Utahraptor – Early Dromaeosaurs were Bigger?

The city of Moab, in eastern Utah (United States) straddles highway 191 and is a popular destination for hikers and bikers and outdoors folk, visiting the area to enjoy the spectacular walks and scenery.  However, if you had been around this particular part of the western United States approximately 120 million years ago, it would have been safer to not wander around on your own.

This was the home range of one of the earliest Dromaeosaurs (swift lizards), also one of the largest known in the fossil record – Utahraptor ostrummaysorum.

Discovered, during excavations at the Dalton Wells quarry in 1991, Utahraptor was named after the famous palaeontologist and professor of geology John Ostrom, who did much to establish the theory that many dinosaurs were warm-blooded and highly active animals.

An Scale Illustration of Utahraptor

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

With an estimated length of 6-7 metres and with its head at over 2.5 metres in the air, this large predator would have been a formidable hunter, especially if they hunted in packs.  The sickle-shaped claw on the second toe (pes II) measured an estimated 38cm long.

To view a Utahraptor soft toy: Dinosaur Stuffed Animals

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