Canadian scientists announced their discovery of a new carnivorous species of dinosaur Monday. The dinosaur, called Acheroraptor Temertyorum, was a close cousin of the Velociraptor, they say.
A research team led by David Evans, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, discovered the species based on new fossils from the Hell Creek formation in Montana.
According to a recent blog post from Mr. Evans’ lab, features of the Archeoraptor, such as the unique ridged teeth, have been recognized for decades. But until now, scientists could not reasonably say that the fossils were related and suggested a distinct species.
Mr. Evans writes on his lab’s blog: “Archeroraptor gives us a more complete picture of the ecosystem in North America.” That means paleontologists will be able to better understand what was happening in the period before the great extinction, which marked the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs.
Archeroraptor was also one of the last non-avian dinosaurs, and lived with Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops.
According to Evans’ description, the Archeroraptor walked on two legs, had a large, long snouted skull and dagger-like ridge teeth. He and his team estimate it was one of the last dromaeosaurs (often called raptors) living in Western North America about 66-67 million years ago.
The ROM Palaeontology Twitter account has re-tweeted several artist renderings of what the dinosaur would have looked like. For anyone who wants a closer look, Archeroraptor specimens are on display at the ROM in the James and Louis Temerty galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs during the holiday season.