Dinosaurs Inside and Out

Teeth and Claws

What were the dromaeosaurids and what type of claws did they have?

The dromaeosaurids take their name from the first dinosaur fossil of their type found: the Dromaeosaurus, or “running reptile.” This group includes species such as the Dromaeosaurus, Velociraptor, Deinonychus, and the more recently discovered Utahraptor. These dinosaurs were fast running meat-eaters, with long legs and light bone structures. They exhibited a blend of features from both the carnosaurs and the coelurosaurs, with some unique characteristics of their own.

Probably the most well-known feature of the dromaeosaurids was their large, sickle-shaped claws on the second toe of their foot. These huge curved claws were probably used to tear and rip apart their prey. Dinosaurs from this group are known colloquially as “raptors.” Overall, they were all thought to be vicious pack hunters prey would not want to meet in the tall grass.

The claws of predator dinosaurs were all impressive, but none more so than those of the raptors, whose name means “hunting with the claw” (iStock).

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