a carnivorous alvarezsaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina.
The line between land-dwelling dinosaurs and the flightless branch of our feathered friends is a bit hazy at the best of times and it became no clearer with the discovery of Alvarezsaurus—a small carnivorous dinosaur that José Fernando Bonaparte initially described as a "strange flightless bird" in 1991.
is derived from "Alvarez" (in honor of well reknowned historian Don Gregorio Alvarez) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet
, honors Argentine geologist and paleontologist Jorge Orlando Calvo.
The remains of Alvarezsaurus
were discovered at "Boca del Sapo" in the Bajo de la Carpa Formation (formerly the Bajo de la carpa member) of the Rio Colorado Subgroup (formerly the Rio Colorado Formation) of the Neuquén Group, Neuquén, Argentina.
(MUCPv 54) is a partial skeleton, lacking a skull and forelimbs.
: Late Cretaceous
: 86-84 mya
Est. max. length
: 1.4 meters
Est. max. hip height
: 0.5 meters
Est. max. weight
: 14 Kg
• J.F. Bonaparte (1991) "Los vertebrados fósiles de la Formación Rio Colorado, de la Ciudad de Neuquén y Cercanías, Cretácico Superior, Argentina" (The vertebrate fossils of the Rio Colorado Formation, from the city of Neuquén and surrounding areas, Upper Cretaceous, Argentina).
• L.M. Chiappe, M.A. Norell, J.M. Clark (2002) "The Cretaceous short-armed Alvarezsauridae. Mononykus
and its kin" in "Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs
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