Named By: D. M. Martill, S. U. Vidovic, C. Howells & J. R. Nudds - 2016.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda.
Species: D. hanigani (type).
Size: Holotype estimated to have been 2.1 meters long, however this was a juvenile at the time of death. Adults may have been up 3 meters long.
Known locations: Wales - Blue Lias Formation.
Time period: Hettangian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and partial post cranial skeletal remains.
interesting little dinosaur, Dracoraptor was a
dinosaur that roamed around what is now Wales during the early
Jurassic. The holotype (first found) individual of Dracoraptor
has been reconstructed at just over two meters in length, however,
the holotype was a juvenile animal, and adults would have been
larger. Dracoraptor was lightly built, with
long legs that would
have allowed for a high running speed, enabling Dracoraptor
down swift moving prey. The small size and build however meant that
Dracoraptor would have been limited to hunting
Fossils of the first individual of Dracoraptor were recovered in 2014 by Nick and Rob Hanigan, two brothers who are also amateur palaeontologists who were searching a cliff face for fossils of ichthyosaurs. Later in 2015, more fossils were found by a student named Sam Davies. The fact that fossils of Dracoraptor have been found in a deposit known for marine creatures would indicate that at least one individual of Dracoraptor had been swept out to sea and then buried in marine sediment. Assuming that an individual/s was not swept out to sea by a river, it may be that Dracoraptor were known to hunt animals and scavenge carrion on the shoreline, effectively being beachcombers.
- The oldest Jurassic dinosaur: a basal neotheropod from the Hettangian of Great Britain. - PLoS ONE 11(1):e0145713:1-38. - D. M. Martill, S. U. Vidovic, C. Howells & J. R. Nudds - 2016.