Meet Dakotaraptor, the Giant "Utterly Lethal" Dinosaur From Hell Creek

Meet Dakotaraptor, the Giant "Utterly Lethal" Dinosaur From Hell Creek

Paleontologists have unearthed a massive relative of Velociraptor in South Dakota.

It's common knowledge nowadays that the velociraptors found in Jurassic Park and its sequels were a little bit larger than life: the real animal stood no taller than a turkey. Still, vicious, human-sized raptors did exist, and the entire raptor family included some gigantic creatures no less agile than their tiny cousins.

Enter Dakotaraptor, the latest branch in the Dromaeosauridae tree, which lived about 66 million years ago. The feathered, possibly winged, Dakotaraptor was massive, at over seventeen feet long. Actually, "massive" is not quite the right word; paleontologists believe it was an extremely lightweight animal, with its hollow, bird-like bones, moving at a blistering speed through the prehistoric landscape to capture its prey.

"It really was the Ferrari of competitors," says Robert DePalma, head of the research team that uncovered the fossils. "It could run very fast, it could jump incredibly well, it was agile and it had essentially grappling hooks on the front and rear limbs. These claws could grab on to anything and just slice them to bits. It was utterly lethal."

My inner dinosaur fan girl is squealing with morbid glee.

The newly-described animal was discovered in Hell Creek, South Dakota, in 2005. Paleontology fans might recognize that name - it's where the most famous and complete examples of dinos such as tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops come from.

Pieces of the animal were assigned to different species, at first - it took several years before it occurred to anyone they all might belong to the same, terrifying predator.

It's worth noting that Dakotaraptor is not even the largest raptor yet discovered. That honor belongs to Utahraptor, which was about 33% larger than the former and lived over 60 million years earlier.

I think we can all agree that Jurassic World's biggest failing was that Chris Pratt never rode a velociraptor. If someone could just get a saddle on a Dakotaraptor...

Source: The Guardian

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I'm surprised it took you this long to report on this, this news has been out for more than a week.

This is an interesting discovery for multiple reasons.

It's probably the closest we're ever going to find of a raptor from Jurassic Park. not just in size but the fact that it seems like it was built for speed. Other raptor species have evidence supporting that they were not as fast as we thought they were (still could run faster than a human being but not cheetah levels like pop-culture usually portrays them.)

also it's the largest raptor with proof of feathers which is weirdly not pointed out in the article. Then again raptors as having feathers is nothing new and everyone at least accepts that.

overall interesting discovery. I also want to point at this video which also talks about this new dinosaur

That is awesome! Seriously, now I kinda want to ride one... or my inner child does. My adult side is a bit creeped out...

what about UtahRaptor?
far as i remember, the day the first screenings of the original jurrasic park hit, they dug up a raptor fossil in Utah, that was exactly the size of the ones from the movie.
it stuck in my brain because people kept refering to the fact that the raptor was found on the same day as screenings of the movie.

we know speilberg asked if it was okay to use 'bigger' velociraptors because, apart from us zelda fans and those who grew up around chickens... that a small dinosaur like the normal raptor wouldnt be scary. it just stuck in my head that after being allowed the 'artistic licence' to make the bigger ones, that the Utah Raptor was dug up.

"Actually, "massive" is not quite the right word; paleontologists believe it was an extremely lightweight animal"

Um...that would mean massive isn't the right word at all.

Silverbane7:
what about UtahRaptor?
far as i remember, the day the first screenings of the original jurrasic park hit, they dug up a raptor fossil in Utah, that was exactly the size of the ones from the movie.
it stuck in my brain because people kept refering to the fact that the raptor was found on the same day as screenings of the movie.

we know speilberg asked if it was okay to use 'bigger' velociraptors because, apart from us zelda fans and those who grew up around chickens... that a small dinosaur like the normal raptor wouldnt be scary. it just stuck in my head that after being allowed the 'artistic licence' to make the bigger ones, that the Utah Raptor was dug up.

Similarly, the Australovenator some time later.

 

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