Aoniraptor libertatem (Motta et al) is a mid-sized megaraptoran whose fossil material was unearthed in the Huincul formation at the Violante farm of northwestern Patagonia, Argentina in the Río negro province. Their discovery was made by Matias Motta in 2010 but this small theropod was formally described in 2016 by Alexis M. Aranciaga Rolando, Sebastian Rozadilla Federico E. Agnolin Nicolás R. Chimento, Federico Brisson Egli and Fernando Novas Emilio. They were believed to have lived about 93 million years ago and were studied by many scientists as a new theropod from the Late Cretaceous (Upper Cretaceous). Researchers claim that the Aoniraptor species of the Megarptora clade would have been synonymous with another Theropoda species named Gualicho due to similarities in the caudal vertebrae and the latter species was also discovered in the same formation from where the Aoniraptor was discovered. Very recently, that is in 2020, a comparative analysis was done by Mauro Aranciaga Rolando between the Gualicho, Aoniraptor, and other theropods and megaraptorans. The fossil record of the Aoniraptor libertatem appears to have consisted of 10 caudal or tail vertebrae, some hip vertebrae, and five tail chevrons. The comparative analysis that was done caused some modification to take place within the evolutionary pneumatic traits through Megraptora. The analysis found chevrons in the Aoniraptor that were unique to its taxon. These animals had a carnivorous diet and lived in a terrestrial habitat. Due to the lack of sufficient evidence, there is not much known about the appearance of these carnivores. This small Dinosauria species displayed its range even in parts of New Mexico. The Aoniraptor skeleton can be found at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science!
The name of this dinosaur is pronounced as 'A-o-nee-rap-tuh'. This Megaraptora prehistoric animal was discovered within the Late Cretaceous Huincul Formation of Patagonia, Argentina in the Río negro province. They come from the same genus as their name and appear to be unique in their taxon.
The Aoniraptor (Motta et al) was a type of megaraptoran theropod from the Late Cretaceous period. It was formally described in 2016 by three main scientists named M. J. Motta, A. M. Aranciaga Rolando, and F. E. Novas.
Aoniraptors roamed the earth during the Late Cretaceous period and were noted to have lived about 93 million years ago approximately.
The Aoniraptor Became extinct around 66 million years ago approximately, just like all other dinosaur species.
This Dinosauria genus that was very similar to the Gualicho in appearance, made its home in places that were slightly wet or semi-arid.
The Aoniraptor made its habitat in terrestrial places like wetlands, marshes, floodplains, and shorelines. They would have shown a preference for such habitats probably due to easy access to food since a lot of other smaller dinosaurs inhabited these areas.
It is currently not known whether this genus, which was formally described by Motta et al, lived solitary lives or together in small groups. They would have maybe lived in small groups, often hunting prey together or moving from one habitat to another.
The Aoniraptor would have lived for a period of approximately 60-70 years. Given their small size, a large number of larger predators would have preyed on them, in turn accelerating their quick demise.
Due to the lack of enough scientific evidence, it is difficult to interpret the exact reproduction patterns of the Aoniraptor libertatem. Paleontologists and scientists have concluded that these dinosaurs would have definitely given birth by laying eggs, therefore their reproduction was largely oviparous. The young ones would have also become independent at an early age.
Being similar to the Gualicho in their skeletal structure and phylogenetic position, these species would have also been similar to them in appearance. Aoniraptors were bipedal indicating that although they had four limbs, they would have walked on their hindlegs as their forelimbs were very short. The bodies were lengthy as were their tails. The skull was long with several teeth, giving them a powerful bite and made it easy to bite into the carcasses of their prey.
The number of bones that the Aoniraptor had is not known at the moment but they would've had over 100 bones in total!
Being dinosaurs, these creatures would have communicated with each other in the form of loud growls, calls, roars, and by displaying certain visual displays too!
The Aoniraptor size was not very big! They were about 236.2 in (6 m) in length, similar to that of the modern-day hippo! The Aoniraptor height is yet to be determined.
The speed of these dinosaurs is not known but these carnivores would have been fast enough to catch their prey.
This carnivore weighed about 1,213 lb (550.2 kg), the equivalent of a newborn gray whale.
There are no particular or specific male or female names for these species. They are simply called by their common name which is Aoniraptor or Aoniraptor libertatem.
A baby Aoniraptor is called a nestling or a hatchling!
These dinos had a carnivorous diet. This means that they depended largely on meat for food. They would have fed on small fish, rabbits, squirrels, small lizards, or other small dinosaurs.
It is not definitely known but there's a possibility that they would have expressed or displayed a certain level of aggressive behavior, especially if they or their habitats were threatened in any way.
Some researchers, after intensive studies, have stated that the arms of this dinosaur could have been very similar to that of a T-Rex!
Aoniraptor has been taken from the Tehuelche language. The word 'Aoni', means south, and the word 'raptor' comes from Latin which means thief. So, literally, this animal's name means 'south thief'!
The Aoniraptor was discovered by Matias Motta in 2010.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Lukousaurus fun facts, or Anserimimus amazing facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Aoniraptor coloring pages.
*We've been unable to source an image of Aoniraptor and have used a sketch of a herbivorous dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Aoniraptor, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].