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Gigantoraptor (Nobu Tamura)


Gigantoraptor (Greek for "giant thief"); pronounced gee-GAN-toe-rap-tore


Plains of Central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (85 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 25 feet long and 2 tons


Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; probably feathers

About Gigantoraptor:

Despite its scary name, it's important to realize that Gigantoraptor wasn't technically a true raptor, like Deinonychus, Velociraptor or the equally huge Utahraptor. Rather, this large, feathered theropod was a close relative of Oviraptor, and the largest such "dino-bird" yet discovered. Gigantoraptor was "diagnosed" based on a single, incomplete skeleton found in Mongolia in 2005, so further discoveries may shed some much-needed light on its lifestyle (such as whether it contented itself with a herbivorous diet, like other oviraptors, or occasionally supplemented its leafy greens by hunting smaller dinosaurs).
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