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Eoraptor is a genus of small, lightly built, basal sauropodomorph. One of the earliest-known dinosaurs, it lived approximately 231 to 228 million years ago, during the Late Triassic in Western Gondwana, in the region that is now northwestern Argentina. The type and only species, Eoraptor lunensis, was first described in 1993, and is known from an almost complete and well-preserved skeleton and several fragmentary ones. Eoraptor had multiple tooth shapes, which suggests that it was omnivorous.

Eoraptor is one of the earliest dinosaurs ever discovered. That means that this small dinosaur was one of the first to ever walk on Earth, and its success as a hunter helped determine what other dinosaurs would look like. Although it was small, it was a fierce predator. Its speed and intelligence are some of the reasons that dinosaurs replaced other animals as the dominant land creatures.

Discovered in 1993 in the Ischigualasto Basin in northwestern Argentina, the small skull was found in a single rock. Unlike most dinosaur discoveries, and to the delight of the team that found this important creature (Paul Sereno, Fernando Novas, and their team), an almost complete skeleton was found. This single creature has greatly increased scientists' knowledge of how dinosaurs developed and evolved. There are so few dinosaurs known from this time period that finding a complete skeleton of such an early member of the dinosaur family is a big help in expanding our knowledge of the early dinosaurs.

Eoraptor had the characteristics of later dinosaurs - serrated teeth, grasping hands (although there is some speculation that it occasionally walked using all four limbs), light hollow bones and a strong, light skull. Although it lived at the same time as the larger Herrerasaurus (which may have eaten Eoraptor), it has some significant differences. Some of its teeth were shaped differently and the bones in its hands were more primitive. Later dinosaurs tended to lose fingers, and by the time T. rex came onto the scene, it had only two fingers. Eoraptor had five. Even Herrerasaurus, which had five fingers, had a less useful fifth finger.[1]

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Eoraptor

Jurassic Park Franchise

Eoraptor never appears in the novels or films. However it does make a possible appearance in the comics. Eoraptor is also featured in the Jurassic Park Institute now available to browse on Dinopedia.


Video Games

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Eoraptor can be created from paleo-DNA in Jurassic Park III: Park Builder. It is listed at no. 001 (at the very beginning of the creature list) of the Carnivore Ones.



Eoraptor from Topps comics. (Image courtesy of Jurassic Park Legacy)

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  1. Jurassic Park Institute, Dinopedia, Eoraptor.