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Ceratonykus

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ceratonykus

Ceratonykus (Nobu Tamura)

Name:

Ceratonykus (Greek for "horned claw"); pronounced seh-RAT-oh-NIKE-us

Habitat:

Deserts of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (85-80 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 5 feet long and 25 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; probably feathers

About Ceratonykus:

Ceratonykus is one of the latest examples of an alvarezsaur, a mysterious branch of bird-like, theropod dinosaurs (closely related to raptors) that sported feathers, bipedal stances, and long legs with correspondingly small arms. Since it was diagnosed based on a single incomplete skeleton, relatively little is known about Ceratonykus or its evolutionary relationship to other dinosaurs and/or birds, other than that it was a prototypical, probably feathered "dino-bird" of the late Cretaceous period.

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