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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 10:39 EDT

Buitreraptor

Buitreraptor or “vulture raider” is a genus of dromaeosaurid dinosaur that was found in Argentina. It was discovered in sandstone in Patagonia, Argentina and first described in 2005 by Peter Makovicky, curator of dinosaurs at the Field Museum of Chicago. Buitreraptor was found in the same bone bed as Giganotosaurus, one of the largest known carnivorous dinosaurs. B. gonzalezorum is the only known species of the genus Buitreraptor. Buitreraptor lived about 90 million years ago, when South America was isolated like Australia is today.

Buitreraptor was a small rooster-sized dinosaur that had different physical features than typical northern raptors of its time. It had a slender snout with teeth that lacked meat-tearing serrated edges. From this, scientists theorized that it was not a predator of large animals, but of smaller animals like lizards and mammals. It is likely that Buitreraptor had feathers. Other than Buitreraptor, the only known raptors from the southern continents are the Neuquenraptor, Austroraptor, and Unenlagia from South America, and Rahonavis from Madagascar. The discovery of such species made it clear that dromaeosaurid dinosaurs were more widely spread out than previously thought.

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Buitreraptor