Scientists have reconstructed the color patterning of a small, feather-clad dinosaur that roamed China 130 million years ago – and, they say it shared a distinctive trait with the furry modern mammal that topples trash cans in North America.
The analysis has revealed the Sinosauropteryx dinosaur had a ‘bandit mask’ across its eyes, just like today’s raccoons.
While the Chinese dinosaur had multiple types of camouflage to avoid being spotted by larger predators, including relatives of the infamous T-Rex, the black eye mask also allowed the sneaky creature to creep up more easily on its own next dinner.
Experts say this stripe, along with a light-colored underbelly, a dark back, and a striped tail, likely helped it evade predators and sneak up on prey in the ancient savannah.
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