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Conchoraptor

Conchoraptor, meaning “conch thief”, is a genus of oviraptorid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now Asia. Its name is taken from the idea that oviraptoran dinosaurs may have been specialized at feeding on mollusks. It was first discovered in the Nemegt Formation in the 1970s. It was first believed to be a juvenile Oviraptor and that the missing crest would have begun to grow as it matured. Along with other studies, it was ultimately placed in a new genus. The type species, C. gracilis, was described by Barsbold in 1986.

Conchoraptor was small, only 4 to 6 feet in length. Unlike other oviraptorids, Conchoraptor lacked a head crest. It lacked teeth like typical oviraptorids. Instead it had a powerful beak that was possibly adapted for crushing mollusk shells. The major reason it was removed from the genus Oviraptor, was because of its hands. The hands of the Conchoraptor were an intermediate evolutionary stage between Ingenia and Oviraptor, making it an obvious member of a new group not yet known.

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Conchoraptor


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