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Hesperonychus elizabethae.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Imagine a vicious velociraptor like those in "Jurassic 
Park," but only as big as a modern chicken.

  That's what Canadian researchers say they have found, the smallest 
meat-eating dinosaur yet discovered in North America.

  This pint-sized cousin of velociraptor, weighing in at 4-to-5 pounds, 
"probably hunted and ate whatever it could for its size ? insects, mammals, 
amphibians and maybe even baby dinosaurs," according to Nicholas Longrich of 
the University of Calgary.

  The creature lived 75 million years ago in the swamps and forests of southern 
Alberta, Longrich and colleague Philip J. Currie report in Tuesday's edition of 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  There has been plenty of evidence for large and medium-size dinosaurs in 
North America, but not small ones, Longrich said in a telephone interview. Now 
researchers see there was a dinosaur filling that niche also.

  The bones of the small raptor were discovered among fossils that had been 
collected a quarter-century ago and remained in a museum drawer, Longrich 

  Similar small dinos have been uncovered in China in the last few years, and 
studying those helped the researchers identify this North American version.



"Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler....... Welcome to Jurassic Park!"
John Hammond in JP1
Ing. Yasmani Ceballos Izquierdo    <yceballos@uci.cu>