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ZANABAZAR

a meat-eating troodontid maniraptoran dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia.
zanabazar-junior
Pronunciation: zah-nuh-buh-ZAR
Meaning: for Zanabazar
Author/s: Norell et al. (2009)
Synonyms: Saurornithoides junior
First Discovery: Gobi Desert, Mongolia
Chart Position: 566

Zanabazar junior

Zanabazar was originally named Saurornithoides junior (Barsbold, 1974) and is known from an incomplete skull and enough scrappy hind leg bits and bobs to show that it was the largest known Asian troodontid and, aside from the North American Troodon, the largest known troodontid, period. However, these remains also showed that the case to support its assignment to Saurornithoides was pretty weak so Norell, Makovicky, Bever, Balanoff, Clark, Barsbold and Rowe renamed it in 2009.

Zanabazar aside, two other troodontids are known from the Nemegt Formation — Borogovia gracilicrus and Tochisaurus nemegtensis. At one point there were whispers that two (or possibly all three) of them may represent the same critter in which case Borogovia should have had bragging rights as it was named first. However, not only are their fossils scrappy but they also lack any comparable parts and even the most ferocious lumper would think twice before tackling this trio.
Etymology
Zanabazar is named for Undur Geghen Zanabazar ("High Saint Zanabazar") - the first spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism for the Khalkha in Outer Mongolia, who lived from 1635 to 1723.
The species epithet, junior, is a reference to it being younger than Saurornithoides, of which it was once considered a second species. Saurornithoides was discovered in the 84-71 million years old Djadochta (aka Djadokta) Formation while Zanabazar is from the 71-68 million year old Nemegt formation.
Discovery
The fossils of Zanabazar were discovered at Bugeen Tsav (aka Bugiin Tsav) in the Nemegt Formation, 50 km north west of the Nemegt Basin, Gobi Desert, Mongolia, during a Dr. Namnandorge-led expedition in 1964.
The holotype (IGM 100/1) is a partial skull (272mm long), six sacral (hip) and 11 caudal (tail) vertebrae, and a partial right hind limb.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian-Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-68 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 2.4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 22 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Norell MA, Makovicky PJ, Bever GS, Balanoff AM, Clark JM, Barsbold R and Rowe T (2009) "A Review of the Mongolian Cretaceous Dinosaur Saurornithoides (Troodontidae: Theropoda)".
American Museum novitates, no. 3654:1-63) [Skull images at DigiMorph].
• Barsbold R (1974) "Saurornithoididae, a new family of small theropod dinosaur from Central Asia and North America". Palaeontologia Polonica 30: 5-22.
• Paul GS (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ZANABAZAR :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 16th Dec 2017.
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