Atrociraptor

Name: Atrociraptor ‭(‬Cruel thief‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ah-tross-e-rap-tor.
Named By: Philip Currie‭ & ‬David Varricchio‭ ‬-‭ ‬2004.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Dromaeosauridae,‭ ‬Eudromaeosauria,‭ ‬Saurornitholestinae.
Species: A.‭ ‬marshalli‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Uncertain due to low amount of fossil remains,‭ ‬but an estimated length of‭ ‬2‭ ‬meters has been proposed by Gregory S.‭ ‬Paul.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬Alberta‭ ‬-‭ ‬Horseshoe Canyon Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull remains of the premaxilla,‭ ‬right maxilla,‭ ‬and front portion of the dentaries‭ (‬lower jaws‭) ‬as well as teeth.

       Atrociraptor has been described from very incomplete remains,‭ ‬but two clear observations can be made about this dinosaur.‭ ‬One is that the snout appears to be both deeper and shorter than most other dromaeosaurs,‭ ‬something that could indicate a strong bite due to larger muscles and the outer teeth being placed closer to the fulcrum of the jaw articulation.‭ ‬Second is that the teeth have very large serrations,‭ ‬something that would greatly improve the slicing ability.‭ ‬Additionally the teeth in the mouth are of different sizes but otherwise have an identical form to one another.‭ ‬These two things together might indicate a prey specialisation in animals with tougher hides that would require a stronger bite force,‭ ‬as well as larger serrations for more efficient cutting.
       Because the teeth are so distinctive,‭ ‬further isolated teeth that were previously assigned to Saurornitholestes have now been included with Atrociraptor.‭ ‬The type species of Atrociraptor,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬marshalli,‭ ‬is in honour of Wayne Marshall who discovered the first remains back in‭ ‬1995.



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