Are you fascinated by prehistoric animals and in the search for information about these ancient lizards? Don't worry as we have you covered. We present to you the Neuquenraptor - a dinosaur active in the Late Cretaceous period.
Slotted under the classification of Theropoda, remains of the Neuquenraptor argentinus has been found only in one place on this planet, Argentina. It is assumed that these dinosaurs had bird-like characteristics and were not excellent hunters. Since these dinosaurs roamed the planet in the latter portion of the Cretaceous period, it can also be speculated that these dinosaurs might have gone extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.
Not much is known about this dinosaur as very limited information is available. A complete specimen of this dinosaur has not been found yet. The excavated specimen contained only the left foot, a few bones of the legs, ribs, and some cranial vertebrae.
The ideal way to pronounce Neuquenraptor is 'Knew-quen-rap-tor'.
The Neuquenraptor argentinus from Argentina (within the area called Patagonia) is a theropod dinosaur that belongs to the family of Dromaeosauridae, estimated to have lived in the Late Cretaceous period.
Though the exact year timescale in which these dinosaurs roamed on the planet is currently unknown, scientists have identified that these dinosaurs were active during the late Cretaceous period of the geographic timescale of our planet. The late Cretaceous period lasted from 145 to 65 million years ago. Thus, we can assume that the Neuquenraptor lived during this Late Cretaceous time period. The Cretaceous period along with the Triassic and the Jurassic period comprised the Mesozoic era.
The exact time at which this Dromaeosaurid became extinct is currently unknown and undetermined owing to the availability of very little research information. However, paleontologists have made attempts to understand the lifespan of these dinosaurs. According to research, it is believed that each dinosaur species lasted for at least 10 million years. Therefore, we can assume that this dinosaur of genus Neuquenraptor might have gone extinct during the Late Cretaceous period. Most likely, Neuquenraptor argentinus of genus Neuquenraptor must have become extinct like the other remaining species that perished during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.
The Neuquenraptor is the earliest Dromaeosaurid to have been found in the Southern hemisphere of the earth. The specimen for this dinosaur has been excavated at Plaza Huincul, a place in Argentina. During the Mesozoic era, Pangea, the supercontinent split up to form Laurasia in the north and Gondwana land in the south. In the Cretaceous period (during 132 and 90 Ma), West Gondwana broke into two separate lands to form the modern age continents of South America and Africa. The generic name refers to the Neuquén Province and basin located in Northern Patagonia.
To know the exact habitat of the Neuquenraptor of Argentina, we need to have a clear idea of the geographic conditions of the planet in the Late Cretaceous period. The temperature of the Cretaceous period was much warmer than the present temperature conditions of the earth. Surprisingly, the polar caps were devoid of ice. Apart from the steady splitting of the continents, a lot of landmasses went under the water giving rise to lowlands. The warmer climate along with a humid atmosphere gave rise to the steady growth of vegetation. Thus, we can say that the major habitat of the Neuquenraptor was dry arid grasslands and rocky regions.
Owing to very limited research work and data available for us, the exact social life of these dinosaurs is currently unknown to us. At most, we can make an assumption based on the generic social lifestyles of the dinosaurs. Pieces of fossils have been found in many regions showing that some dinosaur species lived in herds and traveled together. However, evidence has also shown that many species of dinosaurs often led solitary life. As for dromaeosaurids, fossils have shown evidence of pack-hunting behavior.
The exact lifespan of these dinosaurs is currently unknown as very little information on them is currently available. However, we can make an assumption based on the lifespan of dinosaurs in general. There has been classification of ancient dinosaurs that could survive for almost 300 years, while the big carnivores had a life cycle of around 100 years. The carnivores that were smaller in size had a significantly lesser lifespan. Therefore we can make an assumption that the dromaeosaurid Neuquenraptor argentinus had an average lifespan of around 20-40 years.
The exact reproductive methods of this dromaeosaurid are currently not exactly clear as that is an ongoing research topic. However, with whatever information is available, we can paint an average picture. Just like modern age reptiles, dinosaurs were all born from eggs. Since dinosaurs depicted signs of territorial behavior it can also be assumed that they might have fought with one another to attract the attention of their breeding mate. Mating rituals, as in courtship rituals, might have been prevalent among these ancient lizards. The eggs were internally fertilized and after being laid, they were probably incubated.
It is pretty challenging to give an exact description of this dinosaur as the entire body in the form of a fossil has not been found. In the specimen that was excavated, the left foot, a few bones of the legs, ribs, and some cranial vertebrae have only been found. Once paleontologists are able to find the other bits and pieces of their skeleton, it would be easy to describe this dromaeosaurid.
We've been unable to source an image of Neuquenraptor and have used an image of Albertosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Neuquenraptor, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].
Since the entire skeleton of the Neuquenraptor dromaeosaurid has not been found, therefore it would be impossible to make an assumption on the total number of bones that the Neuquenraptor had.
Scientists and paleontologists have found numerous pieces of evidence that dinosaurs communicated with one another using different ways. Primarily, these involved vocal sounds and body signs. It is assumed that dinosaurs made cracking or croaking sounds. As for body signs, mating rituals fall under body signs along with the display of aggressive behavior.
The Neuquenraptor were small-sized dinosaurs and thus the Neuquenraptor size is around 5.9–11.5 ft (1.8–3.5 m). In comparison with the Brachiosaurus 59-69 ft (18-21 m), we can say that it is almost 10 times the size of a Neuquenraptor.
The exact speed at which these dinosaurs moved is not known yet. However, being a carnivorous genus, these dinosaurs must have run quite fast to hunt their prey.
The Neuquenraptor had an average weight of around 165 lb (75 kg).
There are no distinct names for males and females of the Neuquenraptor. Just like all other dinosaurs, they are simply referred to as males and females.
Since dinosaurs hatched from eggs, they are thus referred to as hatchlings. Thus, a baby Neuquenraptor is known as a Neuquenraptor hatchling.
Though these dinosaurs were carnivores, they had more characteristics than that of a bird. The presence of bird-like feet means that they were not excellent hunters. These dinosaurs might have relied on hunting soft and small animals.
Carnivorous dinosaurs were aggressive in general. However, saying the same for the Neuquenraptor might not be true. It is very difficult to make an assumption about their aggressive behavior. Since these dinosaurs were probably not good predators, there is a high chance that these ancient lizards might have showcased fewer signs of aggression.
Though the specimen was discovered in 1996, this dinosaur of genus Neuquenraptor was named in 2005 as it was previously thought to be of a different species.
Neuquenraptor can be divided into two parts. While 'Neuquen' means drafty, 'raptor' means thief.
The specimen of this dinosaur has been found in Argentina and thus, it is assumed that these dinosaurs thrived in the Southern half of the planet.