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LINHERAPTOR

a meat-eating velociraptorine theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China.
Linheraptor
Pronunciation: LIN-huh-RAP-tor
Meaning: Linhe plunderer
Author/s: Xu, Choinere, Pittman, et al. (2010)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Linhe, China
Chart Position: 569

Linheraptor exquisitus

In 2008, Jonah Choiniere was peeing against an elements-battered "red cliff" in the Gobi Desert when he happened to notice a single claw sticking out. Thanks to his hawk-like vision, a potential disaster was avoided as these cliffs are constantly eroding, especially when they're being used as toilets, and their exposed fossils weather quickly. But luckily, this tiny fingertip was just the tip of the iceberg.

Virtually complete though removed in two slabs, this exquisitely-preserved raptor from Linhe, catchily christened Linheraptor exquisitus, sports features typical of dromaeosaurids, the dinosaurs informally known as "raptors", such as an elongated skull, curved neck, and long tail. A large sickle-shaped claw on each foot was used to capture prey such as small ceratopians, though limb proportions and lightweight build suggests it would have no problems chasing down swifter critters.

Behind Tsaagan, Mahakala, and two species of Velociraptor, Linheraptor is the fifth dromaeosaurid to be named from similarly-aged Asian formations and the first near complete skeleton of its ilk to be found in the Gobi since 1972. Distinct features of its skull hint at an affinity with Tsaagan mangas — "the White Monster" — and the pair may represent a unique lineage of Asian dromaeosaurids sandwiched between the oldest forms, such as those from Early Cretaceous China, and the younger, Late Cretaceous forms, such as Velociraptor.

Along with Linhenykus (Xu et al. 2011) and Linhevenator (Xu et al. 2011), Linheraptor forms a trio of dinosaurs from Linhe to be named after, well, Linhe. Mark our words, there will be a Linhesaurus and a Linhedromaeus soon, then paleontologists will have the full set of common dinosaur suffixes and they'll have to get creative with their names after that.
(Exquisite Linhe Plunderer)Etymology
Linheraptor is derived from "Linhe" (the district of Inner Mongolia where the specimen was discovered), and the Greek "sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet, exquisitus, means "exquisite, excellent, fine, or sought-after" in Latin, and refers to the exquisite preservation of its holotype fossils.
Discovery
The Linhe plunderer was discovered in the Wulansuhai Formation's "Gate Locality" (previously part of the Djadokhta Formation), Bayan Mandahu Village, Inner Mongolia, China, by Jonah Choiniere during a joint Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) and Long Hao Institute of Geology and Paleontology expedition to the Gobi in 2008. The holotype (IVPP V 16923, prepared by Xiang Lishi) is an almost complete skeleton recovered in two blocks; one containing most of the body and the other containing the tail.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 80-73 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1.8 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 20 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Xu X, Choinere J.N, Pittman M, Tan Q-W, Xiao D, Li Z, Tan L, Clark J.M, Norell M.A, Hone D. and Sullivan C. (2010) "A new dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai Formation of Inner Mongolia, China".
• Xu X, Pittman M, Sullivan C, Choiniere J.N, Tan Q-W, Clark J.M, Norell M.A. & Wang S. (2015) "The taxonomic status of the Late Cretaceous dromaeosaurid Linheraptor exquisitus and its implications for dromaeosaurid systematics".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "LINHERAPTOR :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Mar 2017.
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