STL Science Center

STL Science Center

24 July 2012

Articles Everywhere

Since 2005 articles have popped up quite often about Buitreraptor, its diet, or the general state of dromaeosaurs in the Southern Hemisphere. At least one of them refers mainly to the area in which Buitreraptor was originally found, an area of Argentina called La Buitrera. One of the articles that deals more with the area than specifically Buitreraptor all the way through it is from earlier in 2012 and is titled Cretaceous Small Scavengers: Feeding Traces in Tetrapod Bones from Patagonia, Argentina and is coauthored by one of the men, Apesteguia, who coauthored the original 2005 paper with Makovicky which announced Buitreraptor to the world. This newer paper traces out the evidence that points to Buitreraptor, and other small dinosaurs of the area, being scavengers at least in part if not as their whole diet. The original paper, however, appeared in Nature in October 2005 and described the small Argentinian dromeaosaur for the first time. Unfortunately, only the abstract of the article is available free from Nature. 

In 2009 Novas, et al., delved further into the entire southern dromaeosaur family by exploring a new dinosaur, Austroraptor cabazai, and then describing the evolution of Unenlagiinae, the group to which this new animal and Buitrreraptor belong to. One of the figures presented in the paper compares known dimensions of some of the bones of group members for comparison; very interesting information. Makovicky and Apesteguia worked on another paper together recently, in 2010, in which they went over the teeth of Buitreraptor in detail and also discussed the teeth of other Gondwanan dromaeosaurs as well. Anyone as interested in dromaeosaurs as I tend to be will find all of these articles very interesting given that they are about the newest found populations of dromaeosaurs. The southern, Gondwanan, dromaeosaurs are still relatively unknown, so the number of papers available to learn from is both fantastic and amazing, given how hard it is to find good articles on even famous dinosaurs sometimes.

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