An illustration of an extinct reptile closely related to early dinosaurs. It's a quadrupedal animal with long slender limbs, bird-like hind feet, and forefeet that are bearing weight mainlt on the second and third fingers. It has a long neck and tail, and a bird-like head with toothed jaws that and in a small pointed toothless beak. It's holding an insect larva in its mouth, and is depicted covered in a speculative coat of short fuzzy feathers.

Silesaurus opolensis here was a type of dinosauriform – a reptile very closely related to the ancestors of true dinosaurs, but not quite actually a dinosaur itself.

Living in Poland during the Late Triassic (~230 million years ago), it was a quadrupedal animal roughly the size of a large modern dog, about 50cm tall at the shoulder (1’8″) and 2m long (6’6″). The front of its lower jaw was toothless and covered with a keratinous beak, and there may have been a corresponding much smaller beak at the very tip of its upper jaw, too.

It was originally thought to be a herbivore, but coprolites full of insect remains suggest it was probably more of an omnivore, possibly foraging by pecking in a convergently similar manner to its distant bird cousins.

In fact, one of those pieces of Silesaurus poop was recently found to preserve a new species of tiny beetle in incredible detail.

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