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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous, 98 mya
Reconstructed skeleton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Carnosauria
Superfamily: Allosauroidea
Genus: Megaraptor
Novas, 1998
Restored hand

Megaraptor was a large 20–26 feet (6–8 m) long late Cretaceous dinosaur. It had two large sickle-like claws on each hand. It was a lightly built biped, with a large head and sharp, serrated teeth in powerful jaws.

The first fossil of Megaraptor to be discovered was one of its claws. As they strongly resembled the claws seen in Dromeosaurs, it was thought that Megaraptor was a large member of that family.[1] Later, a complete hand was discovered, revealing the main claw was on its thumb.[2]

It is now classified either as a allosauroid carnosaur, related to Neovenator, or right over on the other side of the Theropoda as a tyrannosauroid coelurosaur.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Novas, F.E. (1998). "Megaraptor namunhuaiquii, gen. et sp. nov., a large-clawed, Late Cretaceous theropod from Patagonia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18: 4–9. doi:10.1080/02724634.1998.10011030. 
  2. Calvo J.O. et al (2004). "Phylogenetic status of Megaraptor namunhuaiquii Novas based on a new specimen from Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina". Ameghiniana 41: 565–575. 
  3. Benson, R.B.J.; Carrano, M.T; Brusatte, S.L. (2010). "A new clade of archaic large-bodied predatory dinosaurs (Theropoda: Allosauroidea) that survived to the latest Mesozoic". Naturwissenschaften 97 (1): 71–78. doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x. PMID 19826771.