PALEONTOLOGICAL STUDIES OF SOUTH CAROLINA

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Megaraptor Information Sheet

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NAME: Megaraptor

NAMED BY: Fernando E. Novas

DATE NAMED: 1998

NAME MEANING: “Huge robber”

PRONOUNCIATION: MEG-uh-RAP-tore

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HEIGHT: 6 feet (2 m)

WEIGHT: unknown

LENGTH: 20 to 26 feet (6 - 8 m) long

SPECIAL FEATURES: The 14-inch sickle claw.

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LIFE SPAN: Late Cretaceous

MYA: 90 to 84

OTHER DINOSAURS AT THE TIME: Abelisaurus - a theropod (a bipedal meat-eater) 26 feet (7.9 m) long. Known from an incomplete skull from Patagonia, Argentina, 70 mya.

Aeolosaurus- a titanosaurid sauropod (long-necked plant-eater with armor) 50 feet (15 m) long from Argentina, 75-70 mya.

Alvarezsaurus- a long-tailed theropod (meat-eater) 6 feet (2 m) long from Argentina, 80 mya.

Antarctosaurus- one of the largest dinosaurs, found in 1916- a titanosaurid sauropod (long-necked plant-eater with armor), 100 feet (30 m) long, from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, 83-65 mya.

Araucanoraptor- a coelurosaur theropod (meat-eater) 8 feet (2.5 m) long from Argentina, roughly 90 mya.

Argentinosaurus, a huge sauropod 130+ feet (40 m) long long from Argentina, this may be the largest dinosaur.

Argyrosaurus - a 70 ft (21 m) long sauropod (a long-necked plant-eater) from Argentina and Uruguay, 73-65 mya.

Campylodoniscus- a large sauropod (long-necked plant-eater) from Argentina, 97-85 mya.

Clasmosaurus - a large sauropod (a long-necked plant-eater) from Argentina, 95 mya.

Epachthosaurus - a sauropod (a long-necked plant-eater) from Argentina, 87.5 mya. Known from only one vertebra.

Genyodectes - a poorly-known theropod (bipedal meat-eater) from Argentina.

Laplatasaurus- a titanosaurid sauropod (long-necked plant-eater) 60 feet (18 m) long from Argentina, 83-65 mya.

Microsaurops- a relatively small titanosaurid sauropod (long-necked plant-eater with armor), from Argentina, 97.5-65 mya.

Neuquensaurus- a large, titanosaurid sauropod (long-necked plant-eater with armor), from Argentina, 97.5-65 mya.

Noasaurus - a small theropod (bipedal meat-eater) 6 ft (1.8 m) long, from Argentina, 75 -65 mya. It had a huge claw on each foot.

Saltasaurus- a titanosaurid sauropod (long-necked plant-eater with armor) 40 feet (12 m) long from Argentina, 83-79 mya.

Secernosaurus - a duck-billed dinosaur (a hadrosaur, a beaked plant-eater) 10 ft (3 m) long from Argentina, 73-65 mya.

Unquillosaurus - a theropod (bipedal meat-eater) 36 ft (11 m) long, from Argentina, 83 -73 mya.

Velocisaurus - a small, fast theropod (meat-eater) from Argentina, 73-65 mya.

Xenotarsosaurus - a mid-sized theropod (meat-eater) from Argentina, 83-73 mya. Known from leg bones only.

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INTELLIGENCE: Assumed to be high

DIET: Carnivorous

MOBILITY: Bipedal (two-legs)

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FOSSILS: Poor/Average

KNOWN FROM: Large sickle shaped claw, metatarsal, ulna, and a finger bone.

FOUND IN: Woodlands of South Africa, Argentina

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KINGDOM: Animalia

PHYLUM: Chordata

CLASS: Reptilia

SUPERORDER: Dinosauria

ORDER: Saurischia

SUBORDER: Theropoda

SUPERFAMILY: Allosauridae

FAMILY: Neovenatoridae

SUBFAMILY: unknown

GENUS: Megaraptor

-Novas, 1998

SPECIES: M. namunhuaiquii

-Novas, 1998

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OTHER INFORMATION: Like another impressively named beast, Gigantoraptor, Megaraptor has been a bit oversold, in that this large, carnivorous dinosaur wasn’t technically a true raptor. When the scattered fossils of Megaraptor were discovered in Argentina in the late 1990’s, paleontologists were especially impressed by a single, foot-long claw, which they assumed was located on this dinosaur’s hind feet—hence its classification as a raptor (and one that would have been even bigger than the biggest true raptor yet identified, Utahraptor). On closer analysis, though, it turned out that Megaraptor was actually a large theropod closely related to both Allosaurus and Neovenator, and that those single, oversized claws were located on its hands rather than its feet. Sealing the deal, Megaraptor has proved to be similar to another large theropod from Australia, Australovenator, a hint that Australia may have been connected to South America later into the Cretaceous period than was previously thought.

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INTERESTING FACTS: Megaraptor was a large, terrifying late Cretaceous predator with two enormous, sickle-like toe claws . It was a huge, lightly built, fast-moving, agile, bipedal (walked on two legs), bird-like dinosaur. It had a curved, flexible neck, and a big head with sharp, serrated teeth in very powerful jaws.

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SPECIAL-FEATURE FACTS: The second toe on each foot had a 14 inch (35 cm) sickle-like claw and the other toes had smaller claws. When alive, this claw would have been sheathed in a horny, keratinous material much like our fingernails, making the claw even bigger, longer and sharper.

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