Named By: Philip Currie & David Varricchio - 2004.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae, Eudromaeosauria, Saurornitholestinae.
Species: A. marshalli (type).
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.
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.