Valdoraptor

Name: Valdoraptor ‭(‬Wealden thief‭)‬.
Phonetic: Val-doe-rap-tor.
Named By: George Olshevsky‭ ‬-‭ ‬1991.
Synonyms: Megalosaurus oweni.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Ornithomimosauria.
Species: V.‭ ‬oweni‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain.
Size: Unknown.
Known locations: England‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation.
Time period: Valanginain of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial foot.

       When first described in‭ ‬1858‭ ‬by Richard Owen,‭ ‬the type specimen of Valdoraptor was interpreted as a foot belonging to the armoured dinosaur Hylaeosaurus.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1881,‭ ‬John Hulke scored nearer the mark by identifying the foot as belonging to a theropod dinosaur.‭ ‬From here the foot was attributed to Megalosaurus by Richard Lydekker in‭ ‬1888‭ ‬and then Altispinax by Friedrich von Huene in‭ ‬1923.‭ ‬Eventually in‭ ‬1991‭ ‬George Olshevsky created the Valdoraptor genus for the foot,‭ ‬but this was not the end of the confusion,‭ ‬as the foot has also been perceived to be similar to Neovenator and Eotyrannus.
       Despite this,‭ ‬the Valdoraptor foot has been more popularly interpreted as belonging to an ornithomimosaur.‭ ‬However this has caused confusion and uncertainty in itself.‭ ‬With only a foot,‭ ‬it is impossible to say how big Valdoraptor was or if it had any special features like skull crests or enlarged claws.‭ ‬We also can’t infer what it ate since the ornithomimosaurs may have been carnivores,‭ ‬herbivores or even omnivores depending upon the genus.‭ ‬A‭ ‬2014‭ ‬study‭ (‬Allain et al‭) ‬concerning Valdoraptor also speculated that this dinosaur may in fact be synonymous with the genus Thecocoelurus.
       Valdoraptor should not be confused with the similarly named Valdosaurus.


Further reading
-‭ ‬A revision of the parainfraclass Archosauria Cope,‭ ‬1869,‭ ‬excluding the advanced Crocodylia.‭ ‬Mesozoic Meanderings‭ ‬2‭ ‬pp.‭ ‬1-196‭ ‬-‭ ‬George Olshevsky‭ ‬-‭ ‬1991.
-‭ ‬Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery:‭ ‬basal Dinosauria and Saurischia.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of the Geological Society of London‭ ‬164:‭ ‬493-510.‭ ‬- D.‭ ‬Naish‭ & ‬D.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Martill‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007.
-‭ ‬European ornithomimosaurs‭ (‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Theropoda‭)‬:‭ ‬an undetected record.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Geologica Acta‭ ‬12‭(‬2‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Allain,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Vullo,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Le loeuff‭ & ‬J.-F.‭ ‬Tournepiche‭ ‬-‭ ‬2014.







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