Hesperonychus elizabethae (Julius T. Csotonyi)

Hesperonychus elizabethae (2009)

Digital painting / photographic composite

A group of North America's smallest known carnivorous, non-avian dinosaur, estimated to weigh 1.9 kg, the recently described Hesperonychus elizabethae (Longrich and Currie, 2009) prowls the shores of a shallow Albertan lake in the Campanian Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago) while a much larger theropod, Gorgosaurus libratus, approaches from the opposite shore. This dinosaur is the only known member of the Microraptorinae from anywhere outside China, and also the most recent, by 45 million years.

Longrich, N. R. and Currie, P. J. 2009. A microraptorine (Dinosauria–Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106(13):5002-5007.