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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Deinonychus
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Deinonychus



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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Theropoda
  (unranked) Coelurosauria
  Infraorder Deinonychosauria
  Family Dromaeosauridae
  Subfamily Velociraptorinae
  Genus Deinonychus
Deinonychus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived in North America during the early Cretaceous period, about 115 million years ago.

Deinonychus was about 11 feet (3.4 meters) long and weighed about 160 pounds (70 kilograms).

Deinonychus was a predator, and probably hunted in packs. Its most formidable weapon was the curved claws on its hind feet - and it is from these claws that it gets its name, which means "terrible claw".

Movie goers will remember that one of the main villains of the Jurassic Park movies are Velociraptors. In the films, Velociraptor is being depicted as being about as large a human, and fossils of the animal are shown being found in Montana - in reality, Velociraptor was actually quite a lot smaller than a human and was only found in Asia, so what the film-makers appear to have done is "beef up" Velociraptor by adding some characteristics of Deinonychus (which did live in North America and was larger than Velociraptor). While we can't be sure that is explanation is correct, it does make sense because in the Jurassic Park novel, a character states that Deinonychus is considered to be one of the Velociraptors (in reality, Deinonychus is closely related to Velociraptors, but is still considered to be a separate Genus).

Like Velociraptors, Deinonychus is now believed to have been covered in feathers, and had a warm-blooded bird-like metabolism. However, although often thought of as a fast-runner, the bones of the leg tend to such Deinonychus may not have been one.


Deinonychus Timeline:

Deinonychus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 115 million years ago

Deinonychus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 115 million years ago

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Deinonychus Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Deinonychus:
  1. Deinonychus was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Deinonychus" means "terrible claw".

  3. Deinonychus was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Deinonychus was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Deinonychus was a Theropod - a member of a group of related bipedal dinosaurs that included the ancestors of birds (although Deinonychus was not itself an ancestor of birds).

  5. Deinonychus lived about 115 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

  6. Deinonychus lived in North America.

  7. Deinonychus was a carnivore (meat-eater).

  8. Deinonychus was about 11 feet (3.4 meters) long.

  9. Deinonychus weighed about 160 pounds (70 kilograms).

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