October 13, 2005
A 90-million-year-old dinosaur recently discovered in Patagonia demonstrates that dromaeosaurs, carnivorous theropods that include Velociraptor, originated much earlier than previously thought. They originated during the Jurassic, up to 180 million years ago, rather than the Cretaceous. Buitreraptor gonzalezorum's birdlike features -- its huge, hollow wishbone; winglike forelimbs; and bird-like pelvis -- provide further link dinosaurs to birds. This finding implies that flight may have evolved twice: once in birds and once among this group of Gondwanan dromaeosaurs.
Photo of reconstructed skeleton of Buitreraptor gonzalezorum. The long hindlimbs indicate that the animal was a fast runner. The elongated arms and massive shoulder girdle indicate powerful prey-grasping abilities. Like all other dromaeosaurs, Buitreraptor was armed with an enlarged claw on the second toe of each foot. (© 2005 The Field Museum, Photo by John Weinstein, image# GEO86430_30d)
CHICAGO--The recent discovery of a 90-million-year-old dinosaur in Patagonia demonstrates that dromaeosaurs, a group of carnivorous theropods that includes Velociraptor and is closely related to birds, originated much earlier than previously thought. Rather than originating during the Cretaceous, dromaeosaurs can now be traced back to the Jurassic, possibly as far back as 180 million years ago. Meanwhile, the new dinosaur's birdlike features--its huge, hollow wishbone; long, winglike forelimbs; and bird-like pelvis--provide more evidence linking dinosaurs to birds.
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Field Museum. "Newly Discovered Birdlike Dinosaur Is Oldest Raptor Ever Found In South America." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051013082546.htm>.
Field Museum. (2005, October 13). Newly Discovered Birdlike Dinosaur Is Oldest Raptor Ever Found In South America. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051013082546.htm
Field Museum. "Newly Discovered Birdlike Dinosaur Is Oldest Raptor Ever Found In South America." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051013082546.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).