Owl-like dinosaurs had remarkably good hearing and night vision

Fossilised Shuvuuia deserti skeleton

Mick Ellison-AMNH

A tiny bird-like dinosaur with long legs and muscular, clawed arms was quite the night owl. Shuvuuia deserti lived around 75 to 81 million years ago and not only had remarkable hearing, but also well-honed night vision – much better than that of other dinosaurs and most modern birds.

This odd creature was first discovered in the mid-1990s, but a new analysis of its inner ear bones shows that it may have been a nocturnal hunter, like modern owls.

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