Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Zheng et al. 2009
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.
The generic name of Tianyuraptor combines Tianyu, referring to the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature where the holotype specimen is stored, with raptor, the Latin word for 'robber'.