Byronosaurus Norell, Mackovicky & Clark, 2000
Byronosaurus "Byron's lizard" Norell, Makovicky & Clark, 2000
BIE-ruh-no-SAWR-us (Bryon + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Byron Jaffe
"in recognition of his family's support for the Mongolian Academy of Sciences-American Museum
of Natural History Paleontological Expeditions." Byronosaurus is a troodontid theropod
known from a fragmentary skull and postcranial bones (Holotype: IGM 100/983 (Institute of
Geology, Mongolia)), collected in 1993 at Ukhaa Tolgod, Gobi Desert, southern Mongolia;
a second specimen referred to Byronosaurus was found 5 miles away at Bolor's Hill in 1996.
The long slender type skull is the best preserved troodontid skull found to date,
and is estimated to have been around 20 cm (8 in) long when complete. Similar to birds,
Byronosaurus has a chamber in the snout where air enters from the nostrils before passing
through to the mouth, with a connection between the nasal passage and the antorbital fenestra
through the interfenestral bar; a secondary bony palate on the roof of the mouth is formed
"by extensive palatal shelves that meet the vomer on the midline."
The unserrated teeth closely resemble those of Archaeopteryx in form, with a constriction
between the root and the base of the crown. As in other troodontids, numerous relatively small,
tightly packed teeth line the anterior portion of the jaws, followed by larger,
more widely spaced posterior teeth, with the posteriormost teeth along the jaws being tiny.
Byronosaurus was a lightly built, agile predator, probably around 1.5 m (5 ft) long in
Type Species: Byronosaurus jaffei [JAF-ee-ie] Norell, Makovicky & Clark, 2000:
for Byron Jaffe "in recognition of his family's support for the Mongolian Academy of
Sciences-American Museum of Natural History Paleontological Expeditions."
Theropoda Tetanurae Maniraptora Troodontidae Late Cretaceous (Senonian) Mongolia [added 5/2000]
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