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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Santanaraptor

Santanaraptor, meaning “Santana Formation thief”, is a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Albian or Aptian stage of the Early Cretaceous Period (108 million years ago). It lived in what is now South America. When first discovered, Santanaraptor was thought to be a maniraptoran theropod. However, it is now thought to be a primitive coelurosaur based on features present on the femur.

The type species, S. placidus, was first described by Kellner in 1999. The species name refers to Placido Cidade Nuvens, who founded the Santo do Cariri Museum.

It is known from a partial juvenile specimen unearthed in 1996 from the Santana Formation of northeastern Brazil. While primarily known from hindquarter remains, the individual represented by the fossil may have reached 4.1 feet in length. Santanaraptor was originally thought to be the first possible tyrannosauroid from Gondwanaland, but is now classified as a basal coelurosaur.

Santanaraptor