Dinosaur fossil shows struggle before death

Dinosaur fossils found

Dinosaur remains discovered in China have been described as one of the 'saddest fossils.'

As Seeker reports, the creature, called Mud Dragon, was found with its neck and wings extended as if it had died trying to emerge from some mud it had somehow gotten stuck in.

See also: Dozens of dinosaurs delivered for animal park display

See also: Fossils in Argentina shed new light on 'vicious' dinosaur

One of the researchers is quoted as saying, "We don't know how long the struggle lasted, but we believe the creature never gave up."

It was uncovered at a construction site in southern China.

The nearly intact skeleton, dated to 66 to 72 million years ago, has since been given a new species name which translates to "muddy dragon on the road to heaven."

As a news release by the University of Edinburgh states, "The two-legged animal belongs to a family of feathered dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs, characterised by having short, toothless heads and sharp beaks."

It goes on to point out that it was likely part of a group of flightless creatures which was able to diversify before most dinosaurs were killed off 66 million years ago.

Weird travel experiences to try in 2016
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Weird travel experiences to try in 2016
It's smelly (sulphur fumes), colourful (minerals, chemicals and potash making for a spectacular display), and with an average annual temperature of 34C, renowned to be the hottest inhabited place on Earth: the hot springs at Dallol are a must-see, if you can stand it. During a visit, look out for the long 'caravane de sel', camel trains loaded with salt. Experience it on Native Eye's 14-day Djibouti and the Danakil Depression trip (from £3,649 per person), which departs on 13 November 2016.

For an innovative and stimulating sea experience, polar snorkelling in Antarctica is a holiday experience to brag about. While above water the ice shades range from deep grey to pastel blues, below the surface snorkelers can immerse themselves in an ethereal haven of hot pink fish, corals in rainbow shades, giant sea stars and nudibranchs alongside penguins diving into a cloud of sparkling bubbles. It's the first time holidaymakers to Antarctica have been offered the experience, with snorkelers supplied with state-of-the-art dry suits, gloves, hoods and a tiny in-built fan that keeps the body warm. Try it on Aurora Expeditions' Arctic and Antarctic voyages (from £3,270 per person for 11 days; snorkelling from £660 per person), which depart July through September.

Each year the semi-nomadic Mbororo people gather for a week of incredible celebrations known as the Gerewol, a colourful festival that is one of Africa’s most spectacular. Few westerners are privileged to see this, but of you do, you can travel to a remote part of the Sahel to stay with these intensely traditional people, joining them as they congregate for feasting, racing, dancing and finding lovers. The Gerewol is renowned for the way in which young Mbororo men decorate themselves, donning make-up and jewellery and 'displaying' themselves to young women in search of a partner. Try it by booking Native Eye's eight-day Gerewol Festival tour (from £1,749 per person), which departs on 25 September 2016.
A Bosnian city with a turbulent past, Sarajevo is resilient having survived floods, fires and just two decades ago, endured the longest wartime siege in modern history. On Insight Vacations' 11-day Treasures of Croatia and Bosnia Sarajevo tour (from £1,750 per person, departing 24 August and 14 September 2016), you'll have the opportunity to visit a Sarajevan family home in a tower block still indented with gunfire to enjoy a home-cooked meal of local cuisine and listen to the heart-wrenching and inspirational stories of survival from the hosts. Visit the War Tunnel Museum, housing part of the subterranean passage that served as Sarajevo's lifeline during the four-year Bosnian war and meet and talk with one of the survivors, for whom the Siege of Sarajevo remains a defining moment of his life.
The 60-metre crater of Darwaza in Turkmenistan is one of the most unusual sites in Central Asia, a vast opening in the Earth where natural gas has been set alight and has burned for more than 40 years. This was originally a site where Soviet geologists drilled for gas and not knowing what to do when the drilling rig collapsed, they set it alight for fear that poisonous gas would seep into the atmosphere and contaminate a nearby settlement. Its otherworldly appearance has led local people to name it the ‘Door to Hell’. You can camp here overnight for an experience you'll never forget on Native Eye's Total Turkmenistan holiday (from £2,199 per person), departing 3 September 2016.

Fast becoming the biggest watersports craze across the world, stand-up paddleboarding has even arrived in the remote Antarctic and can be enjoyed from a cruise ship. Learning to manoeuvre the paddleboard around the dramatic Antarctic landscapes is truly breathtaking and you'll be kitted out in a dry suit to protect against the chilly water. Wildfoot offers guided stand-up paddleboarding excursions on its 11-day Antarctic Explorer cruise (from £4,000 per person), departing on 6 November 2016. In addition to stand-up paddleboarding, there are chances to try snow shoeing, kayaking and taking a dip in the icy water with a ‘polar plunge’.

There are mountains, then there are flaming mountains - we know which we'd rather visit. Jutting out into the Caspian Sea, the Absheron Peninsula is home to some of Azerbaijan’s finest sights, all within a day trip from the capital Baku. One of the most unusual is the flaming mountain of Yanardag, another of Azerbaijan’s bizarre geological features where natural gas seeps from the rock, accidentally ignited in the 1950s and burning to this day. At Ateshgah, the temple of the fire-worshippers surrounds an eternal flame, another reminder of why this country is often called the 'Land of Fire'. Witness it yourself on Native Eye's eight-day Azerbaijan, Between East and West holiday (from £1,075 per person), departing 11 September 2016.

Tucked away in three valleys of the Hindu Kush lives a pagan tribal population, who according to legend, are descended from four of Alexander the Great’s generals to whom Alexander gave the Chitral Valley as a reward. Whatever the truth, the Kalash look very different from most other Pakistanis, with fairer skin, blue-green eyes and distinctly Eurasian features. Join them as they celebrate Uchao, a festival to celebrate and give thanks for a successful harvest, drinking wine brewed from mulberries and some delicious cheese. It's one of the most colourful celebrations in Pakistan. Native Eye offers a 16-day North Pakistan Explorer holiday (from £2,099 per person), departing 13 August 2016.

Located in the world's coldest place, in the Verkhoyankiy District of Arctic Yakutia, where winter temperatures have been known to dive as low as -62C, lies a mammoth graveyard. Each summer the melting permafrost pushes bones, tusks and teeth of ancient fauna out of the ground and river banks. Remains of mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, bison, cave lions and woolly rhinoceros can be found just lying around on the ground. Accompanied by a local palaeontologist from Yakutsk, you can identify which animals the bones found belonged to and which parts of the animal they were from. As well as being the coldest place on Earth, the mammoth graveyard near Betenkyos is among the most isolated places in the world, located 1,000km north of the nearest road or railway. Native Eye's 13-day Arctic Yakutia trip (from £4,549 per person) departs on 20 August 2016.

Head for Africa and you can experience a pony trek with a difference in undiscovered Lesotho. After entering the landlocked kingdom via one of the world's most treacherous mountain passes, the Sani Pass, you can have a go at sheep shearing as you make a stop at a local village. Sheep shearing season takes place from late September to early January, and is one of Southern Africa's extreme sports, an adventure which includes the chance to meet local herdsmen. Try Acacia Africa's 19-day Kruger to Cape Town holiday (from £825 per person), which includes the chance to venture into little-known Lesotho.

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