the small dinosaurs found near DINOSAUR PROVINCIAL PARK in alberta have now been classified as "full-grown" dinosaurs (previously it had been thought they were "baby" dinos) .
while they were small , they probably terrorized the much smaller animals of the day - and made a meal of them .
It had razor sharp claws and its teeth may have been the terror of Alberta 75 million years ago " among animals smaller than a squirrel, that is.
The kitten-sized predator identified by paleontologists at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta is the smallest carnivorous dinosaur ever found in North America. The next smallest meat-eating dinosaur ever found on the continent was about the size of a wolf.
"Until we found this animal, basically we had no evidence for any small carnivores being present in North America," said University of Calgary researcher Nicholas Longrich, in a video released by the university on Monday.
The researchers have given the dinosaur the scientific name Hesperonychus Elizabethae.
Hesperonychus means "western claw" and Elizabethae is a tribute to the late Elizabeth (Betsy) Nicholls, the well-known Alberta paleontologist and former curator at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller who originally unearthed the bones.
Nicholls found the fossilized claws and a well-preserved pelvis in 1982 at the Dinosaur Park Formation, about 20 kilometres east of Dinosaur Provincial Park, or about 140 kilometres east of Calgary. Longrich said he was going through the collections at the University of Alberta when he stumbled across the bones less than two years ago.
The results also show for the first time that tiny velociraptor-like dinosaurs lived not just in China, but also in North America, and that such dinosaurs continued to roam the Earth about 45 million years longer than previous records suggested.
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DINOSAUR PROVINCIAL PARK
one of canada's world heritage sites