Named By: X. Zheng, X. Xu, H. You, Q. Zhao & Z. Song - 2009.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae, Microraptoria.
Species: T. ostromi (type).
Size: About 1.6 meters long, maybe slightly bigger.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Yixian Formation, Dawangzhangzi Bed.
Time period: Barremian/Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete individual, believed to be a subadult. Only the tip of the tail is missing.
Although not very well known, Tianyuraptor is important to many palaeontologists because it is often regarded as a transitional form that links northern and southern genera of dromaeosaurids. Tianyuraptor is noted for having a smaller than usual furcula and arms that are proportionately much smaller than those of other dromaeosaurid genera. Overall, Tianyuraptor is actually quite a bit larger than most other known microraptorian dromaeosaurs, though it still has the long hind leg proportions, meaning that it was likely a very fast runner for its size. The proportionately much smaller arms however mean that there was practically no chance that it could glide for short distances, as has been proposed for some other smaller microraptorian genera like Microraptor.
- A short-armed dromaeosaurid from the Jehol Group of China with implications for early dromaeosaurid evolution, X. Zheng, X. Xu, H. You, Q. Zhao & Z. Song - 2009.