Utahraptor – The Scariest of all the Dinosaurs?

With its twenty centimetre long second toe claw, Utahraptor may have been one of the scariest dinosaurs to have evolved.  Highly cursorial and speedy with it, Utahraptor (U. ostrommaysorum or U. spielbergi) was around six metres in length and probably a pack hunter.  Utahraptor is the largest “raptor” described to date and one that dates from the Barremian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous.  The name means “Hunter from Utah” as this is where the fossils were found (Utah, western United States).

An Illustration of Utahraptor

Speedy, dinosaur hunters

Speedy, dinosaur hunters.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Palaeontologist Jim Kirkland, one of the scientists responsible for the discovery of this theropod dinosaur found the first fossils of this ancient creature having had a tip from a customer in a pancake shop as to where to look.

Scientists hope to find more fossils of this enigmatic member of the Theropoda.  As more fossils are found, then palaeontologists can learn more about this dinosaur’s anatomy and perhaps, if trackways are discovered, with several animals moving in the same direction at once, this could imply pack behaviour.

To view the extensive range of theropod dinosaur models available at Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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