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Austroraptor (Wikimedia Commons)


Austroraptor (Greek for "southern thief"); pronounced AW-stroh-rap-tore


Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 16 feet long and 500 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; narrow snout; short arms


About Austroraptor:

As with all types of dinosaurs, paleontologists are unearthing new raptors all the time. One of the latest to join the flock is Austroraptor, which was "diagnosed" in 2008 based on a skeleton dug up in Argentina (hence the "austro," meaning "south," in its name). To date, Austroraptor is the largest raptor yet discovered in South America, measuring a full 16 feet from head to tail and probably weighing in the neighborhood of 500 pounds--proportions that would have given its North American cousin, Deinonychus, a run for its money, but would have made it no match for the nearly one-ton Utahraptor that lived tens of millions of years earlier.

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