently believed that the Adasaurus most likely came from the Maastrichtian stage. This occurred throughout the latter part of the cretaceous period. The actual time frame may be adjusted should more complete Adasaurus fossils be discovered.
About Adasaurus Fossils
There are currently two known Adasaurus fossils neither of which is complete. Both of them were found in the Nemegt Formation which can be found in the Gobi Desert. This means that the only known country that the Adasaurus was known to inhabit was Mongolia.
- IGM 100/200: This was the first Adasaurus fossil to be discovered. It has a partial skull, most of its vertebrae, all of the pelvis, hind limbs, and the shoulder. The rest, and that includes the tip of tail, was not discovered.
- IGNM 100/51: This fossil is just the back-end of the Adasaurus. The rest of the fossil was not discovered.
Currently both of these fossils are held by the Mongolian Geological Institute. Neither of the fossils is currently on display for the public. Both of these skulls were discovered in 1983 by Dr Rinchen Barsbold.
Barsbold, for those who are unaware, is regarded as one of the leading experts on dinosaurs in the world. This Mongolian-born palaeontologist is an expert on the Gobi Desert (the area in which the fossils were discovered). He is also known for having one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world. In fact, Barsbold has been able to name over ten dinosaurs and families of dinosaurs.
About the Nemegt Formation
The Nemegt Formation is a geological formation found in the Gobi Desert. When the Adasaurus lived here the area was comprised of beautiful lakes. Lush green forests surrounded these lakes. We know this has a number of petrified wood specimens have been discovered among the fossils that have been found in this area. This is a stark contrast to how the area appears now. The Gobi Desert is nothing more than a dry and desolate place which is virtually barren of life.
The Nemegt Formation appears to have been a hot bed of dinosaur activity millions of years ago. A number of fossils have been discovered here. Many of them were from therapods much the same as the Adasaurus. A number of raptor fossils have also been discovered in the area. This area is constantly giving rise to newly discovered dinosaurs. This means that it is highly likely that further Adasaurus fossils will be discovered in the future. This could potentially mean that we will learn more about the way that this dinosaur looked and the way in which it interacted with the environment.
About The Adasaurus
Unfortunately only a few fossils have currently identified as belonging to the Adasaurus. As neither of these fossils are complete palaeontologists can do nothing more than make a ‘best guess’ as to how they believed the Adasaurus lived in the area.
We do know that Adasaurus measured around 6 feet in length and stood at about 2 feet tall. This would place it at roughly the same size as a larger dog. The Adasaurus was fairly lightweight compared to some of the other dinosaurs in the area. It is estimated that the dinosaur weighed no more than about 33 pounds (15 kilograms). This allowed it to glide through the area searching for its prey, and escaping from those predators, with relative ease.
The Adasaurus was a carnivore. This means that it only consumed meat. This is likely why it decided to spend so much time around the Nemegt Formation. After all, this was where the majority of dinosaurs seemed to be concentrated in this particular region.
One thing that many researchers can’t agree on is whether the Adasaurus was a true dinosaur or a bird. There is agreement that the Adasaurus most likely boasted feathers and very bird-like behaviors. The fossils however indicate that this was very much a smaller version of the Velociraptor, which of course is classed as a dinosaur. At the moment scientists are placing the Adasaurus into the latter category although they certainly are not opposed to moving it should more discoveries be made with regards to fossils.
Perhaps the main similarity between the Adasaurus and the Velociraptor is the ‘killer claw’. This is an extra-long claw at the front of the animal which is believed to be used to deliver the final blow to its prey. The claw on the Adasaurus was slightly smaller than the one that the Velociraptor boasted. This is likely down to the fact that the dinosaur is of a slightly smaller size.
From what we can tell from the fossils (and do bear in mind the skulls are currently incomplete), it is likely that the Adasaurus had one of the longest heads in this particular family of dinosaurs. There is a small belief that this meant that the Adasaurus was one of the smarter dinosaurs out there. Sadly this is not something which can currently be proven.
What Can the Adasaurus Fossils Tell Us?
The Adasaurus Fossils are some of the most unique therapod fossils in the world. The make-up of the fossils that we have seen seems to further prove the link between dinosaurs and birds. This information comes from the make-up of the pelvis (which was fully intact on the first fossil discovered). It is believed that the make-up of this pelvis is actually far closer to the way in which birds moved than the way in which dinosaurs are believed to have moved. There is no denying (at the moment at least), that the Adasaurus was a dinosaur however these fossils go a long way to proving that the dinosaurs and birds are far closer linked than most people may think.