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Pyroraptor (Jordan Mallon)


Pyroraptor (Greek for "fire thief"); pronounced PIE-roe-rap-tore


Plains of western Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 8 feet long and 100-150 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large, sickle-shaped claws on feet; probably feathers


About Pyroraptor:

As you may have guessed from the last part of its name, Pyroraptor belongs to the same family of theropods as Velociraptor and Microraptor: the raptors, which were distinguished by their speed, viciousness, single-clawed hind feet and (in most cases) feathers. Pyroraptor ("fire thief") didn't earn its name because it actually stole fire, or even breathed fire, in addition to the usual array of raptor weapons: the more prosaic explanation is that the only known fossil of this dinosaur was discovered in 2000, in southern France, after a forest fire.


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