|Height:||1.8 – 2m|
|Weight:||300 – 1.000kg (660 – 2200 lbs) (Adult, Estimated)|
|Speed:||40 – 48 kph (25 – 30 mph)|
The meaning of the name Utahraptor is “Utah Thief ” or ” Utah predator “, the word “raptor” comes from the Latin “raptoris” which means “thief” and the word “Utah” refers to the North American state. It is the largest member of the Dromaeosaurid family, together with its newly discovered cousin, the Dakotaraptor, which shows the closest physical characteristics to birds.
Although fossil specimens date back to earlier times, their awareness remained limited until the ’90s, for example, this dinosaur was not known during the shooting of the first Jurassic Park movie that was released in 1993, the velociraptors created fictionally in the film are originally Utahraptors due to their size. However, they are quite different creatures as they are reflected in the film, both in physical and hunting style.
Before mentioning the predicted details about the hunting style and characteristics, there is an important point that I should mention; Contrary to what is reflected in popular culture, the joint structures of theropod dinosaurs did not develop in a physiological structure that allowed them to rotate their arms around their axis. The joint movements we call supination and pronation in humans are not valid for these dinosaurs. Therefore, the arms are always positioned with the palms facing each other under normal conditions, the situations where it is projected up or down is not scientific.
Since the joint movements of the arms are effective in the application of force, their legs, which are much more developed than their arms in hunting, provide more movement and can transfer their momentum to their prey more effectively.
Characteristics of Utahraptor
The characteristic feature of the species is the formation of a curved claw on the second toe of the foot exceeding 20 cm(8 inches). It was just enough to approach its prey at leg distance and used its claw to damage the main arteries of its prey.
Utahraptor Had Feathers
Fossils that provide the impression of feathers on most of the Dromaeosauridae family such as Microraptor, Sinornithosaurus, Velociraptor, and Zhenyuanlong as the closest found specimen, and due to the presence of crossing points called quill knob, which indicates the connection of wing feathers on the arms with bones, the utahraptor, and all other Dromaeosaurs, meaning indeed Utahraptor had feathers.
The fact that samples of various age groups were found in the same areas during the excavations is a positive finding that they lived and hunted in groups still paleontologist believe it is not certain. The point where they differ with the Dakotaraptor, despite their similar dimensions, is that the Dakotaraptor is a dinosaur that shows the physiological characteristics of lightweight, speed and agility, and is probably a hit-and-run dinosaur, while the utahraptor is a larger and more muscular hunter, more suitable for one-on-one encounters.
We can see from the fossils of a Velociraptor mongoliensis and a protoceratops, called the fighting dinosaurs, belonging to the family of Dromaeosauridae, and a Velociraptor mongoliensis and a protoceratops that crammed into each other while fighting, that the velociraptor mongoliensis claw targeted the carotid artery exactly the length of its prey.
One of its usages is thought to be to prevent them from escaping while consuming their prey alive, as birds of prey do today. The limb ratio and thick leg bones also support the thesis that this species uses this serious muscle power concentrated in its legs rather than speed in combating its prey. small hadrosaur and ceratopsian dinosaurs, and even small mammals, were probably the main prey in this creature’s menu.
What Did Utahraptor Eat
With the fossils found in Cedar Mountain Formation. It can be said that their diet mostly consisted of Neornithischians; Eolambia , Hippodraco, Iguanocolossus, and Tenontosaurus, and Sauropods; Abydosaurus, Astrodon, Brontomerus, Cedarosaurus, Moabosaurus. Read more about what did Utahraptor eat.
The habitat of a Utahraptor it is believed to be in the forests, a place where it is generally where they can nest and lay their eggs. On the other hand, it was also common to see it in arid areas, rivers, lakes and flood plains where hunting was facilitated.