The Fukuiraptor was a megaraptoran theropod that lived in present-day Fukui Prefecture, Japan, during the Upper Cretaceous period, about 136-125 million years ago. It is known from the Kitadani Formation. The Fukuiraptor had some unique features; it was one of the smallest megaraptorans and is thought to have had feathers on its arms and legs.

Key facts

Fukuiraptor pronunciationFoo-KWEE-rap-tor
What does Fukuiraptor mean?Fukui thief
Dinosaur typeTheropod
On the menuCarnivorous
Length16 feet (5 meters)
Height4.9 feet (1.5 meters)
Weight660 lbs (300 kg)
Life expectancy30 years
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speed31 mph (50 km/h)
When they livedUpper Creataceous
Where they have been found?Japan

When & Where

Fukuiraptor was discovered in Japan in the early 1990s. It was named after the Japanese city of Fukui, where it was found. The small size and other distinct features of the Fukuiraptor can be attributed to living on an island, which affected its life.

The Fukuiraptor lived during the Upper Cretaceous period, around 100 million years ago. It is known from a single fossil specimen, which consists of a partial skeleton with some soft tissue preserved. This makes Fukuiraptor one of the most complete dinosaur fossils ever found in Japan.

Size & Weight

The Fukuiraptor was a pretty small raptor that measured about 3 feet long and weighed around 10 pounds. It was one of the smallest raptors known to have lived during the Cretaceous period.

Fukuiraptors are considered fast and agile predators that hunted in packs. They probably fed on small dinosaurs and other animals. Despite its small size, the Fukuiraptor was a fearsome predator. It had sharp claws and teeth that it used to kill its prey. These Raptors were some of the most feared predators of the Cretaceous period.

Mobility & Diet

The Fukuiraptor was a fast-running, agile creature that hunted small prey. It had strong legs and feet, which helped it run at high speeds. Its long tail acted as a counterbalance while running, and its sharp claws were used for catching prey.

Like other theropods it was a carnivore that mainly hunted small animals such as lizards and insects. It used its sharp beak to tear flesh from its prey.

Interesting Points

  • The Fukuiraptor was a social creature that lived in groups. These groups were probably used for protection from predators.
  • It is thought to have been a migratory creature, traveling long distances in search of food.
  • The Fukuiraptor had feathers that covered its body. These feathers were used for insulation and helped to stay warm. It also had feathers on its arms and legs, which may have been used for flight at an earlier evolutiuonary stage.

Featured Image Credit: Nobu Tamura, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons