The Dromaeosaurs ("swift lizards") are popularly referred to as 'Raptors'. They are members of a group of theropod dinosaurs that were extremely intelligent, agile predators. They had large forward facing eyes with binocular vision, large brains for their body size, and relatively long, flexible forelimbs with sharp claws which they used to seize their prey. They also had razor sharp, serrated, recurved teeth which they used to rip into their prey. Perhaps most notably they had a huge, sickle shaped retractable killing claw on the second toe of their feet. This was used to slash large prey. It has been suggested that these advanced predators may have hunted in packs. Dromaeosaurs had hollow long bones (like birds), and are believed to share a common ancestor with birds. It is thought that the seizing motion used to grab prey with their forelimbs was later modified into the flight stroke used by birds. Dromaeosaurs were made famous in the movie Jurassic Park, which featured some very nasty raptors. The raptors in Jurassic Park were supposed to be Velociraptors, however they were much larger than the actual Velociraptor which was around 6 feet long weighing around 100 pounds. Regardless of their size, Raptors were such effective, viscous predators that they would have been able to take down prey many times larger than themselves. Some of the larger raptors included the terrifying Deinonychus (literally "terrible claw"), which grew to 10 feet and around 180 pounds. Utahraptor (pictured above) grew to perhaps 18 feet in length and weighed nearly a ton! The largest raptor ever found is Megaraptor from Patagonia in South America. This monster grew to nearly 30 feet long, and had a killing claw 13 inches in length! The Dromaeosauridae were a fascinating, diverse group of extremely lethal predators. We have put together a selection of some of the finest quality Raptor fossils available. Click on the links below to view the individual specimens and their prices.
IMAGE CREDITS: Special thanks to Joe Tucciarone
for permiting us to use copyrighted images of his wonderful Art work. Also special thanks to Feenixx Publishing (www.feenixx.com) for allowing us the use of their superb copyrighted dinosaur images.
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