Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: DINONYCHUS

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DEINONYCHUS (dyn-ON-ik-us) "Terrible Claw" (Greek deinos = terrible + onychos = claw, referring to the lethal CLAWS on its feet)

A vicious-looking Early Cretaceous THEROPOD. This lightly-built, fleet-footed BIPED was 9 feet (2.7 m) long, 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and weighed about 175 pounds (80 kg). Its long TAIL was held rigidly out behind by a bundle of bony rods running along the vertebrae. Deinonychus had a short neck, a large head, excellent EYESIGHT, and sharp, serrated TEETH. Its forelegs were half as long as its hind. It had long, powerful, grasping HANDS; each hand had three fingers equipped with long, sharp claws. The second toe of each foot was equipped with a powerful 5-inch (13-cm) sickle-shaped claw the Deinonychus probably used to slash open the bellies of its prey.

Deinonychus probably hunted in packs and attacked animals much larger than itself. Like all theropods, it was probably ENDOTHERMIC (warm-blooded). The FOSSILS of this formidable dinosaur were found in Montana. It is classified in the DROMAEOSAURIDAE, but some think it should be in a group of its own, the DEINONYCHOSAURIA. Its hips were OPISTHOPUBIC instead of lizard-like

Classification: Coelurosauria, Theropoda, Saurishia