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Fukuiraptor (Nobu Tamura)


Fukuiraptor (Greek for "Fukui thief"); pronounced FOO-kwee-RAP-tore


Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (110-100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 13 feet long and a few hundred pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large claws; stiff tail

About Fukuiraptor:

Like many theropods (the large family of two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs that included such diverse groups as raptors, tyrannosaurs, carnosaurs and allosaurs), Fukuiraptor has bounced around the classification bins ever since its discovery in Japan. At first, this dinosaur's giant hand claws were misidentified as belonging on its feet, and it was classified as a raptor (a legacy that endures in its name). Today, though, Fukuiraptor is believed to have been a carnosaur, and was probably closely related to another misnamed, medium-sized theropod, the Chinese Sinraptor. (It's possible that Fukuiraptor preyed on the contemporary ornithopod Fukuisaurus, but as yet there's no evidence for this.)
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