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Paleontological Contributions-Mechanical dinosaur

Life restoration by Emily Willoughby of Dakotaraptor steini running with the sparrow-sized birds, Cimolopteryx petra
while the mammal, Purgatorius, can be seen in the foreground.


Paleontological Contributions

THE FIRST GIANT RAPTOR (THEROPODA: DROMAEOSAURIDAE)
FROM THE HELL CREEK FORMATION
Robert A. DePalma1,2
, David A. Burnham2,
*, Larry D. Martin2,†
,
Peter L. Larson3
and Robert T. Bakker4
1
Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, The Palm Beach Museum of Natural History, Fort Lauderdale, Florida;
2
 University of Kansas Bio-
diversity Institute, Lawrence, Kansas;
3
Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Hill City, South Dakota;
4
Houston Museum of Nature and
Science, Houston, Texas; e-mail:    
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ABSTRACT
Most dromaeosaurids were small- to medium-sized cursorial, scansorial, and arboreal, sometimes volant predators, but a
comparatively small percentage grew to gigantic proportions. Only two such giant “raptors” have been described from North
America. Here, we describe a new giant dromaeosaurid, Dakotaraptor steini gen. et sp. nov., from the Hell Creek Formation
of South Dakota. The discovery represents the frst giant dromaeosaur from the Hell Creek Formation, and the most recent
in the fossil record worldwide. A row of prominent ulnar papilli or “quill knobs” on the ulna is our frst clear evidence for
feather quills on a large dromaeosaurid forearm and impacts evolutionary reconstructions and functional morphology of such
derived, typically fight-related features. The presence of this new predator expands our record of theropod diversity in latest
Cretaceous Laramidia, and radically changes paleoecological reconstructions of the Hell Creek Formation.
Keywords: Maastrichtian, maniraptoran, Laramidia, fightless, ulnar papillae, paleoecology

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