It’s not everyday a new dinosaur species is discovered, and it’s even more exciting when it is named in honour of long-time ROM supporters. Dr. David Evans and a team of scientists have named a small, meat-eating dinosaur (‘raptor’) based on newly unearthed fossils from Montana, USA.
Acheroraptor temertyorum is the youngest known dromaeosaurid, or “raptor” dinosaur, and a close cousin of Velociraptor. Roughly three metres long, it had a long-snouted skull and dagger-like ridged teeth. It lived 67 to 66 million years ago, in a community that included the famous mega-predator Tyrannosaurus rex and the three-horned plant-eater Triceratops. Research describing the new species was published in Naturwissenschaften.
Acheroraptor means “Acheron Plunderer” and is derived from Acheron, the River of Pain in the underworld of ancient Greek mythology, and the Latin word raptor, meaning robber or plunderer, acknowledging the Hell Creek Formation origin of the fossils. The specific name (temertyorum) honours James and Louise Temerty for their outstanding service and contributions to the ROM and their enthusiastic support of its palaeontology projects.
“We are proud to support groundbreaking palaeontology research initiatives at the ROM, which provide fascinating insights into our history and the world we live in,” says James Temerty. The newly discovered original fossils of Acheroraptor are on display in the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs.