Feathered dinosaur the size of a cat is ‘first proven to have eaten a mammal’

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Previous research has shown other Microraptor specimens with preserved food in their stomachs, such as a bird, a lizard and a fish.

However, the team added that it is not certain if these dinosaurs had directly preyed on these animals or found them already dead and had scavenged them.

Dr Alex Dececchi, from Mount Marty College in South Dakota, US, and one of the study authors, said: “The great thing is that – like your housecat, which was about the same size – Microraptor would have been an easy animal to live with but a terror if it got out, as it would hunt everything from the birds at your feeder to the mice in your hedge or the fish in your pond.”

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