Artist: Emily Willoughby
The one thing that immediately stands out about Dakotaraptor at first glance is simply the large size of this dromaeosaurid dinosaur. Most dromaeosaurid dinosaurs measure in at under two meters in length, with a few genera ranging between two and three meters long. The Holotype individual of Dakotaraptor however has a reconstructed length of five and a half meters. At the time of the 2015 description, this makes Dakotaraptor the second largest dromaeosaurid dinosaur known, with the largest being Utahraptor.
As far as comparison between Dakotaraptor and Utahraptor goes, Utahraptor lived in North America around Utah (clue is in the name) during the Early Cretaceous roughly one hundred and twenty-six million years ago. Dakotaraptor also lived in North America but around South Dakota towards the end of the Late Cretaceous some sixty-six million years ago. Not only are Dakotaraptor and Utahraptor separated by a wide temporal gulf, study of the known fossils of Dakotaraptor show that in body proportions this genus was actually more like genera such as Deinonychus and Dromaeosaurus than it was Utahraptor, making a direct link between Dakotaraptor and Utahraptor unlikely.
Studies of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs going back to the late twentieth century indicate that dromaeosaurid dinosaurs almost certainly had feathers. These feathers were not necessarily all over the body, but were likely on the thorax and abdomen and almost certain on the arms. Dakotaraptor supports this theory in that fossils of the ulna (one of the forearm bones) show attachment points for large pennaceous feathers. It is unknown to what extent feathers would have covered Dakotaraptor, but smaller insulating feathers are known to have covered the body in even larger theropod dinosaurs such as the tyrannosaur Yutyrannus. However other dinosaurs living in North America during the late Cretaceous such as the ornithomimosaur Ornithomimus are known to have had small feathers on the back and sides of the body, but have legs that were devoid of feathers. The coverage of feathers on Dakotaraptor were likely a reflection of environmental factors first, and additional functions such as display and egg insulation second.
Resistant to Distraction (100%).
2.4 has given us a nice new member of the raptor family. Going by her stats Dakotaraptor seems quite reasonable with a good speed and a decent amount of damage for her abilities. That damage is awesome for her two attack abilities, allowing Dakotaraptor to put our a significant amount of hurt on it’s opposition. Boosted I can see her being even more formidable. Sidestep is an interesting addition for a basic ability. At first glance I like the look of Dakotaraptor and I can certainly see myself using her (I think she’ll go very well on my raptor theme week).
I think she’ll be good for the Arena and tournaments but like other raptors I think she’ll get passed by in regards to Raids. Her damage and distractions are nice but incoming damage is probably going to down her far too quickly. Hopefully I’m wrong and she’ll be a nice all rounder.
What are your thoughts on Dakotaraptor?