Buitreraptor ‭(Vulture raider)

Short Info

Buitreraptor ‭(Vulture raider)

Phonetic : Bwee-tree-trap-tor.

Named By : Peter J.‭ ‬Makovicky,‭ ‬Sebastian Apesteguía‭ & ‬Frederico L.‭ ‬Agnolín‭ ‬-‭ ‬2005

Diet : Carnivore

Size : Estimated 1.5 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Small Theropod

Type Species : B.‭ ‬gonzalezorum‭ (‬type‭)‬

Found in : Argentina,‭ ‬Patagonia‭ ‬-‭ ‬Candeleros Formation

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 99-90 million years ago

Buitreraptor (meaning “La Buitrera seizer”) is an genus belonging to dromaeosaurid dinosaurs that lived in the Late Cretaceous of Argentina at the Candeleros Formation. Buitreraptor was discovered in 2005. The type of species was Buitreraptor gonzalezorum. It was rooster sized and had a head that was very long with a lot of tiny teeth.

Eduard Solà, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Four fossils of Buitreraptor were discovered in 2004 in sandstones in Patagonia, Argentina during an excavation conducted by Sebastian Apesteguia, researcher of CONICET at the Fundacion Felix de Azara – Maimonides University, and Peter Makovicky who is the head of dinosaurs in the Field Museum in Chicago. Buitreraptor comes from an late Late Cretaceous Candeleros Formation, which dates back to the Cenomanian-Turonian age between 98 and 97 million years ago. This was the time when South America was an isolated continent similar to Australia currently. The fossil was discovered at the famous fossil site known as La Buitrera, the “vulture roost”. While dinosaurs are scarce at this area, another site has previously yielded the massive Giganotosaurus which is one of the biggest known carnivore dinosaurs.

Buitreraptor canzalezorum is only known species belonging to the Genus Buitreraptor. It was identified after Peter Makovicky, Sebastian Apesteguia and Federico Agnolin. The genus name translates to “vulture raider”, from the Spanish word buitre, which means the word “vulture” in reference to La Buitrera, and Latin raptorwhich means “seizer”. The name is a tribute to the brothers Fabian as well as Jorge Gonzalez who realised much of the actual excavation and the preparation of fossils. The Holotype specimen, MPCA 245, consists of a partial skeleton and skull of an older. Paratypes are MPCA 238, which is a sacrum that has an right pelvis and right hindlimb. Its skull was discussed in depth in 2017 and 2018 brought a number of papers that focused on the anatomy of Genus. They include descriptions of brand new specimens, an analysis of the anatomy of the tail of the Genus, and an overview of the postcrania in several specimens.

Buitreraptor was a tiny dinosaur. In the year 2010, Gregory S. Paul estimated Buitreraptor’s length to be 1.5 metresand the weight was three kilograms. Buitreraptor is unique in its physical characteristics than the typical northern dromaeosaurs like Velociraptor. Buitreraptor is a slim, long, flat the snout, with numerous small teeth , which lack sharp edges or meat-tearing serrations and are grooved, bent and flattened. The scientists who first classified it determined that the dinosaur wasn’t a hunter of very large animals, as some other dromaeosaurs. It was instead hunter of small mammals like mammals and lizards. Buitreraptor’s forelimbs Buitreraptor were long and culminated in large and thin hands with three fingers. The entire hands of Buitreraptor are larger than the dinosaurs Deinonychus and Velociraptor and Velociraptor, with the exception of bones that are ungual, which are proportionally smaller Buitreraptor.

The entire body was also elongated and also had an elongated ribcage that was shallow. The larger sickle claw on in the 2nd toe on the feet created an elongated blade but smaller than dromaeosaurids like Velociraptor as well as Deinonychus. There are no fossils done with any feathers from Buitreraptor. There are however relatives such as Microraptor and Sinornithosaurus and fossils that have preserved feathers have been discovered. Because its closest relatives also were feathered, it’s probable that Buitreraptor also had feathers. According to Apesteguia it is similar to the reconstruction of an extinct monkey using fur since all modern monkeys are fur-covered.

Source: Wikipedia