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Dromaeosaurus - Wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[Photo] Dromaeosaurus, pencil drawing. Author: Arthur Weasley

Dromaeosaurus (drom-ee-oh-SAWR-us) is a wolf-sized theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous (Upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada. The name means 'running lizard' and is derived from the Greek dromeus (δρομευ??) meaning 'runner' and sauros (σαυρο??) meaning 'lizard'. Dromaeosaurus is known from a partial skull and (foot fragments, ribs) from Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta. Several other bones, and dozens of isolated teeth, are also known from Dromaeosaurus.

Dromaeosaurus differs from most other Dromaeosauridae in having a short, massive skull, a deep mandible, and robust teeth. In these respects Dromaeosaurus resembled the tyrannosaurs. Although only a few bones are known from the hindlimb, they indicate that Dromaeosaurus was a powerfully built animal. Exactly how Dromaeosaurus lived and what it ate are still open to speculation. The teeth tend to be more heavily worn than those of its relative Saurornitholestes, suggesting that its jaws were used for crushing and tearing rather than simply slicing through flesh. It is possible that Dromaeosaurus was more of a scavenger than other small theropods, or it may be that Dromaeosaurus relied more heavily on its jaws to dispatch its prey. It was probably better suited to tackling large prey than the more lightly built Saurornitholestes.

The relationships of Dromaeosaurus are unclear. Although its rugged build gives it a primitive appearance, it was actually a very specialized animal. It is usually given its own subfamily, the Dromaeosaurinae; this group is thought to include Utahraptor, Achillobator, Adasaurus and perhaps Deinonychus. However, the relationships of dromaeosaurs are still in a state of flux. "Dromaeosaurus Morphotype A" is the designation given to a series of unusual, ridged dromaeosaur teeth from Alberta. These teeth probably do not belong to Dromaeosaurus, although it is unclear from what animal they do come.

The type species is D. albertensis. The other species, lacking in material, may well be synonymous with it.

In popular culture
Dromaeosaurus are featured in Walking with Dinosaurs, stalking Torosaurus and stealing eggs from Tyrannosaurus. Dromaeosaurus are also featured hunting for Zuniceratops in When Dinosaurs Roamed America
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