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Megaraptor
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
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An artist's illustration of Megaraptor namunhuaiquii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Unranked: Avetheropoda
Unranked: Megaraptora
Genus: Megaraptor
Novas, 1998
Species: M. namunhuaiquii
Binomial name
Megaraptor namunhuaiquii
Novas, 1998

General Information

Megaraptor was a large theropod of the Cretaceous Period, 84 to 65 mya.It's most distinguishing feature was on each hand had a 14 inch (35 cm) sickle-like claw on it's thumb and the other fingers had smaller claws. When alive, this claw would have been sheathed in a horny, keratinous material much like our fingernails, making the claw even bigger, longer and sharper. The tail was probably used for balance and fast turning. It may have had a relatively large brain and large eyes. Megaraptor was about 25–26 feet (7.5–8 m) long. Initially, Megaraptor was generally titled to be the biggest dromaeosaur, and it has been historically considered a spinosaurid, a carcharodontosaurid related to Neovenator, or a coelurosaur, possibly even a tyrannosauroid. The most widely accepted placements are as a basal coelurosaur or a relative of Neovenator. But recent studies claim Megaraptor is a tyrannosauroid.

Discovery

Incomplete Megaraptor remains were found in 1996 in Northwest Patagonia, Argentina, by paleontologist Fernando E. Novas. Novas named it in 1998 (when it was still thought to be a raptor, hence the name). Fossils included a huge sickle-shaped claw, metatarsal, ulna, and a finger bone. [1]

800px-Megaraptor

Hypothetical reconstructed skeleton


History

Discovered in 1997 in Argentina, Megaraptor was found associated with the fossil remains of Unenlagia, a bird-like dinosaur. There is some speculation that Megaraptor was the adult version of Unenlagia, which is known from an apparently juvenile specimen. Remains of a specimen similar to those of the Megaraptor have also recently been found in China and await study. [2]

In The Media

A Megaraptor named Marco featured in 1 episode of Dinosaur Train: Big Misty Sea Fishing Contest where He, Mr. Pteranodon & The old Spinosaurus have a contest to see who can catch the Biggest Fish in the Misty Sea.

References

  • Name Pronunciation/Phylum/Genus/Superoder/Kingdom wikipedia [3]
  • History from [4]
  • General Information [6]
  • Megaraptor Details Picture [7]