Pronounced KY-roh-stin-OH-teez

Chirostenotes lived about 80 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period. The first fossils of Chirostenotes, a pair of hands, were in 1914 found by George Fryer Sternberg near Little Sandhill Creek in the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Canada.

 Lawrence Morris Lambe studied the find but died before naming the species. Charles Whitney Gilmore adopted the name he found in Lambe’s notes in 1924 and named them and named the type species Chirostenotes pergracilis. The generic name is derived from Greek cheir, “hand”, and stenotes, “narrowness”. The specific name means “throughout”, per~, “gracile”, gracilis, in Latin.

Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom – Animalia
  • Phylum – Chordata
  • Class – Sauropsida
  • Superorder – Dinosauria
  • Order – Saurischia
  • Suborder – Theropoda
  • (unranked) – Coelurosauria
  • Parvorder – Oviraptorosauria
  • Family – Caenagnathidae
  • Subfamily – Caenagnathinae
  • Genus – Chirostenotes

A set of toothless jaws, like a beak, were then connected to the find followed in 1932 by the feet. At first, they thought this new dinosaur was a bird.

In 1936, its lower jaws were found by Raymond Sternberg near Steveville and in 1940 he gave them the name Caenagnathus collinsi. In 1960 Alexander Wetmore concluded that Caenagnathus was not a bird but an ornithomimid. In 1969 Edwin Colbert and Dale Russell suggested that Chirostenotes and Macrophalangia were one and the same animal.

In 1976 Halszka Osmólska described Caenagnathus as an oviraptosaurian. In 1981 the announcement of Elmisaurus, an Asian form of which both hand and feet had been preserved, showed the soundness of Colbert and Russell’s conjecture. In 1988, a specimen from storage since 1923 was discovered and studied by Philip J. Currie and Dale Russell. This fossil helped link the other discoveries into a single dinosaur. Since the first name applied to any of these remains was Chirostenotes, this was the only name that was recognized as valid.


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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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