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a meat-eating dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Canada.
Pronunciation: sor-OHR-nith-o-LES-teez
Meaning: Lizard bird thief
Author/s: Sues (1978)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Alberta, Canada
Chart Position: 213

Saurornitholestes langstoni

(Langston's lizard bird thief)Etymology
Saurornitholestes is derived from the Greek "sauros" (lizard), "ornis" (bird) and "lestes" (thief), in reference to Saurornithoididae—a 1974 Barsbold-named group of small theropod dinosaurs to which it was once thought to belong. As it happens, Saurornithoididae turned out to be synonymous with Troodontidae, and Saurornitholestes went on to anchor its own dromaeosaurid sub-family; Saurornitholestinae. The species epithet, langstoni, honors Wann Langston, Jr.—a Texan paleontologist who worked in Alberta during the 1950s.
First discovery
The first remains of Saurornitholestes were found in "RTMP Quarry 140" in the Dinosaur Park Formation (Belly River Group) at Steveville, Alberta, Canada, by Mrs. Irene Vanderloh (of Cessford, Alberta) in 1974. The holotype (RTMP 74.10.5) is a fragmentary skeleton including a hand, some teeth, two vertebrae, ribs, skull fragments and a partial tail.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 71-66 mya
Est. max. length: 1.8 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.6 meters
Est. max. weight: 10 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Saurornitholestes robustus
Robert Sullivan named Saurornitholestes robustus in 2006 based on SMP VP-1955—a badly weathered skull bone (frontal)—from Alamo Wash in the De-na-zin Member of New Mexico's Kirtland Formation that was twice as thick as the corresponding bone of Saurornitholestes langstoni, and referred all "Saurornitholestes" material from the same area to it. In 2014, a team of scientists, including Sullivan himself, revisited said bone and came to the conclusion that it belonged to a troodontid, which means Saurornitholestes robustus isn't actually a species of Saurornitholestes.
Saurornitholestes sullivani
Saurornitholestes sullivani was discovered in 1999 by Robert Sullivan who assigned it to Sauornitholestes langstoni, thus marking the first occurrence of Saurornitholestes in the Late Cretaceous of New Mexico. It is also based on a weathered frontal (SMP VP-1270), is also from the De-na-zin Member, and also wound up in Saurornitholestes robustus which, as mentioned, no longer belongs to Saurornitholestes. An unusually large olfactory bulb implying a powerful sense of smell aside, SMP VP-1270 does sport some key features that make it assignable to Saurornitholestes, but as a separate species—Saurornitholestes sullivani—which Steven Jasinski coined in 2015.
• Sues H-D (1978) "A new small theropod dinosaur from the Judith River Formation (Campanian) of Alberta Canada". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 62, Issue 4, April 1978, Pages 381–400.
• Norell MA and Makovicky PJ (2004) "Dromaeosauridae" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Paul GS (1988) "Predatory Dinosaurs of the World".
• Sullivan RM (2006) "Saurornitholestes robustus, n. sp. (Theropoda:Dromaeosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous Kirtland Formation (De-Na-Zin member), San Juan Basin, New Mexico". Late Cretaceous vertebrates from the Western Interior. New Mexico MNH and Science Bulletin 35.
• Evans DC, Larson DW, Cullen TM and Sullivan RM (2014) "‘Saurornitholestes’ robustus is a troodontid (Dinosauria: Theropoda)". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 2014, 51(7): 730-734.
• Jasinski SE (2015) "A new dromaeosaurid (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of New Mexico". Sullivan and Lucas (eds.), Fossil Record 4. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 67: 79-88.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "SAURORNITHOLESTES :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Jan 2018.