Ceratonykus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ceratonykus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Ceratonykus oculatus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Alvarezsauridae
Genus: Ceratonykus
Alifanov & Barsbold, 2009
Species:
C. oculatus
Binomial name
Ceratonykus oculatus
Alifanov & Barsbold, 2009

Ceratonykus (meaning 'horned claw') is a genus of alvarezsaurid theropod dinosaur that existed in the late Cretaceous period. The discovery of a fragmented skeleton in Mongolia in early 2009 has led scientists to question where alvarezsaurids fit taxonomically into Theropoda.

Description

Size of various Alvarezsaurids compared to a human, Ceratonykus in red

Ceratonykus was a long-legged dinosaur that appears to have been adapted for running in the desert. It was very small, with a skull length of 6 centimetres (2.4 in).

Originally thought to be one of the earliest members of flightless birds, alvarezsaurids have recently been regarded as more basal theropods. Skeletal remains suggest that they had tiny but stout forelimbs and compact birdlike hands. The skeletal structure also suggests that this dinosaur possessed significant breast and arm muscles that were likely adapted for tearing and digging. They had elongate jaws with minute teeth and a tubular snout that suggests they could have been adapted to feed on insects such as termites.

References

  • V. R. Alifanov and R. Barsbold. 2009. Ceratonykus oculatus gen. et sp. nov., a new dinosaur (? Theropoda, Alvarezsauria) from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Paleontological Journal 43(1):94-106.

External links

  • "Dinosaur-World.com"
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ceratonykus&oldid=912723235"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratonykus
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Ceratonykus"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA