Pyroraptor

Name: Pyroraptor ‭(‬Fire thief‭)‬.
Phonetic: Pie-roe-rap-tor.
Named By: Allain‭ & ‬Taquet‭ ‬-‭ ‬2000.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Dromaeosauridae.
Species: P.‭ ‬olympius‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Uncertain due to incomplete remains.
Known locations: France,‭ ‬Provence.
Time period: Late Campanian/Early Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Arm,‭ ‬feet,‭ ‬some vertebrae and teeth.

       Pyroraptor acquired its name from the circumstances of its discovery.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1992‭ ‬the partially preserved remains of this dinosaur where discovered after a forest fire had swept through the area.‭ ‬Despite the very incomplete remains it has been possible to identify Pyroraptor as a distinct genus from the unique form of the sickle-shaped claws,‭ ‬features that are common to dromaeosaurid dinosaurs.‭ ‬Another common feature of the dromaeosaurid dinosaurs is the presence of primitive feathers on the body,‭ ‬something that Pyroraptor is also thought to have had despite the current lack of evidence proving it did.
       From the same of region of France that Pyroraptor hails from,‭ ‬another dromaeosaurid named Variraptor has also been named.‭ ‬In the past there has been speculation that Pyroraptor may actually just be further remains of Variraptor which is also known from very incomplete remains.‭ ‬A‭ ‬2009‭ ‬study by Phomphen Chanthasit however pointed out differences in the shape of the ulnas‭ (‬lower arm bones‭) ‬that seems to support keeping Pyroraptor and Variraptor as separate genera.
       Pyroraptor was one of the main dinosaurs featured in the‭ ‬2003‭ ‬Discovery Channel TV series Dinosaur Planet‭ (‬not to be confused with‭ ‬2011‭ ‬BBC series Planet Dinosaur‭)‬.‭ ‬The episode titled Pod’s Travels shows a speculative reconstruction where a lone Pyroraptor named Pod gets stranded upon a small island after a Tsunami,‭ ‬where he comes into contact with much smaller dwarf forms of the dinosaurs that he knew from the mainland including Magyarosaurus and Tarascosaurus.



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