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17 Roar-some Patagonykus Facts That Kids Will Love

These amazing Patagonykus facts are great for kids.

A genus of the theropod dinosaur, the Patagonykus dinosaur, belonged to the Late or Upper Cretaceous period that spanned from about 100.5-66 million years ago (mya). The species had small and long legs and was classified as an Alvarezsaurid dinosaur. The fossils of the dinosaur were found from the Portezuelo Formation of Neuquen Province of Patagonia, Argentina. It is also said that the creature must have lived throughout the South American continent.

When it comes to the anatomy of these extinct animals, they must have had thin and longs legs, a long tail, and short arms. On each hand, these dinosaurs possessed a single clawed finger. No skull was found, but a fragmentary skeleton was discovered including a forelimb, vertebrae, coracoids, hindlimbs, partial hips that were closely related to birds. The average weight and length of the dinosaur are estimated to be around 7.7 lb (3.5 kg) and 3.3-6.5 ft (1-2 m), respectively.

As per the research, they were either bird-like dinosaurs or primitive birds as they had features of both groups of animals. Also, it is said that these dinosaurs were closely related to another family member, Mononykus, while a group of scientists believed that they were non-avian theropods. All species of the Alvarezsauridae family were best known for highly mobile tails.

The dinosaur Patagonykus was discovered by Dr. Fernando Novas in 1996. The term is a combination of two words – 'Patago' and 'Nykus' which mean 'Patagonia of Argentina' and 'claw', respectively. This referred to the single claw that these dinosaurs had in their finger, while the species name 'puertai' was given in honor to Pablo Door, a technician.

Let's read more fun facts about the Patagonykus, and if you find this article interesting, don't forget to check out exciting facts about different dinosaurs like Erectopus and Streptospondylus.

Patagonykus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Patagonykus'?

The pronunciation of the dinosaur's name seems to be a bit difficult, but we are here to make it a little easier for kids. We are going to tell you a simple trick that can be applied to the pronunciation of all the names, be it dinosaurs, animals, places, and many other things. You just have to break the whole term into several syllables like 'pat-ah-gone-eh-kus' to make it less complicated.

What type of dinosaur was a Patagonykus?

These dinosaurs belonged to the clade of Theropoda, the family of Alvarezsauridae, and the Patagonykus genus. The term Patagonykus is a combination of two words – 'Patago' and 'Nykus' which mean 'Patagonia of Argentina' and 'claw', respectively, which referred to the single claw that these dinosaurs had in their finger.

In which geological period did Patagonykus roam the Earth?

A fragmentary skeleton was found from the Portezuelo Formation of Neuquen Province of Patagonia, it belonged to the Late or Upper Cretaceous period that spanned from about 100.5-66 million years ago (mya).

When did the Patagonykus become extinct?

These primitive birds might have become extinct around 90 million years ago. The major cause of extinction is not known as of now, but in general, factors such as climate change, asteroid impact, drought, and several other natural disasters are majorly responsible. Some dinosaurs also died due to the rivalry.

Where did Patagonykus live?

The fossils of the dinosaur were found from the Portezuelo Formation of Neuquen Province of Patagonia, Argentina. Research also revealed that they must have lived in several countries of South America.

What was the Patagonykus' habitat?

These primitive birds must have lived in different habitats such as plains, deserts, mountains, and coastal regions. Also, coastal areas would have surely helped in finding insects easily.

Who did Patagonykus live with?

By looking at the trackways of these theropods, it can be said that these dinosaurs were solitary and used to hunt alone. However, male and female dinosaurs must have lived in a pair during the breeding season.

How long did a Patagonykus live?

No information regarding the life span of the Patagonykus dinosaur is known as of now.

How did they reproduce?

The mating patterns were very much similar to the modern-day reptiles and Aves or birds. The Theropoda species must have used a sexual mode of reproduction to produce offspring. It is found that these creatures have used several courtship displays to attract their potential partners. Male dinosaurs also used to fight over females. The litter size of the species is not known as of now. Also, it is known whether the pair used to take care of babies or not. It is also found that alvarezsaurids were specialists in nest raiding, they must have used their robust thumb claws to break the eggshells.

Patagonykus Fun Facts

What did Patagonykus look like?

Like other alvarezsaurs, the dinosaur had long and thin legs that appear to be built for speed. The well-preserved skeleton lacked a skull and consisted of a forelimb, vertebrae, coracoids, hindlimbs, partial hips that were closely related to birds. These dinosaurs had a highly mobile tail, unlike most non-avian theropods. Also, they must have used their claws to break into the colonies of insects such as ants and termites.

These rare Patagonykus facts would make you love them.
We've been unable to source an image of Patagonykus and have used an image of Mononykus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Patagonykus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

 

How many bones did a Patagonykus have?

The exact number of bones is not known as of now, but a well-preserved specimen including numerous vertebrae, pelvic girdle, hindlimbs, and a partial forelimb was found from the Portezuelo Formation of Neuquen Province of Patagonia, Argentina. Also, the skeleton lacked the skull of the dinosaur.

How did they communicate?

These dinosaurs used similar methods to communicate. Like modern-day animals, especially reptiles, they possessed similar methods. In general, they used to communicate vocally and visually, while some were territorial and even fought with intruders. Several courtship displays were used during the breeding season.

How big were the Patagonykus?

While talking about the Patagonykus size, the average weight and length of the dinosaur are estimated to be around 7.7 lb (3.5 kg) and 3.3-6.5 ft (1-2 m), respectively. The dinosaur must have been quite smaller than other theropods such as Orkoraptor and Herrerasaurus.

How fast could a Patagonykus move?

The exact speed is not known as of now but their legs must have been built for high speed. Since they were insectivores, they should have been very agile.

How much did a Patagonykus weigh?

The average weight of the dinosaur is said to be around 7.7 lb (3.5 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the male and female dinosaurs; people generally call them Patagonykus.

What would you call a baby Patagonykus?

Like modern reptiles, the babies of these dinosaurs are called hatchlings.

What did they eat?

These dinosaurs were insectivores and primarily fed on insects, studies also reveal that they used their claws to break into the colonies of ants and termites.

How aggressive were they?

Very little is known about the social behavior of the dinosaur, but generally, these creatures tend to be non-violent. However, they must have shown their dominance while defending their territories.

Did you know...

The most primitive theropods, Eodromaeus and Herrerasaurids also lived in Argentina.

Why are they called Patagonykus?

The term is a combination of two words – 'Patago' and 'Nykus' which mean 'Patagonia of Argentina' and 'claw', respectively, which referred to the single claw that these dinosaurs had in their finger.

How strong were Patagonykus teeth?

The dinosaur possessed tiny and shark teeth.

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 Kryptops facts, or Elopteryx facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Patagonykus coloring pages.

 

Main image by GabrielNU.

Second image by PaleoNeolitic.

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