Santanaraptor

Name: Santanaraptor ‭(‬Santana thief‭)‬.
Phonetic: San-tan-ah-rap-tor.
Named By: Kellner‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999.
Classification: Choradata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Tyrannosauroidea‭?
Species: S.‭ ‬placidus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: 1.25‭ ‬meter long.
Known locations: Brazil‭ ‬-‭ ‬Santana Formation.
Time period: Aptian to Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of vertebrae,‭ ‬ischia and hind limbs,‭ ‬but fossilised soft tissue was also found.

       Santanaraptor has caused a stir within the palaeontological world not only because some palaeontologists think it is an early tyrannosaurid,‭ ‬but because it was found in South America,‭ ‬a continent long thought to be devoid of the presence of tyrannosaurs.‭ ‬Apart from similar skeletal features,‭ ‬Santanaraptor is in the right time and location that you would expect an early tyrannosaurid to appear,‭ ‬after all spinosaurids are known Brazil,‭ ‬and are thought to have arrived via a land bridge from North Africa.‭ ‬Early tyrannosaurids also have a large geographic range being known from North America with‭ ‬Stokesosaurus‭ ‬to Asia with Dilong and Guanlong,‭ ‬all the way to the British Isles with Eotyrannus.‭
       Unfortunately as exciting as this concept possibly is,‭ ‬later study and examination of the fossils has since ruled them to probably represent a coelurosaur.‭ ‬This actually does explain the tyrannosauroid similarity as the‭ ‬tyrannosaurs are thought to have their evolutional roots within this group.‭
       Although the remains of Santanaraptor were very incomplete,‭ ‬they did at least yield an idea of this dinosaur’s biology with the presence of mineralised soft tissue.‭ ‬This tissue is thought to represent skin and muscle,‭ ‬although it may include blood vessels.‭ ‬On its own it does not reveal the complete inner working of dinosaur biology,‭ ‬but as time goes on more and more soft tissue fossils become known to science,‭ ‬allowing the work of revealing dinosaur biology to go beyond the theory and into the practical.

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