Shanag ‭(‬named after the dancers in the Buddhist Cham dance‭)

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Shanag ‭(‬named after the dancers in the Buddhist Cham dance‭)

Phonetic : Shan-ag

Named By : Alan Turner,‭ ‬Sunny Hai-Ching Hwang‭ & ‬Mark Norell‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007

Diet : Carnivore

Size : Estimated its length at 1.5 metres

Type of Dinosaur : Small Theropod

Type Species : S.‭ ‬ashile‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : Mongolia‭ ‬-‭ ‬Öösh Formation‭ (‬previously Ashile Formation‭)

When it Lived : Early Cretaceous, 126-142 million years ago

Shanag is the name of a species belonging to dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs from early in the Early Cretaceous Period of Mongolia.


Shanag skullSkye M, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The species that is the most common in Shanag will be S. Aile. It was identified and described by Alan Turner, Sunny Hai-Ching Hwang, and Mark Norell in 2007. The name is a reference to black-hatted dancers who perform the Buddhist Cham dance. The particular name is a reference to the Ashile Formation which was the original name for the layer where Shanag was discovered, and employed to describe the Shanag Formation by Henry Fairfield Osborn.

The holotype of Shanag, IGM 100/1119, was discovered in the Oosh Formation, the stratification of which is uncertain but probably dating to the Berriasian-Barremian. Shanag is a close connection to the Basal Chinese dinosaurs like Microraptor and Sinornithosaurus and suggests a striking likeness between the fauna of that of the Oosh deposits, which are believed to date to around 130 million years ago as well as those of the Jehol Biota that is found in China (such as the species found in the comparatively recent Yixian Formation) in the Early Cretaceous. The holotype specimen is approximately six centimetres in length comprises an uncompressed upper as well as lower jaw fragments, which contain the right maxilla, which is nearly complete with teeth, as well as a partial right dentary that has teeth, and a splenial that is attached to the partial.

Shanag was a tiny predator. In 2010, Gregory S. Paul estimated Shanag’s length to be 1.5 metresand its weight was five kilograms. Shanag exhibits a mix of troodontid, dromaeosaurid, and basal avialan features.

Turner et al. identified Shanag to Shanag to Dromaeosauridae. The cladistic analysis of their study indicated that it was a basal Dromaeosaurid however it was higher that the Unenlagiinae. Further analyses revealed it to be within the Microraptorinae.

Source: Wikipedia