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Buitreraptor

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buitreraptor

Buitreraptor (Field Museum of Natural History)

Name:

Buitreraptor (combination Spanish/Greek for "vulture thief"); pronounced BWEE-tree-rap-tore

Habitat:

Plains of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (90 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 4 feet long and 25 pounds

Diet:

Small animals

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long, narrow snout; smooth teeth; probably feathers

About Buitreraptor:

Only the third raptor ever to be discovered in South America, Buiteraptor was on the small side, and the lack of serrations on its teeth indicate that it fed on much smaller animals, rather than ripping into the flesh of its fellow dinosaurs. As with other raptors, paleontologists have reconstructed Buitreraptor as covered with feathers, connoting its close evolutionary relationship to modern birds. (By the way, this dinosaur's odd name stems from the fact that it was unearthed, in 2005, in the La Buitrera area of Patagonia--and since Buitrera is Spanish for "vulture," the moniker seemed appropriate!)

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