Zanabazar (after a Buddhist spiritual leader); pronounced zah-nah-bah-ZAR
Woodlands of central Asia
Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 6 feet long and 100 pounds
Relatively large size; probably feathers
If the name Zanabazar sounds unfamiliar, that's only partly because this dinosaur ducked the usual Greek naming conventions and was christened after a Buddhist spiritual figure. The fact is, this close relative of Troodon was once thought to be a species of Saurornithoides, until a closer examination of its remains (25 years after they were first discovered) prompted a reassignment to its own genus. Essentially, Zanabazar was one of the prototypical "dino-birds" of late Cretaceous central Asia, an unusually smart predator that subsisted on smaller dinosaurs and mammals.