Fun Murusraptor Facts For Kids

Ritika Katariya
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritika Katariya
Originally Published on Oct 05, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Discover amazing Murusraptor facts about the dinosaur that is described as the most unique Mega-raptor from Argentina.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The Murusraptor barrosaensis, also known as the "giant thief" is believed to have lived about 87 million years ago during the upper Cretaceous epoch. It belonged to the Megaraptoridae family (giant thieves), an enigmatic group of medium-sized predatory dinosaurs.

Discovered just a few years ago in 2016 in South America, they were infamous for sharp claws and air-filled, birdlike bones. It was actually described as a relatively new species, although skeletal remains from the preserved fossil gave an opposite first impression.

Like many others, the discovery of the complete fossil was not made the first time.

Its most renounced description was given as 'a new species' of Megaraptorid dinosaur. The preserved specimen was pure white in red rock.

Megaraptorids were a large group of carnivorous dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period. As for the sub-classification under the Theropoda order, Megaraptorids have been classified as Allosaurids and Coelurosaurids.

The Murusraptor is certainly closer to the latter and you might be surprised to know that they are more similar to ostriches than crocodiles or house lizards! You might wonder how that's possible for a Therapod that walked on land.

The answer to this mystery lies in the fact that they were 'aerated' and walked on two legs instead of four. According to paleontology science, beautifully preserved bones of the Murusraptor reveal a lot of exciting information about the Theropod which was more closely related to modern-day birds.

Research suggests that they were not as voracious as raptors. These Megaraptorids had hollow bones.

The Murusraptor barrosaensis was quite a curious case.

It had traits of a primitive reptile with the skeletal structure of its head resembling that of a crocodile. Ancestors of crocodiles were much more ancient than the Murusraptor which baffled paleontologists.

Such interesting and varied traits prompted Currie to remark on the importance of considering this dinosaur's relationships with other animals from the present.

The Murusraptor is definitely one of the most unique animals among dinosaurs and most of the credit for the discovery and exploration of this unique animal goes to Prof. Philip Currie from the University of Alberta and his colleague Prof. Rodolfo Anibal Coria.

For more dinosaur articles, read our Heterodontosaurus facts and Incisivosaurus facts for kids.

Murusraptor Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Murusraptor'?

The Murusraptor name has four syllables and is pronounced as 'Mu-rus-rap-tor.'

What type of dinosaur was a Murusraptor?

The Murusraptor belongs to the dinosauria (Theropoda) order which is a class of carnivorous dinosaurs. A member of the Chordata clade, it belongs to a lower classification of the Megaraptorid clan. The Megaraptorid is a group of large meat-eating dinosaurs from Argentina. It is a relatively new Megaraptoran.

In which geological period did the Murusraptor roam the Earth?

The Murusraptor barrosaensis roamed the Earth in the era of the late Cretaceous of Patagonia, about 80 million years ago.

When did the Murusraptor become extinct?

The Theropod that roamed the Earth around 80 million years ago became extinct after the late Cretaceous era.

Where did a Murusraptor live?

Similar to origins of its top classification of Megaraptoran Theropods, these dinosaurs were native to South America. They were specifically located in the present day city of Plaza Huincul, which was in the Patagonian region of Argentina.

What was a Murusraptor's habitat?

The Murusraptor habitat was a popular dinosaur site of the late Cretaceous era. It famously harbored several Theropods like Megaraptorids. The Sierra Barrosa formation in South America, which housed the Murusraptor itself, was a bonanza of animal fossils.

Who did a Murusraptor live with?

Even though the Sierra Barrosa formation was rich in dinosaur fossils, containing a variety of Sauropods and Theropods, these animals were spread across different time periods. Some dinosaurs which lived in the same location as the Murusraptor around the same geological period included the Kaijutitan and the Macrogryphosaurus.

How long did a Murusraptor live?

The 80-million-year-old Megaraptor's exact lifespan is undetermined. They technically still live among us as evolved species of predatory birds who live up to 30 years!

How did they reproduce?

Like all other dinosaurs, they were oviparous. The average clutch size of a Theropod was anywhere between 3-30 eggs and their nests were usually shallow pits in the ground.

Murusraptor Fun Facts

What did a Murusraptor look like?

The original specimen was a partial skeleton. The research paper by Rodolfo Coria suggests that the Megaraptor was a mid-sized Theropod with an elongated face, tiny yet sharp teeth, and sickle-like claws, all of which suggested that the specimen was that of a carnivore.

Deeper research on the parietal specimen revealed that it had a partial skull and sickle-shaped claws that were nearly a foot long! Apart from these features, the Murusraptor skull was proportionally long and low in inclination.

It had small teeth, highly pneumatized bones, and a braincase absolutely intact, which is not common among Megaraptorids!

The rear skull was narrow and the braincase was a curious case. Located in the bottom part of the rear skull, it was the only known braincase material of any Megaraptor to be found.

This is the skull reconstruction from the original holotype.

How many bones did a Murusraptor have?

The total number of bones of a Murusraptor is undetermined; however, the original specimen contained the skull, tail vertebrae, and thigh bones including claws.

How did they communicate?

Like most other dinosaurs, they probably communicated through hissing or bellowing. In fact, none of the species are known to have loud roars as shown in movies.

How big was a Murusraptor?

The Murusraptor barrosaensis size was big enough in its own group. It was about 21 ft (6.4 m) as it is classified as a fairly 'large Megaraptor.'

However, the newest Megaraptor species which was recently discovered in South America has a length of a whopping 33 ft (10.1 m). This species is yet to be named and is almost five times bigger than the Murusraptor.

How fast could a Murusraptor move?

The Theropod from Argentina was a bi-pedal animal. Its estimated speed was around 30 mph (48.3 kph).

How much did a Murusraptor weigh?

The Murusraptor weight was around 620 lb (281 kg) whereas the average Velociraptor weighed just around 100 lb (45.4 kg) thus making it almost six times lighter than the Murusraptor.

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male dinosaurs were called 'buck' and female dinosaurs were called 'cows.' Otherwise, both males and females of the species were known by the same name 'Murusraptor barrosaensis.'

What would you call a baby Murusraptor?

Babies were called 'hatchlings,' just like its cousin, reptiles.

What did they eat?

While there was plenty of plant-based food available during the late Cretaceous period, the Murusraptor diet was based on smaller animals, which is why it is considered a Theropod dinosaur.

How aggressive were they?

The beast from the late Cretaceous of Patagonia was pretty aggressive. Research suggests that it used its sickle shaped claws to slash and kill prey in order to eat it.

Did you know...

The Theropod from South America is closely related to other Theropods like Carcharodontosaurids, Allosaurids, and Metriacanthosaurs.

Rodolfo Coria defines the Murusraptor as a highly specialized group of predators.

Science suggests that the family of Murusaptors has anatomical and genetic relationships to other dinosaurs on other continents as well. Currie and Coria‭ have also suggested that they have immediate links with dinosaurs from North America.

The Murusraptor is by far the most exciting and interesting raptor. It has been compared to a huge variety of Theropods. No other Megaraptor has as many common genetic features and anatomical relationships with other species of dinosaurs.

How did the Murusraptor get its name?

The description for the sub-species of the 'giant thief' was given by Anibal Coria‭ & ‬Philip John Currie‭ in a journal called  PLOS One, in the Cosmos Magazine of Australia.

The authors of the  PLOS One paper gave a description of the Megaraptor as a 'wall thief' as it was discovered in a canyon wall northeast of Plaza Huincal, Argentina.

The two also hold the credit for exploring other Megaraptors.

Were they carnivores? Did they attack other dinosaurs?

The Murusraptor barrosaensis was definitely a carnivore so it knew how to hunt. While prey of this specific species is undetermined, many other animals of its genus were known to predate smaller, herbivorous animals and dinosaurs. They are ancestors of modern-day birds of prey like ostriches and vultures.

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 Homalocephale facts, or Crichtonsaurus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura

Second image by Rodolfo A. Coria, Philip J. Currie

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Written by Ritika Katariya

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritika Katariya picture

Ritika KatariyaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated content writer and language enthusiast, Ritika holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Fergusson College. With a keen interest in linguistics and literary adaptations, she has conducted extensive research in these domains. Beyond her academic pursuits, Ritika actively volunteers at her university, providing academic and on-campus assistance to fellow students.

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