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New species of raptor discovered in New Mexico

The Dineobellator raptor’s name means ‘Navajo Warrior’

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A Velociraptor skull sits on top of a Utah raptor at the Utah state Capitol on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.

A Velociraptor skull sits on top of a Utah raptor at the Utah state Capitol on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

About 67 million years ago, in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, a previously undiscovered dinosaur used to roam.

The Dineobellator raptor was incredibly agile — like a cheetah — with a long tail that acted like a rudder to help it move accurately and strong sharp claws, earning it its name, which means “Navajo warrior,” Gizmodo reports.

The two-legged carnivore stood at just three feet tall at its highest point, but was seven feet long, had four-inch long claws and weighted up to 50 pounds, Yahoo! News reports. In comparison, the Utahraptor, famous for its “work” in Jurassic Park, could grow to nearly 20 feet and weigh nearly 2,000 pounds — and was famous for its 15-inch claws, according to USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum.

Despite being small, the feather-covered Dineobellator was definitely fierce, as it likely had bigger and stronger muscles than many dinosaurs of its size, giving it an incredibly strong grip with both its hands and feet, the Guardian reports.

The dinosaur was originally discovered by Robert Sullivan, of the New Mexico Museum of Natural Science & History, and Steven Jasinski of the State Museum of Pennsylvania, in 2008, the New York Times reports, but after more than a decade of digging and researching they have confirmed that the Dineobellator is indeed a brand new species.

The newly discovered raptor was likely one of the last species of its kind before all dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, CNN reports.