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A New Species

Part of the Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries exhibition.


Bambiraptor feinbergi

Discovery of new dinosaurs can happen almost anywhere and any time. A 14-year-old boy found dinosaur bones buried on his family's ranch in Montana. Although no one realized it at the time, the fossil was unlike any other dinosaur and proved to be a new species. This dinosaur, named Bambiraptor, looked similar to a modern bird and was a fierce hunter that may have preyed on small mammals and reptiles.

Bird Brain

Around 90 percent of Bambiraptor's bones were recovered, making this one of the most complete specimens ever found in North America. With so much of the skeleton to study, researchers have been able to learn some surprising details about this fossil. Based on analysis of the skull, for example, scientists think that this species had a brain nearly as large as the brains of some modern birds.

Fast Facts: Bambiraptor

  • Species: Bambiraptor feinbergi
  • Pronunciation: "BAM-be-rap-tor fine-BERG-eye"
  • LENGTH: 0.7 meter (30 inches)
  • HEIGHT: 0.3 meters (12 inches)
  • WEIGHT: 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds)
  • Food: small mammals and reptiles
  • When it lived: 75 million years ago
  • Fun fact: The large claw on Bambiraptor's second toe was probably used for killing prey, suggesting the animal was a fierce hunter.