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Richardoestesia (Texas Geology)


Richardoestesia (after paleontologist Richard Estes); pronounced rih-CAR-doe-ess-TEE-zha


Swamps of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 4 feet long and 25 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; bipedal posture; probably feathers


About Richardoestesia:

For about 70 years after its partial remains were discovered, Richardoestesia was classified as a species of Chirostenotes, until further analysis resulted in its being assigned to its own genus (which is sometimes spelled without the "h," as Ricardoestesia). However you choose to spell it, Richardoestesia remains a poorly understood dinosaur, sometimes classified as a troodont (and hence closely related to Troodon) and sometimes classified as a raptor. Based on the shape of this small theropod's teeth, there's some speculation that it may have subsisted on fish, though we'll probably never know for sure until more fossils are discovered. (By the way, Richardoestesia is one of the few dinosaurs to honor a paleontologist with both his first and last names, another being Nedcolbertia.)

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