Rinchenia (named after the paleontologist Rinchen Barsbold)
H. Osmolska, P. J. Currie & R. Barsbold - 2004
Estimated 1.5 meters long
R. mongoliensis (type)
Late Cretaceous, 70 million years ago
Rinchenia is a genus of small theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago, in what is now Mongolia. It was named after the famous Mongolian paleontologist Rinchen Barsbold, who has made many significant contributions to the study of dinosaurs.
The type species of Rinchenia, Rinchenia mongoliensis, is known from a single partial skeleton that includes vertebrae, ribs, pelvic bones, and partial hindlimbs. Based on this specimen, Rinchenia is estimated to have been about 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and weighed around 10 kilograms (22 pounds).
Rinchenia is classified as a member of the family Dromaeosauridae, which includes other small to medium-sized theropod dinosaurs such as Velociraptor and Deinonychus. Like these other dromaeosaurids, Rinchenia had a long, stiff tail that likely helped it maintain balance while running and turning at high speeds.
Based on its skeletal features, Rinchenia is thought to have been a fast and agile predator that likely hunted small animals such as lizards and mammals. Its sharp, recurved teeth and sickle-shaped claws on its hind feet suggest that it was well-adapted for catching and killing prey.
As with many small theropod dinosaurs, Rinchenia has only been found in limited fossil remains, and much about its biology and behavior remains unknown. However, its discovery has helped shed light on the diversity of predatory dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous period, and the important contributions of Mongolian paleontologists like Rinchen Barsbold to our understanding of dinosaur evolution and history.