Dromaeosaurus

From Academic Kids

Dromaeosaurus albertensis

Conservation status: Fossil

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Archosauria
Superorder:Dinosauria
Order:Saurischia
Suborder:Theropoda
(unranked)Coelurosauria
(unranked)Maniraptora
(unranked)Deinonychosauria
Family:Dromaeosauridae
Genus:Dromaeosaurus
Species

D. albertensis (type species)
D. cristatus
D. explanatus
D. gracilis


Dromaeosaurus ("running lizard") is a wolf-sized theropod dinosaur genus from the Upper Cretaceous (Upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada. It is primarily known from a partial skull and other bones (foot fragments, toe claw) collected in what is now Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, as well as dozens of isolated teeth.

Characteristics

Dromaeosaurus differs from most other Dromaeosauridae in having a short, massive skull, a deep mandible, and large, straight teeth. In these respects Dromaeosaurus resembles the tyrannosaurs. A few bones are known from the hindlimb, they indicate that Dromaeosaurus was a fairly massive animal for its size. Exactly how it lived and what it ate are still open to speculation. The teeth show fairly heavy wear and seem to be used for crushing and tearing rather than slicing through flesh; it is possible that Dromaeosaurus was more of a scavenger than other small theropods.

The relationships of Dromaeosaurus are unclear. Although its rugged build gives it a primitive appearance, it is actually a very specialized animal. It is usually given its own subfamily, the Dromaeosaurinae; this group is thought to include Utahraptor, Achillobator, Adasaurus and perhaps Deinonychus. However, the relationships of dromaeosaurs are still in a state of flux.

The type species is D. albertensis. The other species, lacking in material, may well be synonymous with it.

References

Matthew, W. D. and B. Brown (1922). "The family Deinodontidae, with notice of a new genus from Cretaceous of Alberta." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 66: 367-385.

Colbert, E. and D. A. Russell (1969). "The small Cretaceous dinosaur Dromaeosaurus." American Museum Novitates 2380: 1-49.

Currie, P. J., K. J. Rigby, et al. (1990). Theropod teeth from the Judith River Formation of southern Alberta, Canada. Dinosaur Systematics: Perspectives and Approaches. P. J. Currie and K. Carpenter. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 107-125.

Currie, P. J. (1995). "New information on the anatomy and relationships of Dromaeosaurus albertensis(Dinosauria: Theropoda)." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 15(3): 576-591.pt:Dromeossauro

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