Tribute to Tianyuraptor

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tianyuraptor is a genus of short-armed dromaeosaurid dinosaur ('running lizard'; a type of small dinosaur considered to be closely related to birds) that lived during the Early Cretaceous, about 122 million years ago.

Its remains have been found in western Liaoning, China. It was similar to other dromaeosaurids found in Liaoning, with the exception of being somewhat more primitive. The type specimen, formally described in 2009, shows features not seen in previously known Northern Hemisphere (Laurasian) dromaeosaurids, but present in Southern Hemisphere (Gondwanan) species and early birds.

Because of this, the scientists who first studied Tianyuraptor described it as a "transitional species", bridging the gap between northern and southern types of dromaeosaurid. Tianyuraptor also differs from previously known dromaeosaurids in that it possesses a relatively small furcula ("wishbone"), and unusually short forelimbs


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