An intelligent speedster in Montana
Deinonychus was a warm-blooded, agile, swift, and intelligent dinosaur that roamed around Montana approximately 115 to 108 million years ago. It most likely had feathers or down and, along with Tyrannosaurus, is one of the dinosaurs believed to have evolved into modern birds. Deinonychus translates to “terrible claw” in reference to the enormous curved claw it had on its big toe. Despite sounding cute, that claw was capable of inflicting deep wounds! Deinonychus bears some resemblance to the well-known Velociraptor, but it was actually larger than the latter.
What’s confusing is that the Velociraptor you may be familiar with from the Jurassic Park films was modeled after Deinonychus because Deinonychus was bigger and therefore appeared more badass to the filmmakers. But instead of calling it Deinonychus, they named it Velociraptor because they thought that name sounded cooler. So don’t be fooled and confused by the movie! Deinonychus most likely hunted in groups and wasn’t hesitant to go after much larger and heavier prey like Tenontosaurus. During the hunt, they may have utilized their feathered arms and tail for balance when launching attacks on the giant.
3 meters long
Approximately 75 kilograms
Early Cretaceous period, 120-110 million years ago
Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Maryland