Vayuraptor (/"veh-loo-rahp-tor"/; "wind thief") is a genus of basal coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur that lived in the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) period, about 130 million years ago. Its fossils were discovered in the Sao Khua Formation of Thailand. The genus contains a single species, V. nongbualamphuensis, known from a partial skeleton.

Description and Classification

Vayuraptor was a small to medium-sized theropod, estimated to have been around 4–4.5 meters (13–15 ft) long. It had a long neck, a small head, and a slender body. Its forelimbs were short and its hindlimbs were long and powerful. Vayuraptor had a long tail that helped it balance when running.

Vayuraptor is a member of the Megaraptora, a group of theropods that were characterized by their large claws and long arms. However, Vayuraptor's claws were not as large as those of other megaraptorans. This suggests that it may have been a more specialized hunter than other members of its group.

Paleoenvironment and Diet

Vayuraptor lived in a warm, humid environment. It shared its habitat with other dinosaurs, including sauropods, ornithopods, and ankylosaurids. Vayuraptor was likely a carnivore and its diet may have included small dinosaurs, mammals, and lizards.

Significance and Ongoing Research

Vayuraptor is an important dinosaur because it provides new information about the evolution of megaraptorans. It also helps us to understand the diversity of dinosaurs that lived in the Early Cretaceous period.

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