Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 130–125 Ma
|Reconstruction showing the known fossil elements of Y. doellingi|
Senter et al., 2012
Senter et al., 2012
Yurgovuchia is an extinct genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur known from the Early Cretaceous (probably Barremian stage) of Utah. It contains a single species, Yurgovuchia doellingi. According to a phylogenetic analysis performed by its describers, it represents an advanced dromaeosaurine, closely related to Achillobator, Dromaeosaurus and Utahraptor.
Yurgovuchia is known only from a single individual represented by an associated partial postcranial skeleton. The holotype and the only known specimen, UMNH VP 20211, includes some cervical, dorsal, and caudal vertebrae as well as the proximal end of a left pubis. It was collected by Donald D. DeBlieux in 2005, from Don’s Place, part of the Doelling’s Bowl bone bed in Grand County, Utah. This bone bed is in the lower Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, dating probably to the Barremian stage of the Early Cretaceous period, about 130-125 million years ago. Other dinosaurs are also known from Don’s Place including the iguanodontian Iguanacolossus, a polacanthine and a velociraptorine dromaeosaurid represented by the pubis (UMNH VP 21752) and possibly also by a radius (UMNH VP 21751). Many additional theropods have previously been described from the Yellow Cat Member, including the therizinosauroid Falcarius and the small, predatory troodontid Geminiraptor from the lower part of the member, and the large dromaeosaurine Utahraptor, the small coelurosaur Nedcolbertia and an unnamed eudromaeosaur represented by a tail skeleton (UMNH VP 20209) from the upper part of the member.
Yurgovuchia was first described and named by Phil Senter, James I. Kirkland, Donald D. DeBlieux, Scott Madsen and Natalie Toth in 2012 and the type species is Yurgovuchia doellingi. The generic name is derived from the Ute word yurgovuch, meaning coyote, a predator of similar size to Y. doellingi which currently inhabits the same region. The specific name, doellingi, honors the geologist Helmut Doelling, for his 50-plus years of geological research and mapping of Utah for the Utah Geological Survey and for causing the discovery of the Doelling’s Bowl dinosaur sites, in which Y. doellingi was collected.