Science & Tech
Near-complete fossil found in Alberta reveals that North American and Asian raptors had distinct family trees.
The discovery of a nearly complete fossil of a small, feathered dinosaur in an Alberta provincial park sheds new light on how “raptor” dinosaurs evolved around the world, according to new research by University of Alberta paleontologists.
The 76-million-year-old species, known as Saurornitholestes langstoni, was long thought to be so closely related to Velociraptor from Mongolia that some researchers called it Velociraptor langstoni.
The new research, by world-renowned paleontologists Philip Currie and Clive Coy from the U of A and David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum, illustrates how Saurornitholestes differs from Velociraptor. It also shows that Saurornitholestes had a specialized tooth for preening feathers and provides new evidence that the raptor lineage from North America that includes Saurornitholestes is distinct fro...