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Life restoration of Nqwebasaurus.

Nqwebasaurus (pronounced: nnkweb-ah-sawr-us. In fact, "nq" is a nasal postalveolar click [ŋǃ]) is the name given to a genus of dinosaur from the Tithonian to Valanginian (Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous). It was a basal coelurosaur related to Ornitholestes. Its fossils were found in South Africa in the Kirkwood Formation, which is called Nqweba in the native language of the Xhosa. It was nicknamed "Kirky" after this formation before receiving its scientific name.[1] Nqwebasaurus is the earliest known coelurosaur from Gondwana.

The type species, Nqwebasaurus thwazi, was described by de Klerk, Forster, Sampson, Chinsamy and Ross in


Fossil range: Early Cretaceous

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
(unranked): Coelurosauria
Genus: Nqwebasaurus
Binomial name
Nqwebasaurus thwazi

de Klerk et al., 2000

2000. According to the authors, the new genus is one of the "most complete and best preserved Cretaceous theropods described thus far from Africa." The well-preserved specimen had a long, three-fingered hand which included a partially opposable thumb (a "killer claw"). The fossil also contained gastroliths in its stomach. The specimen appeared to be a late juvenile about 9 in (22.8 cm) high and around 2.6 (0.7 m) long, making it the eleventh smallest dinosaur, though the length of its tail is not known.