Name: Bambiraptor ‭(‬Bambi thief‭)‬.
Phonetic: Bam-bee-rap-tor.
Named By: David Burnham,‭ ‬Kraig Derstler,‭ ‬Phil Currie,‭ ‬Robert Bakker,‭ ‬Zhou Zhonge‭ & ‬John Ostrom‭ ‬-‭ ‬2000.
Synonyms: Bambiraptor feinbergorum.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Dromaeosauridae,‭ ‬Eudromaeosauria,‭ ‬Saurornitholestinae.
Species: B.‭ ‬feinbergi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: 90‭ ‬centimetres long for the holotype,‭ ‬but since this is a juvenile,‭ ‬adults would have been larger at somewhere over a meter.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Montana,‭ ‬Glacier National Park‭ ‬-‭ ‬Two Medicine Foundation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete specimen of a juvenile dinosaur.‭ ‬Additional remains have since been attributed to the genus.

       Named after the title character in the‭ ‬1942‭ ‬film Bambi,‭ ‬Bambiraptor was a small dromaeosaurid dinosaur that has caused a lot of excitement in the science of palaeontology.‭ ‬Discovered by a fourteen year-old Wes Linster in‭ ‬1993,‭ ‬the Bambiraptor holotype is of an exceptionally well preserved individual that is estimated to be around a ninety-five per cent complete dinosaur.‭ ‬In addition to this the bones display very little distortion‭ (‬fossils often become distorted due to the immense pressures of layers of rock lying on top of them,‭ ‬especially in lightly built animals‭) ‬so it has been relatively easy for palaeontologists to reconstruct this dinosaur when compared to what they usually have to work with.‭ ‬This has led to Bambiraptor being popularly dubbed a‭ ‘‬Rosetta stone‭’ ‬after the discovery of the stone that allowed for the decryption of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs,‭ ‬but in Bambiraptor the reference is more to it revealing answers about the dromaeosaur dinosaurs.
       The holotype fossil for which Bambiraptor is named is of a juvenile dinosaur,‭ ‬something that has led to some controversy over the facts and actual validity of this genus.‭ ‬Firstly is that Bambiraptor is often credited at being ninety centimetres long,‭ ‬but because the most complete specimen is only that of a juvenile,‭ ‬it is a certainty that adult Bambiraptor would have been bigger than this.‭ ‬In‭ ‬2010‭ ‬Gregory S.‭ ‬Paul estimated the length of an adult Bambiraptor at a larger one hundred and thirty centimetres long,‭ ‬which if accurate would still make Bambiraptor small,‭ ‬but nearer the size of other small dromaeosaurs.
       Another misconception is that of intelligence,‭ ‬since Bambiraptor is thought to have had a large brain in relation to the size of its body.‭ ‬The size of the brain in proportion to the size of the body is termed Encephalization quotient,‭ ‬or EQ for short and basically works upon the principal that the larger the brain is in relation to the body the more intelligent the animal.‭ ‬This is why dinosaurs with a high EQ level like Troodon are often credited as being the most intelligent dinosaurs,‭ ‬but the theory is a controversial one.‭ ‬The main problem here is that the method for determining EQ does not fully take into account the kind of brain tissues involved,‭ ‬which is why an animal with a brain double the size of another animal with a same sized body can be seen on paper to have double the intelligence,‭ ‬even if the extra size was only attributed to something like extra brain cells for a greater sense of smell.‭ ‬The animal with a smaller brain however might have a larger cognitive centre‭ (‬memory,‭ ‬problem solving,‭ ‬etc.‭) ‬and actually be more intelligent than the larger brained animal but with less capable senses‭ (‬smell,‭ ‬vision,‭ ‬etc.‭)‬.‭ ‬Additionally you have to remember that the Bambiraptor holotype is of a juvenile,‭ ‬and juvenile creatures usually do have proportionately larger brains than adults because even though their bodies are still growing,‭ ‬they still need to be smart enough to process their surroundings.‭ ‬As such determining EQ especially from a juvenile can give a skewed interpretation of an animal’s actual intelligence.
       Another thing that needs to be considered is that animals,‭ ‬and particularly some dinosaurs have been seen to make marked morphological changes as they reach different ages‭ (‬a good example being the leg proportions between juvenile and adult tyrannosaurs‭)‬,‭ ‬and being described from a juvenile specimen,‭ ‬some palaeontologists have considered the possibility of Bambiraptor actually being a juvenile of a previously described genus.‭ ‬Here some have pointed to the similar Saurornitholestes as the possible adult form of Bambiraptor,‭ ‬however most other palaeontologists continue to support the idea that Bambiraptor should be treated as a distinct genus.
       One thing that is likely for Bambiraptor whether it was a juvenile or adult is the presence of feathers.‭ ‬Although not confirmed to be present in the holotype or any other remains so far attributed to the genus,‭ ‬many of the other dinosaurs that Bambiraptor is related to be known to have had them.‭ ‬Additionally some that have not had feathers preserved do also sometimes have the attachments for even better developed feathers.‭ ‬If indeed present upon the body,‭ ‬then Bambiraptor probably would have had a covering of primitive downy feathers that served as insulation.
       Because of its small size,‭ ‬Bambiraptor is thought to have been a hunter of small mammals and reptiles like lizards which would have been very common small prey during the Late Cretaceous.‭ ‬The arms of Bambiraptor are thought to have been very dexterous as well as fingers that were semi opposable.‭ ‬What this means is that Bambiraptor could have possibly held small prey in its arms and actually lift them up to its mouth for easier feeding.‭ ‬It’s also possible that this greater dexterity may have also been for climbing.‭ ‬Bambiraptor however would have faced competition from slightly larger related dinosaurs such as the aforementioned Troodon and Saurornitholestes as well as Dromaeosaurus.‭ ‬Other threats could have also been the tyrannosaurs Daspletosaurus and Gorgosaurus,‭ ‬particularly juveniles of these two genera which would have been a lot faster and more agile than adults.
       Bambiraptor has sometimes been credited with two species names when in fact it‭ ‬currently‭ ‬only has one.‭ ‬The species name B.‭ ‬feinbergi is in honour of both Michael and Ann Feinberg who bought the holotype from a fossil dealer and then donated it to science.‭ ‬However because feinbergi is in the singular vernacular,‭ ‬a pluralised version of feinbergorum was later proposed.‭ ‬This was used by a few people at first,‭ ‬but under naming guidelines set out by the ICZN‭ (‬the body that governs the naming of animals‭) ‬the first species name is not only valid but still has priority over the new version.‭ ‬For this reason Bambiraptor feinbergorum is now treated as a synonym to Bambiraptor feinbergi.

Further reading
- Remarkable new birdlike dinosaur (Theropoda: Maniraptora) from the Upper Cretaceous of Montana. - University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions 13: 1-14. - D. A. Burnham, K. L. Derstler, P. J. Currie, R. T. Bakker, Z. Zhou & J. H. Ostrom - 2000.
- New Information on Bambiraptor feinbergi from the Late Cretaceous of Montana. - D. A. Burnham - 2004.
- Comparison of forelimb function between Deinonychus and Bambiraptor (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae). - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26(4): 897-906. - P. Senter - 2006.


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