Kuru kulla

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Kuru kulla
Temporal range: Maastrichtian, 72–71 Ma
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Family: Dromaeosauridae
Clade: Eudromaeosauria
Subfamily: Velociraptorinae
Genus: Kuru
Napoli et al., 2021
K. kulla
Binomial name
Kuru kulla
Napoli et al., 2021

Kuru (after Kurukullā, a Tibetan Buddhist deity) is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod from the Late Cretaceous Barun Goyot Formation of Mongolia. The genus contains a single species, Kuru kulla, known from a fragmentary skeleton including a partial skull.[1]

Discovery and naming[edit]

The holotype of Kuru kulla, IGM 100/981, was discovered by an American-Mongolian expedition at Khulsan in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, on 5 July 1991, only hours before the discovery of Shri devi. The following year, it was reported as a distinct dromaeosaurid taxon at an SVP conference in Toronto. In their paper describing the dromaeosaurid Achillobator, Perle et al. (1999) listed a bibliographic entry titled "Morphology Dromaeosaurian dinosaur-Airakoraptor from the upper cretaceous of Mongolia".[2][3]

However, this bibliographic entry is clearly in error as no such paper existed and is definitely a reference to the SVP 1992 abstract, in which case "Airakoraptor" is a nomen nudum for IGM 100/981. Napoli et al. presumes the name "Airakoraptor" means "Kumis thief", after kumis, also known as airag or airak, a mare- or donkey-milk product made in Central Asia. In 1997 and 1999, the specimen was identified under the correct accession number in the scientific literature.[4][5]

In 2006, its surangular bone was described when Tsaagan was named.[6] Nevertheless, still in 2007 it was confused with the so-called Zos Wash specimen found in 1998, which in fact has the accession number IGM 100/3503.[7] The specimen IGM 100/981 was finally described in 2021 as the new genus and species Kuru kulla by James G. Napoli, Alexander Altieri Ruebenstahl, Bhart-Aanjan Singh Bhullar, Alan Hamilton Turner and Mark Allen Norell.[1]


Phylogenetic analysis places Kuru as the sister taxon of Adasaurus from the slightly later Nemegt Formation. A simplified version of said phylogenetic analysis is shown below:[1]










Mahakala Mahakala.jpg

Unenlagiinae Austroraptor Restoration.png

Shanag Shanag.jpg

Microraptoria Microraptor Restoration (cropped).png



Bambiraptor Bambiraptor feinbergi.jpg


Achillobator Achillobator reconstruction.png

Utahraptor Utahraptor Restoration.png

Dromaeosaurus Dromaeosaurus Restoration.png


Linheraptor Linheraptor skeletal.jpg


Deinonychus Deinonychus ewilloughby.png

Adasaurus Adasaurus Restoration.jpg


Balaur Balaur.png

Shri Shri devi.jpg

Velociraptor Velociraptor Restoration.png

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Napoli, J. G.; Ruebenstahl, A. A.; Bhullar, B.-A. S.; Turner, A. H.; Norell, M. A. (2021). "A New Dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Coelurosauria) from Khulsan, Central Mongolia" (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 2021 (3982): 1–47. doi:10.1206/3982.1. hdl:2246/7286. ISSN 0003-0082.
  2. ^ Norell, Clark and Perle, 1992. New dromaeosaur material from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 12(3), 45A.
  3. ^ Perle, A.; Norell, M.A.; Clark, J.M. (1999). "A new maniraptoran Theropod – Achillobator giganticus (Dromaeosauridae) – from the Upper Cretaceous of Burkhant, Mongolia". Contribution No. 101 of the Mongolian-American Paleontological Project: 1–105.
  4. ^ Norell, M.A., and P.J. Makovicky. 1997. "Important features of the dromaeosaur skeleton: information from a new specimen". American Museum Novitates 3215: 1–28
  5. ^ Norell, M.A., and P.J. Makovicky. 1999. "Important features of the dromaeosaurid skeleton II: information from newly collected specimens of Velociraptor mongoliensis". American Museum Novitates 3282: 1–45
  6. ^ Norell, M.A., Clark, James Matthew; Turner, Alan Hamilton; Makovicky, Peter J.; Barsbold, Rinchin & Rowe, Timothy. 2006. "A new dromaeosaurid theropod from Ukhaa Tolgod (Ömnögov, Mongolia). American Museum Novitates 3545: 1–51
  7. ^ Turner, A.H., P.J. Makovicky, and M.A. Norell. 2007. "Feather quill knobs in the dinosaur Velociraptor. Science 317: 1721