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Pyroraptor
Pyroraptor olympius as it appeared in Discovery's Dinosaur Planet
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
clade: Dinosauria
Superorder: Theropoda
Genus: Pyroraptor
Allain & Taquet, 2000
Species: P. olympius
Binomial name
Pyroraptor olympius
Allain & Taquet, 2000

Pyroraptor was a dromaeosaur, a small, bird-like predatory theropod that possessed enlarged curved, slashing claws on the second toe of each foot. Each of these claws were 6.5 centimeters (2.5 inches) long. The first and only identified specimen was found in the south of France, in Provence, and is known only from a few bones, named Pyroraptor olympius by Allain and Taquet in 2000. The name means "Mount Olympus fire thief", because its remains were discovered after a forest fire. The type specimen consists of the distinctive foot claws, as well as fossilized teeth, arm and back bones. It lived during the Late Cretaceous, 70 million years ago.

Jurassic World: The Game Pyroraptor

Discovery and naming

The first remains of Pyroraptor were discovered in southeastern France, at the La Boucharde locality of the Arc Basin in Provence. Finds of dromaeosaurid dinosaur remains are rare in Europe, and typically provide little taxonomic information. The first dromaeosaurid fossils found in France were those of Variraptor, although the bones were previously referred to a new Megalosaurus species.

Pyroraptor was described by French paleontologists Ronan Allain and Philippe Taquet in 2000, the type species is Pyroraptor olympius. The genus name is Greek for "Fire thief", due to its remains being discovered after a forest fire occurred in 1992. The species name is derived from Mont Olympe, a mountain in Provence at the foot of which the animal's remains were unearthed.

The holotype specimen, MNHN BO001, consists of the second toe claw of the left foot. The assigned paratypes include the equivalent claw of the right foot; the left second metatarsal; another, more complete second toe claw; a right ulna (long forearm bone); and two teeth. Additional material from the Vitória Formation and the Tremp Group, both in Spain, was referred to Pyroraptor, including five pedal digits, one manual digit, a piece of a metacarpal, a right radius, a dorsal vertebra, and a tail vertebra.

Description

The Pyroraptor was a smaller sized Dromaeosaurid, around 8 feet in general, around 2.5 meters long. From it small size, we can guess that the Pyroraptor was a voracious speedy predator, and most likely hunted in packs, like the Velociraptor. A distinctive sign of all Dromaeosaurs, the Pyroraptor had a very narrow, and long skull used for snatching up smaller prey, or biting into flesh in a coordinated attack feature. Most sources point to the Pyroraptor having a downy coat of feathers across its bodies. As much as we theorize the strange possible looks of the Dromaeosaurids, we can also assume while our guesses of the Pyroraptor may be different, it may have looked strange by itself during its time during the Late Cretaceous.

The Pyroraptor was smaller than the more fabled Velociraptor, and many sources state that the Pyroraptor however was equally "crafty." It might've had feathers, and most likely did. It probably leaped on the tops of smaller prey, but would've slashed into the sides of larger prey. Its prey might've consisted of the many Iguanodontids that lived in Europe during the Late Cretaceous.

Pyroraptor in Jurassic World Alive

In popular culture

  • Pyroraptor was featured in one episode of the television program Dinosaur Planet in which an individual Pyroraptor named "Pod" is swept onto an island dominated by dwarf members of familiar dinosaur families.
  • Pyroraptor is featured in Jurassic World: The Game as a rare carnivore. While it is accurately portrayed with a coat of feathers, it is shown inaccurately to be able to pronate it's hands.
  • Pyroraptor is also featured in the mobile game, Jurassic World: Alive. While it is accurately portrayed with a coat of feathers, it is shown inaccurately to be able to pronate it's hands. It is an Epic carnivore in the game, and is recipe for the "Pyrritator".

Gallery

Pyroraptor/Gallery

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