theropod


the·ro·pod

noun \ˈthir-ə-ˌpäd\

Definition of THEROPOD

:  any of a suborder (Theropoda) of carnivorous bipedal saurischian dinosaurs (as a tyrannosaur or velociraptor) usually having small forelimbs

Origin of THEROPOD

New Latin Theropoda, from Greek thēr wild animal + pod-, pous foot — more at fierce, foot
First Known Use: circa 1891

theropod

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any species of bipedal, carnivorous saurischian in the suborder Theropoda. The chicken-sized Compsognathus,the smallest known adult dinosaur, probably weighed 2–4 lb (1–2 kg); the tyrannosaurs weighed tons. The theropods also included Allosaurus, Deinonychus, Megalosaurus, Oviraptor, and Velociraptor. Theropod remains recovered have been from the Late Triassic through the Late Cretaceous Epoch (227–65 million years ago) from all continents except Antarctica. Their well-developed hind legs provided support and locomotion; their short forelimbs had mobile hands, probably for grasping and tearing prey. Despite the group's name, which means “beast (i.e., mammal) foot,” theropod feet usually resembled those of birds. It is widely believed that all modern birds are descended from one line of small theropods.

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