More than eight feet long and brandishing “can-opener” claws, the creature now known as murusraptor barrosaensis was not something to trifle with.
University of Alberta professor Philip Currie and his team freed the bones from a cliff in Argentina more than a decade ago.
Now a paper published this month shows the specimen may very well be a new species of megaraptorid, which is essentially a giant raptor.
According to a release about the discovery, the specimen is a cousin of a trio of theropods: megaraptor, orkoraptor and aerosteon — medium-sized dinosaurs that have “large claws and air-filled birdlike bones.”
“This is a super-cool specimen from a very enigmatic family of big dinosaurs,” said Currie. “Because we have most of the skeleton in a single entity, it really helps consolidate their relationships to other animals.”
The raptors lived about 80 million years ago in the Cretaceous period.