Unenlagia (Half bird)

Short Info

Unenlagia (Half bird)

Phonetic : U-nen-lag-ee-ah.

Named By : Novas – 1997

Diet : Carnivore

Size : Estimated 2 – 3.5 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Small Theropod

Type Species : U. comahuensis, U. paynemili

Found in : Argentina

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 94-86 million years ago

Unenlagia (meaning “half-bird” in Latinized Mapudungun) is a genus that belongs to dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs which was found throughout South America during the Late Cretaceous period. The Genus Unenlagia was assigned to two different species. U. comahuensis, the species that was described as the type by Novas and Puerta in 1997 and U. paynemili, described by Calvo and colleagues. in 2004.


UnenlagiaJaime A. Headden (User:Qilong), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


In 1996 , in the Neuquen province of Argentina a Theropod’s skeleton was found within the Sierra del Portezuelo and reported in the same year. In 1997, Fernando Emilio Novas and Pablo Puerta have described and named Unenlagia comahuensis. The name itself originates of Mapuche unum, which means ‘bird and llag half, referring to authors believed the species to be an intermediate species between birds and other basal theropods. The specific name is related to the Comahue region, which is where that the species was discovered.

The Holotype specimen MCF PVPH 78 discovered by layers in the Portezuelo Formation dating back to the Coniacian. It is comprised of a fragmented skullless skeleton including vertebrae, a sacrament as well as ribs, chevrons and an humerus, a scapula and a pelvis that is partially uncovered as well as a femur, and a Tibia.

In 2002, near the Lago Barreales, another skull was found and was reported in 2003. It was described and named in 2004 by Jorge Calvo, Juan Porfiri and Alexander Kellner as a second species: Unenlagia paynemili. The exact name honors Maximino Paynemil, the chief of the Paynemil community. The holotype is MUCPv-349. an incomplete skeleton that consists of a humerus, and two pubes. There were several paratypes assigned: MUCPv-343 which is a claw; MUCPv-409; the ilium is a part as well as a phalanx, MUCPv-415 and MUCPv-416 a vertebra.

Some scientists believe that Neuquenraptor may be a minor subjective synonym for Unenlagia.

Source: Wikipedia