Fun Atrociraptor Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Sep 20, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Check out these amazing Atrociraptor facts!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

Atrociraptor was a genus of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs that lived during the last stage of the Late Cretaceous period, the Maastrichtian. It consists of a single species, Atrociraptor marshalli, which is also the type species for the genus.

It was found in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation situated in Alberta, Canada.

This dinosaur is known only from a few fragments of its fossil remains that include its skull that consists of parts of both its upper and lower jaws and some of its teeth.

Its teeth were found to be of slightly different sizes but had the same overall form, that is, all of them had denticles or serrations on them.

This meant that they had isodont teeth, and the serrations on the teeth would have helped these animals bite into the hard skin of prey.

The teeth were also larger than most members of the family of Dromaeosauridae. The skull of this dinosaur was found to be quite deep and its snout was short.

Some isolated teeth and fragments of a jaw found in the Two Medicine Formation of Montana, USA, were first assigned to another dinosaur genus, but after further research, were found to have similar serrations and form. Thus, they were correctly assigned to the Atrociraptor.

This raptor, like many dromaeosaurids, is suspected to have been covered with feathers, despite the fact that it was not able to fly.

This has led some to believe that these dinosaurs are related to pterosaurs, or maybe even birds. Keep reading to find out more mind-blowing facts about this bird-like dinosaur!

If you want to know more about other cool dinosaurs, check out our Austroraptor fun facts for kids and Ostafrikasaurus interesting facts for kids pages.

Atrociraptor Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Atrociraptor'?

Atrociraptor, meaning "savage robber", is phonetically pronounced as "Ah-tross-e-rap-tor".

What type of dinosaur was an Atrociraptor?

Though this dinosaur had feathers, it was not a pterosaur and it could not fly. Rather, it was a kind of dromaeosaurid.

Dinosaurs belonging to the family Dromaeosauridae are theropods that are characterized by their large skull, serrated teeth, and a body covered with feathers. Most of them had short forelimbs that had claws at the end with a large claw on their second toes.

They are also sometimes referred to as raptors, because of the Velicoraptor, which is quite well-known in pop culture.

In which geological period did the Atrociraptor roam the earth?

Atrociraptor marshalli was discovered in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in the layers that suggested that this dinosaur lived during the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous. They would have been alive 70.6-66 million years ago.

When did the Atrociraptor become extinct?

Since this dinosaur existed during the Late Cretaceous, its population would have gone extinct due to the impact of an extremely large comet or asteroid on the surface of the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period.

It is estimated that more than 75% of all plant and animal species went extinct because of this impact, which is now referred to as the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

Where did an Atrociraptor live?

This raptor would have lived in, what is now known as, Alberta, Canada, though its remains such as some isolated teeth and fragments of a jaw have also been found in the U.S. state of Montana.

What was an Atrociraptor's habitat?

Atrociraptor marshalli would have lived in a terrestrial environment that would have been full of floodplains or swamps.

Who did an Atrociraptor live with?

Although this dinosaur is suspected to have lived independently, the fossils of some of the other dromaeosaurids such as Deinonychus, have been found in groups. An Atrociraptor marshalli would have coexisted with other dinosaurs such as the theropods Albertosaurus and Ornithomimus, which were also found in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in Canada, and lived during the Late Cretaceous.

How long did an Atrociraptor live?

The exact lifespan of this dinosaur is not known but is suspected to be on the shorter side, given its small size and active lifestyle.

How did they reproduce?

These prehistoric animals were oviparous, that is, their young ones emerged out of the eggs that their parents laid.

Atrociraptor Fun Facts

What did an Atrociraptor look like?

Atrociraptor marshalli would have been a small dinosaur with a deep skull and a short snout. Its isodont teeth were found to be serrated, which would have facilitated easier slicing and biting into prey.

The teeth were also larger and inclined more towards the throat than most other dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. Its body is thought to have been covered in feathers, something that might suggest that modern-day birds and raptors are related. Its forelimbs were short, probably ending in small claws, and its hind legs were longer with larger claws.

The Atrociraptor had a short snout with large teeth that inclined towards its throat.

How many bones did an Atrociraptor have?

The exact number of bones found in the body of this raptor is not known as only a few of its fossil remains have been recovered to date.

How did they communicate?

These raptors could have communicated using vocalizations or body language, though this cannot be known for sure.

How big was an Atrociraptor?

From its fossil remains, its size was estimated to be 6.6 ft (2 m), which would make it almost three times smaller than a Utahraptor.

How fast could an Atrociraptor move?

The speed of an Atrociraptor marshalli has not been quantified yet, but a Velociraptor has been known to run at speeds of 40 mph (60 kph). Raptors are, in general, assumed to have been very active and fast animals.

How much did an Atrociraptor weigh?

The average weight of an Atrociraptor has been suggested to be around 33 lb (15 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no special names for males and females of this species or genus.

What would you call a baby Atrociraptor?

A baby Atrociraptor marshalli would have been referred to as a hatchling after it had hatched out of its egg.

What did they eat?

The diet of this raptor, like all other members of Dromaeosauridae, was carnivorous. It would probably have fed on other smaller dinosaurs. This fact was confirmed by the denticles on its teeth, which would have made it easier for them to slice into the hard skin of some smaller or even larger animals.

How aggressive were they?

It is not known whether these dinosaurs were aggressive, but given their carnivorous diet and large, sharp teeth, they would probably have attacked any creature that invaded their territory.

Did you know...

Though not many fossils have been found of Atrociraptor marshalli, there is a high possibility that it would have had sickle-shaped claw-like other dinosaurs of its kind. This claw could have been used for multiple purposes, such as climbing or stabbing its prey.

What does the name 'Atrociraptor' mean?

The name Atrociraptor was given by Philip J. Currie and David Varricchio to this dinosaur in 2004, and is derived from the Latin words meaning "savage robber". The species name, Atrociraptor marshalli, was given to honor Wayne Marshall, the person who originally discovered the remains including its skull and other fragments, in 1995.

How was the Atrociraptor discovered?

The remains of the Atrociraptor, meaning "savage robber", were discovered by Wayne Marshall in 1995 in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation. This Formation is situated quite close to the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alberta in Canada.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Heterodontosaurus facts and Zuniceratops facts for kids.

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

Image one by Michael B. H.

Image two by Emily Willoughby.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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