The word dinosaur might fill your head with visions of building-sized beasts, but a newly recognized species was downright tiny. In fact, Oculudentavis khaungraae may be the smallest dinosaur ever identified. Scientists hypothesize that it was just 2 inches long and weighed less than a dime.
The creature’s head and beak (the only parts that scientists have found) were dug up in an amber mine in Myanmar, a nation in Asia. Together they measure just over half an inch long—shorter than a jelly bean! The dinosaur had unusually big, bulging eyes and dozens of sharp teeth. It likely preyed on insects, paleontologists say.
The animal likely got trapped in sticky tree sap about 99 million years ago. Over time, the sap hardened into amber, preserving part of the dino in excellent condition.
Paleontologist Jingmai O’Connor and her co-authors recently published details about the miniature meat eater in the journal Nature. “It’s really the coolest specimen that I’ve ever . . . been lucky enough to study,” she says. “This is not something you find every day.”