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Velociraptor

Trackmaker of the Dromaeosauripus footprint

Velociraptor

Diet : Carnivorous

Habitat : Floodplains, tropical or sub-tropical marshes with forests, deltas and lagoon areas

Length : 11 feet (3.3 meters)

Weight : 130 lb (60 kg)

Dromaeosaurids (including Deinonychus) only left two toe prints when they walked because the sickle-clawed inner toe was raised off the ground. It was retracted like a cat’s claws. In 1995, such a distinctive small two-toed track was described from Cretaceous rocks in China. They were named Velociraptorichnus. However, the medium footprints of this kind which better fits the medium dromaeosaurid are named Dromaeosauripus. Dromaeosauripus is the interesting component of the Early Cretaceous track assemblage of Cedar Mountain Formation, in the Mill Canyon tracksite located near the Moab airport.

Bigger and older cousins of the Mongolian Velociraptor popularized by the movie Jurassic Park include medium-sized Deinonychus and larger Utahraptor. Deinonychus a slender and agile carnivore is known from Early Cretaceous of the U.S.A. In order to use its murderous weapon – the large claw on its foot, Deinonychus, would have jumped on prey. The remains of a few Deinonychus were found around the skeleton of a larger herbivore, Tenontosaurus (an Iguanodon relative). This means they may have hunted in groups, as also suggested by a set of parallel trackways from China. Deinonychus belongs to a family, resembling birds in many skeletal features, and some family members are known to have had contour, fly feathers.

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