Temporal range: Middle Jurassic
|An artist's illustration of Ozraptor subotaii|
Long & Molnar, 1998
| Ozraptor subotaii|
Ozraptor, meaning: (“Australian thief”) was an abelisaurian dinosaur that lived during the Middle Jurassic period of Australia. Only known from one partial leg bone, Ozraptor is difficult to classify. When first discovered in 1967, the bone was thought to belong to a turtle. Re-evaluation of the bone by Long and Molnar(1998) showed that it was actually some sort of theropod. Another study by Rauhut (2005) suggested that it was indeed a theropod, and more specifically, an abelisaur. The type (and only known) species is O. subotaii.
Ozraptor, a meat-eater found in the western part of Australia, is the oldest known dinosaur from that island continent. Originally discovered in 1966 by college students, it wasn’t until more than 30 years later that scientists realized that the bones actually belonged to a dinosaur. The bones indicate that this was a fast hunter.This dinosaur is known only from a partial tibia that was originally believed to belong to a turtle. It was eventually classified as a theropod after preparation removed more matrix from the fossil.
In Popular Culture
In the second season of a preschool show known as Dino Dan, a show in which a kid can see dinosaurs alive in the real world, one of the dinosaurs he can see is Ozraptor. It appears in the episode Dino Pals, where it steals a fossilized leg bone of its own species from visiting Australian transfer student Robert (Robert Irwin), which has to be retrieved. It is the newest dinosaur added to the series as of now.