Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 130 Ma
Turner et al., 2007
Turner et al., 2007
The type species of Shanag is S. ashile. It was named and described by Alan Turner, Sunny Hai-Ching Hwang and Mark Norell in 2007. The generic name refers to the black-hatted dancers in the Buddhist Cham dance. The specific name refers to the Ashile Formation, the old name for the layers where Shanag was found, used by Henry Fairfield Osborn.
The holotype of Shanag, IGM 100/1119, was discovered in the Öösh Formation, the stratification of which is uncertain but probably dating to the Berriasian-Barremian. Shanag bears a strong resemblance to basal Chinese dromaeosaurids such as Microraptor and Sinornithosaurus, suggesting a close similarity between the fauna of the Öösh deposits, dated tentatively to 130 million years ago, and the Jehol Biota of China (such as the animals found in the roughly contemporary Yixian Formation), during the Early Cretaceous. The holotype specimen, about six centimetres long, is composed of an associated uncompressed upper and lower jaw fragment, containing a nearly complete right maxilla with teeth, a partial right dentary with teeth and an attached partial splenial.
Shanag was a small predator. In 2010 Gregory S. Paul estimated its length at 1.5 metres, the weight at five kilogrammes. Shanag shows a mixture of dromaeosaurid, troodontid and basal avialan traits.
Turner et alii assigned Shanag to the Dromaeosauridae. Their cladistic analysis indicated that it was a basal dromaeosaurid but higher in the tree than the Unenlagiinae. Later analyses recovered it in the Microraptorinae.
- Turner, A.S.; Hwang, S.H.; Norell, M.A. (2007). "A small derived theropod from Öösh, Early Cretaceous, Baykhangor Mongolia" (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 3557 (1): 1–27. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2007)3557[1:ASDTFS]2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 133
- Longrich, N.R.; Currie, P.J. (2009). "A microraptorine (Dinosauria–Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of North America". PNAS. 106 (13): 5002–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.0811664106. PMC . PMID 19289829.