Named By: D. G. Wolfe, A. T. McDonald, J. I. Kirkland, A. H. Turner, N. D. Smith, S. L. Brusatte, M. A. Loewen, R. K. Denton & S. J. Nesbitt - 2019.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Tyrannosauroidea, Pantyrannosauria.
Species: S. hazelae (type).
Size: Holotype estimated to have been about 3 meters long, but this is of a juvenile. Adult size unknown.
Known locations: USA, New Mexico - Moreno Hill Formation.
Time period: Turonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of two individuals.
of Suskityrannus were first announced back in
1998 when the
description of the ceratopsian
published. Back then the fossil remains were thought to have been
those of a dromaeosaur,
but in 2019, a more detailed analysis
of these fossils were published. The name chosen for this dinosaur
was Suskityrannus which means ‘coyote tyrant’.
The suki part is
the Zuni word for coyote. The tyrant part is a reference to the
fact that Suskityrannus was not a dromaeosaur,
but a primitive
Foot structure of Suskityrannus shows a development where the upper portion of the middle metatarsal is pinched, a development that allowed for fast running. This has plugged an evolutionary gap that confounded palaeontologists in their attempts to trace tyrannosaur evolution. Unfortunately, not much else is yet known about Suskityrannus. Full adult size is uncertain, because the only known specimens at the time of the 2019 description are of juveniles. Analysis of growth rings in the bones of one of these individuals suggest that it was about three years old at the time of death. Suskityrannus is noted for having a large brain relative to body size, but it is unknown if this is just down to differing body proportions for juveniles.
- A mid-Cretaceous tyrannosauroid and the origin of North American end-Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages -. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 3 (6): 892–899. - D. G. Wolfe, A. T. McDonald, J. I. Kirkland, A. H. Turner, N. D. Smith, S. L. Brusatte, M. A. Loewen, R. K. Denton & S. J. Nesbitt - 2019.