Atrociraptor marshalli Currie & Varricchio 2004
What's an... Atrociraptor?
Making its big-screen debut in Jurassic World - Dominion is Atrociraptor! The name means "savage robber". It was discovered in 1995 and named in 2004 based on a partial skull found in 68 million-year-old Late Cretaceous rocks of Canada near Drumheller, Alberta. The bones have features found only in the "raptors", the group of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs closely related to birds.
For those curious, the animal is known from a right maxilla (upper jaw) and a pair of premaxillae (snout) and dentaries (lower jaws), plus some associated teeth and "bone fragments" as Currie and Varricchio describe the remaining bones. The fact it took 10 years from discovery to being named is not unusual in paleontology as researchers are often working on other projects when a new specimen appears, the fossil then has to be prepared for study, and the study itself takes quite a while.
Atrociraptor lived at the same time as Bambiraptor, Saurornitholestes, and Velociraptor but differs from them in having a face that is short and deep and teeth that are all roughly the same size and point throatward.
At 6' long nose to tail, and around 30 lbs (presuming the body matches the skull of course!) this likely feathered predator was the size of a turkey but with teeth and claws that make similarly-weighted felids such as ocelots, caracals, or servals jealous!
Watch a video of Atrociraptor on our YouTube page here: