Dinosaur Profile: Eoraptor

I recently posted an article about a Nodosaur skeleton discovered a few years ago and placed on display in Canada. Since I love writing about dinosaurs, I decided to make this a semi-regular series of posts about various dinosaurs. Since I love lesser known things, I decided to start with Eoraptor, which you can see above.

Probably the first thing you should know about Eoraptor is that they aren’t actually raptors in the sense the velociraptors are.  The raptor family of dinosaurs is defined by the extended flexible claw on the toe of their foot.  As you can see from the above drawing, Eoraptor lacks the obvious claw on its foot.  This pushes it into it’s own classification family.

According to evolutionary chronology, the Eoraptor lived in the late Triassic period over 230 million years ago. Supposedly it was either a carnivore or an omnivore, preying on small reptiles and amphibians and eating the early plant life. However, it supposedly was unable to compete with more advanced

Evolutionists view Eoraptor as  massively important piece in the evolutionary puzzle.  According to the dinosaurfacts.net website,”The discovery of the Eoraptor was monumental in understanding the origin of dinosaurs.” However, according to the Creation worldview, Eoraptor had a different purpose. The teeth of Eoraptor are very interesting.  The mouth contained  a combination of sharp teeth and flatter, grinding teeth. The interesting thing about this combination is that the sharp cutting teeth are located at the rear of the mouth.  That brings a key question to the fore. If Eoraptor was an omnivore or carnivore as some sources claim, why are there so few serrated teeth and why are they at the back of the mouth? That would seem to be the opposite arrangement that is optimal for a carnivore.  Suppose then that Eoraptor was designed as a herbivore. The tooth arrangement would make much more sense then. Eoraptor would have grazed on plants in the Garden of Eden, and occasionally used the serrated rear teeth to slice open a juicy pomegranate or something similar.

The fingers also do not fit a carnivorous lifestyle.  The middle three fingers have claws, but the outside two, do not.  For a carnivore, having five fingers with claws is a huge advantage as it is easier to hold struggling prey and rip chunks from their victims for easier chewing. However, three claws makes perfect sense for an animal God designed as a herbivore and fruit eater. Claws are not needed to pluck grass, but are very useful for ripping open hard fruits such as coconuts and pineapples. Based on the arrangement of the claws, it is likely they functioned in a similar manner to human hand.  They could be used to cup handfuls of grass and leaves to the mouth, push aside unwanted brush, or even rip branches off small shrubs for easier ingestion.  At it’s full height of approximately 3 feet 4 inches, Eoraptor would have enjoyed low hanging fruits as a supplement to it’s natural herb and grass diet.

The skeletal structure of Eoraptor suggests that it was a quick runner. Running on two legs like many of the true raptors, it could have easily distanced many of it’s larger, slower moving predators post-fall. It’s leg bones are hollow to reduce weight and increase speed.  The estimate weight of 20-25 pounds, would have made Eoraptor a lightening quick reptile, able to swiftly dodge its way through the underbrush.  If, as is speculated, it lived in wetland regions, it’s small size and light weight, would have made it agile and capable of crossing to areas larger dinosaurs just could not reach.

One thing to point out is that there is some debate over whether Eoraptor even exists as a separate genus. Due to the relatively large for it’s size eye-sockets and the fact that some skeletons have only partially fused skull bones, some scientists speculate that the fossils found are all juveniles.  Some have even gone a step further, suggesting that Eoraptor is nothing more than a juvenile Daemonosaurus even though the evolutionary timeline is close to 30 million years off. Of course, for the Creationist, the timeline would be even so this would certainly be a possibility.  Other evolutionists counter that the spine of Eoraptor varies too significantly from other species to be a juvenile, but instead merits it’s own genus.  Either way, it is a very interesting dinosaur and one that certainly is a bigger problem for the evolutionist than it is for the Creationist.




P.S. If you have a favorite dinosaur you want me to profile, say so in the comments on facebook and I’ll certainly consider it.


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