Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 128Ma
|Superfamily:||Allosauroidea or Tyrannosauroidea|
|Family:||Neovenatoridae or Megaraptoridae|
Azuma & Currie, 2000
Fukuiraptor ("thief of Fukui") was a medium-sized carnivore of the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) that lived in what is now Japan. Scientists first thought it was a member of the Dromaeosauridae, but after studying the fossils they then believed it was related to Allosaurus (which is classed in a different family) in the family Neovenatoridae. However, more recently, another analysis has proposed that all megaraptorans are actually tyrannosauroids, which would reclassify Fukuiraptor as a tyrannosauroid coelurosaur.
The type specimen is the skeleton of an individual about 4.2 metres long. It is thought that this specimen was not mature and an adult may have been larger. However, the other individuals recovered from the same locality are all juveniles that were smaller than the holotype (Currie & Azuma, 2006), in the smallest case less than a quarter of the holotype's size.
This specimen caused some confusion upon its initial discovery because its hand claw was mistaken for the killer claw on the foot of a dromaeosaur. It is now considered to be a basal member of the clade Allosauroidea, and possibly similar or identical to the Australian "Allosaurus" species.
- Benson, R.B.J.; Carrano, M.T; Brusatte, S.L. (2010). "A new clade of archaic large-bodied predatory dinosaurs (Theropoda: Allosauroidea) that survived to the latest Mesozoic". Naturwissenschaften 97 (1): 71–78. Bibcode:2010NW.....97...71B. doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x. PMID 19826771.
- F. E. Novas, F. L. Agnolín, M. D. Ezcurra, J. I. Canale, J. D. Porfiri (2012). "Megaraptorans as members of an unexpected evolutionary radiation of tyrant-reptiles in Gondwana". Ameghiniana 49 (Suppl.): R33.
- Currie, P.J.; Azuma, Y. (2006). "New specimens, including a growth series, of Fukuiraptor (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous Kitadani Quarry of Japan". J. Paleont. Soc. Korea 22 (1): 173–193.
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