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Conchoraptor (Wikimedia Commons)


Conchoraptor (Greek for "conch thief"); pronounced CON-coe-rap-tore


Swamps of Central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 5 feet long and 20 pounds


Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; well-muscled jaws


About Conchoraptor:

The oviraptors--small, feathered theropods--of late Cretaceous Central Asia seem to have pursued a wide variety of prey. Judging by its squat, muscular jaws, paleontologists speculate that Conchoraptor made its living by cracking the shells of ancient mollusks (including conchs) and feasting on the soft tissues within. Lacking further evidence, though, it's also possible that Conchoraptor fed on nuts, vegetation, or even (for all we know) other oviraptors.

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