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"*Megaraptor*" is supposedly the first South American dromaeosaur, and
bigger than *Utahraptor*. Of that I have no doubt, but it is its
classification that I doubt.
Firstly, only north Africa and Australia seem to see dromaeosaur
fossils, and even those are doubtful, and could belong to a sister
branch of the "raptors," or to dinosaurs similar to *Noasaurus*.
Secondly, I recall that *Baryonyx* was touted as being a super raptor 20
ft+ long before Utahraptor was discovered, even while the spinosaurid's
skeleton was being unearthed, which in the '90's (I believe) was
something of a shock to myself when I first saw the bones in a
children's book on dinosaurs -- Eyewitness.
This could be the same situation as in *Baryonyx*, so I doubt the South
American super-raptor. The Asian and North American (Asiamericanan)
raptors are known from many fossils, many times articulated, so we know
that they were there; but for the European and far-east Asian, there
isn't enough evidence (teeth) to base anything on, for they aren't
diagnostic. I'm not saying for sure they weren't raptors, but Laurasia
seems to be where all the valid dromaeosaurids have been found, and the
troodontids, so I am having difficulty believing in Gondwanan raptors:
the African, Australian, and South American "raptors" could all be
spinosauroid, and England _was_ a part of North Africa at one point, as
was half of Europe, then drifted north.
To support my thoery, there are supposed "spinosaurid" remains from
South America anyway (*Angaturama,* *Irritator,* and *Asiamericana*) and
it is feasible that a baryonychid may have come from the Argentine rocks
of the Rio Neuquen Formation, a viable grave of dinosaurs. I don't know
what formations those are from, aside from the Santana (*Irritator*), so
"*Megaraptor*" _could_ be one of those, a plausible synonomy that
should, in my opinion, be followed.
But anyway, "*Megaraptor*" having a 37cm (15 inches, without the keratin
sheath, which would make almost 2 feet long) would make a 25ft+ raptor
(given the benefit of the doubt, for I am ever optimistic) or a 30 ft
(maybe) theropod of another type. And then there's *Noasaurus*, a
raptor-like ornitholestoid from Argentina; as I've never seen the claw
in question -- what if?
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