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GEMINIRAPTOR

a meat-eating troodontid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America.
Pronunciation: JEM-in-i-RAP-tor
Meaning: Twin Plunderer
Author/s: Senter et al. (2010)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Utah, USA
Chart Position: 592

Geminiraptor suarezarum

Geminiraptor is a troodontid, the record-breaking eighth all-new dinosaur discovered in Utah in 2010 and, to add to festive cheer (it was described in December), it is also the first undisputed Early Cretaceous troodontid known from North America. Hurrah! On the flip side, it arrived amidst some baffling headlines from newspaper journalists and Bureau of Land Management experts who were full of Christmas spirit. Apparently whiskey, gin and rum. "It had feathered limbs" and "its skull is six times bigger than other dinosaurs" were extraordinary claims bearing in mind a partial upper jaw, just 95mm long, represents the entirety of its remains. But a third popular claim — "it had an inflatable jaw" — whilst sounding the most ridiculous of all, is actually true. Kind of.

The jawbone itself didn't inflate and expand (or deflate and shrink) like a balloon, but it did sport a large hollow chamber which an air sac — perhaps part of a respiratory system similar to modern birds — may have inflated into. The chamber was attached to the nasal cavity, but this is no guarantee that it was linked to breathing, and it may have served a function similar to the human sinuses. Unfortunately, no-one is really sure what that function is.

Perhaps the strange snout cavity of Geminiraptor was lined with mucous membrane and a second line of defence against airborne bacteria, or tasked with cooling and humidifying air intake from a hot dry habitat. Or maybe there was just no need for bone in this part of the jaw so Mother Nature filled it with a big fat nothing instead.
Suarez Twin's PlundererEtymology
The name Geminiraptor is derived from the Latin "geminae" (twins) in honor of the Suarez sisters (who are identical twins) and "raptor" (plunderer, robber, snatcher or thief).
The species epithet, suarezarum, is also named to honor the Suarez sisters; Drs. Celina and Marina of San Antonio, Texas, who made the discovery in 2003.
Discovery
Geminiraptor was discovered at the now named "Suarez Sister's Quarry" (over-kill, much?) in the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain formation. The quarry lies on federal land near Green River, 180 miles s.east of Salt Lake City.
The holotype (CEUM 7319, prepared by Don DeBlieux and housed at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum) is a maxilla (upper jaw bone), 95 mm long, 30 mm tall, and 20 mm at its widest point.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 130-125 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Maniraptora
Troodontidae
Geminiraptor
suarezarum
References
• Senter P, Kirkland J.I, Bird J. and Bartlett J.A. (2010) "A New Troodontid Theropod Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "GEMINIRAPTOR :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Mar 2017.
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