Alvies: So cute and fluffy you just might die

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Alvarezsaurid to scale. Concept by Chris Masna and RJ Palmer Alvarezsaurs are a group of small feathered dinosaurs that are remarkable for their very small (but powerful) arms and a single functional digit bearing a large claw. Not much is known about what alvarezsaurs were doing with their arms, but they seem well designed for digging, which adds to the mystery as they were too short to be used to dig burrows. One hypothesis is that they exploited wood-nesting termites, using their claws to tear into rotting logs. While the Hell Creek alvarezsaur has yet to be named, enough bits and pieces have been found that we know it was a close relative of Albertonykus, which lived about 5 million years earlier.

This little alvie is just one of numerous small animals we intend to bring to life as we develop Saurian. One of the challenges for us is that even though there is a huge amount of information on the flora and fauna of Hell Creek, the nature of fossil preservation means that small animals are only preserved in certain conditions. We have many examples of large animals like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops but only in the last couple years have enough remains of smaller animals like Acheroraptor and Anzu been discovered to warrant naming them. The reality is, for every giant Tyrannosaurus stalking the forests of Hell Creek, there were hundreds of small dinosaurs, crocodilians, turtles, mammals and lizards flying, swimming, crawling and scurrying around the ecosystem, and its this diversity of small creatures that we're excited to continue bringing to life!.

P.S. We have a Tumblr account now, come check it out!

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Habrosaurus design sheet by Chris Masna. Alvarezsaurid design sheet by Chris Masna.