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Albertonykus (Eduardo Camarga)


Albertonykus (Greek for "Alberta claw"); pronounced al-BERT-oh-NYE-cuss


Woodlands of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 2 1/2 feet long and a few pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; claws on hands; probably feathers

About Albertonykus:

As is the case with many dinosaurs, the scattered fossils of Albertonykus (which were unearthed in a Canadian quarry along with numerous Albertosaurus specimens) languished in museum drawers for years before professionals got around to classifying them. It was only in 2008 that Albertonykus was "diagnosed" as a small feathered dinosaur closely related to the South American Alvarezsaurus, and therefore a member of that breed of small theropods known as alvarezsaurs. Judging by its clawed hands and the odd shape of its jaws, Albertonykus seems to have made its living by raiding termite mounds and eating their unfortunate inhabitants.

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