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Eoraptor (Kentaro Ohno)


Eoraptor (Greek for "dawn thief"); pronounced EE-oh-rap-tore


Forests of South America

Historical Period:

Middle Triassic (230-225 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 3 feet long and 20 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Tiny size; bipedal stance; small head with sharp teeth

About Eoraptor:

Along with Herrerasaurus and Staurikosaurus, Eoraptor was one of the earliest dinosaurs. This tiny meat-eater (not a true raptor, by the way) had many of the generic features of later, more fearsome theropods: a bipedal stance, a long tail, five-fingered hands, and a small head filled with sharp teeth. Otherwise, Eoraptor boasted no specialized features at all--making it a kind of basic template for later dinosaur evolution (so much so that some paleontologists believe that Eoraptor was ancestral not to more advanced theropods, but to the plant-eating sauropods of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods).

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