Bonapartenykus

Name: Bonapartenykus ‭(‬Bonaparte’s claw‭)‬.
Phonetic: Bone-ah-part-en-e-kus.
Named By: Federico L.‭ ‬Agnolin,‭ ‬Jaime E.‭ ‬Powell,‭ ‬Fernando E.‭ ‬Novas and Martin Kundrát‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Coelurosauria,‭ ‬Maniraptoriformes,‭ ‬Alvarezsauroidea,‭ ‬Alvarezsauridae,‭ ‬Patagonykinae.
Species: B.‭ ‬ultimus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Presumed insectivore.
Size: Estimated at‭ ‬2.6‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Argentina,‭ ‬Patagonia.
Time period: Late Campanian/Early Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial skeleton with two eggs.‭ ‬Additional egg remains found in close proximity to the type specimen.

       Patagonia is a hot bed for dinosaur fossils,‭ ‬although it‭’‬s usually the dramatic giants such as Giganotosaurus and Argentinosaurus that that take the spotlight.‭ ‬Bonapartenykus was much smaller than these two dinosaurs,‭ ‬however for the purposes of palaeontology and understanding of Mesozoic Patagonia it is at least just as important.‭ ‬First is the dating if the type specimen to near the boundary of the Campanian and Maastrichtian stages.‭ ‬This indicates that while related forms like Patagonykus are only known from earlier in the Cretaceous,‭ ‬patagonykine alvarezsaurs survived in South America until the latest stage of the Cretaceous.‭ ‬It is this relationship to Patagonykus and other alvarezsaurs in general that has led palaeontologists to consider Bonapartenykus an insectivore despite the lack of a skull in the type specimen.
       The Bonapartenykus type specimen is thought to have been a female due to the presence of two eggs that are preserved in the area where the oviducts are expected to have been.‭ ‬On top of this is the presence of further egg remains that were found near to the type specimen that may have been part of a nest belonging to this dinosaur.‭ ‬Another interesting fact about the eggs is that they show the signs of fungal contamination.‭ ‬It’s possible that the death of the mother meant that the nest could not be tended which allowed the fungus to take hold.‭ ‬Because the eggs of Bonapartenykus were unlike any other dinosaur egg so far seen they have been placed in their own family,‭ ‬the Arraigadoolithidae.
       Bonapartenykus is named after the palaeontologist José F.‭ ‬Bonaparte who is considered one of the most important figures in Argentine palaeontology and is credited with naming the dinosaurs Carnotaurus,‭ ‬Agustinia and Saltasaurus as well as the specialised pterosaur Pterodaustro amongst a great many others.



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