Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT


Megaraptor, meaning “giant thief”, is a genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period that lived in what is now Argentina. This was one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs of all time, and once believed to be the largest dromaeosaur ever found. After further research, this was ruled to be either a carnosaur or spinosaur.

Initially being described as a large dromaeosaur due to its similarities to dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, this dinosaur is now placed elsewhere, although the actual grouping is not clearly known. There shows evidence that it may be either a allosaurid, carcharodontosaurid, or spinosauroid. The Megaraptor was first known only from a single claw (12 inches long) that resembles the sickle-shaped claw of dromaeosaurids. A future discovery of a complete front limb showed that the giant claw came from the first finger on the hand. The hands were uniquely elongated and bore sickle-shaped claws more re-curved than those of spinosauroids.

A dinosaur found in Australia is believed to be a Megaraptor, but is yet to be studied in detail and has not been named. It is half the size of Megaraptor. If this proves to be a Megaraptor, the findings will show that the super continent Gondwanaland broke up later than previously thought.

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