Monday, December 20, 2010

Eoraptor Origins

The Eoraptor existed during the early Triassic period some 228 million years ago and is considered to be one of the predecessors of all latter day dinosaurs. Discovered in the Ischigualasto formation of Argentina in 1991, its near complete skeleton displayed many characteristics dating it to well before even the Herrerasaurus and putting it only a little time after the recently discovered Prosauropods in Madagascar.


The Eoraptor was a bipedal carnivorous theropod dinosaur and belonged to the Saurischian group of Dinosaurs. The Saurischians refer to the lizard hipped dinosaurs and the Eoraptor was considered to be one of them due to its hip structure.

The single known species of the Eoraptor is known as the Eoraptor Lunensis which was named based on the ancient river valley in South America from where its remains were unearthed. The full name means ‘dawn plunderer from the valley of the moon’ which stems from the Greek word ‘eos’ meaning ‘dawn’ and the term ‘lunensis’ which means ‘of the moon’ in Latin.

Physical Features

At just 1m long and 24kg in weight this tiny dinosaur was extremely similar to the theropods that existed many years later. As a carnivore with predatory instincts the Eoraptor is believed to have been a swift and fast runner. The forelimbs were much shorter compared to those of the hind limbs and according to popular perception they were not used for the purpose of walking.

The forelimbs consisted of 5 digits with 3 of them being slightly longer and possessing sharp claws. Its presumed these sharper digits were used for hunting and killing of the Eoraptors prey. The remaining 2 were considered useless for hunting. Unlike the fore limbs the legs consisted of only three digits which were all pointed with claws.

The eoraptors were extremely intelligent and swift moving and many consider them to be miniature versions of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. At the end of the long neck, the Eoraptor possessed a skull which in comparison to the rest of its body was extremely strong and comprised of a set of hollow bones. The eyes were placed on the sides and the jaws were constituted by innumerable sets of serrated teeth.

Behavioral Patterns & Hunting

In simple terms the Eoraptor was a meat eater which fed on other small lizards and mammal like creatures. When hunting its prey the jagged edges of its teeth combined with its sharp claws enabled it to capture and tear the flesh of its prey. With a healthy appetite it’s likely that the Eoraptor was most likely also extremely fierce and aggressive as a species.

While most paleontologists and scientists would refer to the Eoraptor as a carnivore, there are various evidences to suggest that this saurischian dinosaur was also a consumer of plant matter. The presence of five digits on the forelimb combined with certain kinds of herbivorous teeth have fuelled the possiblity that due to its early nature, it may have been an omnivore.

Source from :http://www.dinosaur-facts.com

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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