Buitreraptor gonzalezorum is a newly exposed fossil species, a small rooster-size predatory dinosaur belonging to the dromaeosaurid family. The discover occurred in Argentina in 2005.
Buitreraptor gonzalezorum is the only known species of the genus Buitreraptor. The genus name means "Vulture-raptor", from the Spanish word buitre gist vulture.
Buitreraptor lived about 90 million years ago, when South America was a remote continent like Australia today. Buitreraptor has some different physical features than typical northern dromaeosaurs, like Velociraptor .From this scientists end that this dinosaur was not a big-game hunter like most other dromaeosaurs, but a seeker of small animals such as lizards and mammals. Its long bird-like arms confirm such a life of greedy fast-moving small prey. It has long legs and must have been an nimble runner. It most likely had feathers. This dromaeosaur occupied a niche like that of modern secretarybirds or even the dinosaur Troodon from North America.
Other than Buitreraptor, the only other known dromaeosaurs from the southern continents are Neuquenraptor argentinus from South America (discovered earlier in 2005), Rahonavis (once thought to be a primitive bird) from Madagascar, and nameless dromaeosaur-like teeth from Australia. The bones in both Buitreraptor and Rahonavis show that motorized flight likely evolved separately in two different groups of dinosaurs: birds and southern dromaeosaurs.
This discovery in the Southern-Hemisphere confirms that dinosaurs were more extensively dispersed around the world than previously thought. Scientists now believe that dromaeosaurs date back to Jurassic times, when all the continents were much closer together. Possibly they originated on the ancient continent Laurasia.
The fossilized bones were found in 2005 in sandstone in Patagonia, Argentina - by an dig lead by Peter Makovicky, curator of dinosaurs at the Field Museum in Chicago. The field research of Buitreraptor was led by Argentine paleontologist Sebastin Apestegua. Buitreraptor was discovered in the same fossil site that had earlier yielded Giganotosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur known to science since 1995.
|Size:||4ft long and 6ft tall|
|Main Facts:||Buitreraptor has a slim snout with teeth that lack meat-tearing serrations.|