An animal that hardly needs an introduction, Deinonychus is the quintessential “raptor.” A deadly pack predator about the size of a man at 3.4 meters long and 100 kg (220 pounds), it was built for agility and speed. It stalked the early Cretaceous Cloverly and Antlers formations taking advantage of the swampy divisions between marshes and open plains for ambushes. Study of Deinonychus revolutionized the way dinosaurs and theropods in particular are understood; for a time they were pictured as lumbering and docile reptiles. After thorough analysis of Deinonychus in the 1960s however, it was perfectly understood that dinosaurs could be very fast, exceedingly nimble, and aggressively active. As a dromaeosaur, it was complete with three long, dexterous clawed fingers, a stiff S-curved tail that allowed exceptional balance and turning capability at speed, jaws packed with hooked teeth, and a signature giant sickle toe claw on each foot. With these giant claws attached to unique tendons that held them off the ground to remain sharp at all times, they hunted with pounces to the neck for efficient and quick kills.
- Deinonychus’s favorite prey was Tenontosaurus, which was extremely common in the area. While a single Tenontosaur was too large to attack alone, Deinonychus hunted in packs to bring down its quarry.
- The Jurassic Park Novel “Velociraptor” is actually a Deinonychus in all description. Michael Crichton carefully consulted with the discoverer John Ostrom to insure he didn’t lack any accuracy while writing the Deinonychus into the book. At the last minute, the name was edited to another species, Velociraptor, because the name sounded more menacing. Though the JP movies changed this so that the Velociraptors large size is a byproduct of the gene splicing, they still hold a near exact Deinonychus appearance.
- It is known that Deinonychus laid its eggs out in the open and guarded them while brooding. Their eggs are also known to be sky blue!
- It’s name means “Terrible Claw.”
Would you like to see Deinonychus in Jurassic World: Alive?
How do you think it would be in game?
Dinosaurs we would Like #8 - Sauropelta