• tsegi515

Shuvuuia deserti, a tiny dinosaur that looked like an owl


A tiny meat-eating bird like dinosaur that lived 75 million to 81 years million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago), in what is now the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. The dinosaur had superb low-light vision and hearing that was likely as good as an owl's. And like an owl, the wee dinosaur probably used those exceptional abilities to stalk and catch its desert prey under the cover of darkness.

Owl-like Shuvuuia (shu-VU-ya) was a theropod — a three-toed and bipedal carnivorous dinosaur. There's only one known species, Shuvuuia deserti, and it was smaller than a domestic cat, measuring just 2 feet (0.6 meters) long. Prior analysis of Shuvuuia's fossilized eye bones revealed that it had large eyes that were specialized for seeing in dim light. But at the time, little was known about dinosaur adaptations for nocturnal activity