Giant, bird-like Raptor – Hagryphus giganteus

Scientists from the University of Utah and the Utah Museum of Natural History have discovered the remains of a new bird-like, meat-eating dinosaur in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah.

The new dinosaur was formally named Hagryphus giganteus, which means “giant four-footed, bird-like god of the western desert” in reference to the animal’s outward resemblance to a large land bird, its giant stature, and its discovery in the Utah desert.

hagryphus_handOnly the hands and feet of Hagryphus were found, but the scientists were able to use the animal’s close relatives in Asia to estimate it to be around 7 feet tall! It is a member of the oviraptorosaurs, a group of bird-like feathered dinosaurs with toothless beaks, powerful arms and formidable claws. They are thought by some paleontologists to have been omnivorous, feeding on a mixture of meat and plants.

The scientific paper naming and describing this critter was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, A new Oviraptorosaur (Theropoda, Maniraptora) from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) of Utah (abstract only).

CNN also has a video interview with the paleontologists available online.

Hagryphus giganteus

(Illustration by Michael W. Skrepnick)

DID YOU KNOW: Oviraptorosaur means “egg-thief,” because their remains were discovered in close association with nests of dinosaur eggs, and it was thought that the raptors were eating the eggs. In more recent years, however, eggs have been found with remains of baby oviraptors inside. The adult oviraptors turn out to have been sitting on the nests, brooding the eggs just as birds do today. Thus, it appears that the adult oviraptors were protecting their future babies rather than devouring them! Nevertheless, the name has stuck.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Coelurosauria
Maniraptora
Oviraptoriformes
Oviraptorosauria

2 thoughts on “Giant, bird-like Raptor – Hagryphus giganteus

  1. Pingback: NewCritters.com » Arnold Schwarzenegger of duck-billed dinos - Gryposaurus monumentensis

  2. Emily

    this bird and discovery is so wierd! i can’t get over how it looks so much like a bird, yet it is a dino!!! i do think the nickname should be different. it should be more of a peacock then a turkey because of the tail and the colors.

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