STL Science Center

STL Science Center

12 September 2014

Young Raptors

By Emily Willoughby,
[CC-BY-3.0 (]
Welcome to the world of dinosaurs that will be ignoring the Spinosaurus circus. The only thing I am going to say about it is that we will not be talking about it at all.

The dinosaur in question this week, instead, is the newest, geologically speaking, dromaeosaurid from North America. The small Hell Creek dinosaur was described from maxillary and dentary bones containing teeth as well isolated teeth. The description is recent, it was published late last year, but has been accepted so far by the paleontology community without much of an audible uproar. The name given to the dinosaur is Acheroraptor temertyorum. The reference made to Acheron of Greek mythology means that the generic name loosely means "underworld thief". The specific epithet honors the Temerty family. James Temerty serves as the current chairman of the Royal Ontario Museum and Northland Power (a Canadian energy producer). The story of the dinosaur is more important. This new dromaeosaur is geologically young for a North American dromaeosaur and its anatomy is closely allied with the Velociraptorinae. Members of the tribe are typically small Asian dromaeosaurs. Acheroraptor is the first North American member of the tribe. Given the fragmentary remains it is hard to judge its size in relation to other members of the tribe. However, it is going to be an interesting exploration of this "new" dinosaur this week.

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