Shanag (named after the dancers in the Buddhist Cham dance)
Alan Turner, Sunny Hai-Ching Hwang & Mark Norell - 2007
Estimated 1.2 meters long
S. ashile (type)
Mongolia - Öösh Formation (previously Ashile Formation)
Late Cretaceous, 75 million years ago
Shanag, named after the dancers in the Buddhist Cham dance, is a genus of small theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, about 75 million years ago. Its fossils have been found in the Barun Goyot Formation of Mongolia.
Shanag was a small dinosaur that measured about 1.2 meters (4 feet) in length and weighed around 20 kilograms (44 pounds). It had a slender, lightweight body with long legs and a long tail, and was likely a fast and agile runner. Its head was relatively small and had a long, pointed snout with sharp teeth, which it used to catch and eat small prey such as lizards and mammals.
Shanag is an important dinosaur because it is one of the earliest known members of a group of theropod dinosaurs called the Alvarezsauridae. These dinosaurs were characterized by their small size, long legs, and short, powerful arms with a single, large claw on each hand. This claw is thought to have been used for digging into ant and termite nests to extract food, as well as for defense against predators.
Overall, Shanag is a fascinating dinosaur that has contributed to our understanding of the early evolution of the Alvarezsauridae and the diversity of small theropod dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous period in Mongolia.