Paleontologists have discovered a new raptor species in Inner Mongolia. The exceptionally well preserved dinosaur, named Linheraptor exquisitus, is the first near complete skeleton of its kind to be found in the Gobi desert since 1972, and will help scientists work out the appearance of other closely related dinosaur species.
A study documenting the find was published today in Zootaxa.
Linheraptor is in the Dromaeosauridae family of the carnivorous theropod dinosaurs and lived during the Late Cretaceous period. In addition to Linheraptor and Velociraptor, theropod dinosaurs include charismatic meat-eaters like Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds.
Reconstruction of Linheraptor
Photo Credit: Matt van Rooijen
The new dinosaur was found in rocks of the Wulansuhai Formation, part of a group of red sandstone rocks found in Inner Mongolia, China during a field expedition by the researchers in 2008. It is the fifth dromaeosaurid discovered in these rocks, which are famous for their preservation of uncrushed, complete skeletons.
At approximately 2.5 metres long and 25 kilograms, Linheraptor would have been a fast, agile predator that preyed on small horned dinosaurs related to Triceratops. Like other dromaeosaurids, it possessed a large "killing claw" on the foot, which may have been used to capture prey. Within the Dromaeosauridae family, Linheraptor is most closely related to another recently discovered species Tsaagan mangas.
Linheraptor differs from all other dromaeosaurs because of a triangular hole in front of the eye socket called the antorbital fenestra, which is a space in the skull that sinuses would have occupied. In Linheraptor this triangular hole is divided into two cavities – one of which is particularly big.
"This is a really beautiful fossil and it documents a transitional stage in dromaeosaurid evolution," said Dr. Xu Xing, Professor of Palaeontology at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology&Paleoanthropology (IVPP).
Citation: Xu etal., A new dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation of Inner Mongolia, China', Zootaxa, March 2010, 2403: 1–9
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- Smoking, Drinking And Eating: It's Not About Your Freedom
- Part II: Bee Deaths And CCD - Flawed Chensheng Lu Harvard Studies Endanger Bees
- Coffee Lowers Risk Of Alzheimer's Up To 20 Percent
- Diversity Fatigue: Why Businesses Struggle To Close The Gender Gap
- Like Collaboration And Intelligence In Humans? Thank War
- A Disturbance In The Force: 'Giant' Charge Density Oscillation Discovered In Nanomaterials
- "A note from THE SIN OF PROHIBITION by G.K.Chesterton:So if you wish to change corporate behaviour..."
- "How can diseases linked to smoking tobacco be on the rise when the smoking rate has been consistently..."
- "I was looking at The Winnower again this morning, which led me back here. I tried to comment on..."
- "There is no question they were created to cater to universities and are staffed by people from..."
- "And my second link should be not a copy of the first, but this: http://www.nature.com/news/half..."
- Behavioral interventions to prevent progression to diabetes equally effective in men and women
- Gender differences in adaptation to space flight
- Long-term complication rate low in nose job using patient's own rib cartilage
- Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer
- Effect of once-daily, low-dose aspirin on heart attack deaths and other outcomes