The Truth About The Smallest Dinosaur Ever Discovered

Life is full of little disappointments. Relationships fail, ice cream falls on the sidewalk, and, most crushingly, we're never getting a real life Jurassic Park.

Sure, it can seem like we are. It feels like every couple of years, there's a new story about researchers trying to use wooly mammoth DNA to impregnate an elephant, or reverse-engineering a chicken until it can open doors and chase kids around a kitchen. Yet here we stand, unaccosted by flesh-crazed monsters from the dawn of time.

The point is that there are parts of this story that might get your hopes up, and we don't want to break your heart. An outlandishly cool paleontological find was made in Myanmar recently. Yes, it involves dinosaur bits in amber, but not, it's not going to make Jeff Goldblum relevant again. It's rad for other reasons. A whole new dinosaur has been uncovered, and it's changing the perceived rulebook on prehistoric life. Also, and this is a plus, it's cute as a button.

Mister DNA would be thrilled

The dinosaur in question goes by Oculudentavis khaungraae, or "eye-tooth bird." Roughly the size of a small hummingbird, it is the smallest dinosaur ever discovered, and its giant Bratz doll eye sockets serve as a decent distraction from its mouth, which according to National Geographic, is filled with over a hundred tiny, razor sharp teeth. It can be succinctly described as the Ariana Grande of dinosaurs: looking at it, you're not sure if it's adorable or ravenously hungry for blood.

The discovery comes courtesy of Lida Xing, a Chinese paleontologist who discovered the creature's fossilized skull preserved in amber in 2016. Since then, it has been subjected to tests from scientists around the world, who have dated the remains to around 99 million years ago. Especially intriguing is its well-preserved soft tissue, kept relatively intact by the amber. Its unusual size is also of note, as it represents what may be the smallest dinosaur ever to exist.