For those of you who have followed my Mongolia Monday posts, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been secretive about one of the specimens I’ve been preparing. Today, I finally get to reveal the identity of that specimen. Check out the short video below to get started.
The 3D model below highlights some of the cool features about the skull and gives you an idea of what it can tell us about this dinosaur.
Now, Conchoraptor is by no means a new species. In fact, it was the second oviraptorid ever named, way back in 1976. However, it has always been a bit of a mystery because we didn’t know much about oviraptorids at that point, and the description was fairly basic. I redescribed the holotype last year, but the skull is missing some of the critical features that help us distinguish oviraptorids. Two other skulls have been published on, but each of these were focused on the endocast or internal spaces, rather than the bones themselves.
The other bonus about this specimen is that we have a complete postcranium to go with it. This will help us learn the rest of the skeleton of Conchoraptor, because it has never been officially described in the literature. That part is still awaiting preparation, though, so we both have to wait to learn more!