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Deinonychus (meaning "terrible claw") was a genus of dromaeosaur dinosaur and the second largest dromaeosaur discovered to date (the largest being, Utahraptor). It lived in the Early Cretaceous, about 115-108 million years ago, and hunted in packs. Fossils have been recovered from the U.S. states of Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, in rocks of the Cloverly Formation and Antlers Formation, though teeth that may belong to Deinonychus have been found much farther east in Maryland.


Fact File

Length: 4 metres Height: 10-13 ft (3-4) long

Pn: die-NON-i-kus

Weight: 75 kg

Diet: Carnivorous


Denonychus would have hunted much larger animals such as Tenontosaurus and Sauroposeidon in packs. Using its intelligence and its ability to communicate, it could bring down these larger animals, which it would have hunted mercilessly. Its main weapon was a killer claw on its second toe. The claw is controlled by strong muscles, along it to slash through the hide of a victim, leaving a gash sometimes as long as a metre.


Deinonychus was a raptor. The scientific name for raptors is Dromaeosaurs, named after Dromaeosaurus. This then branches into coelurosaurs, then into theropods, then into Saurischia (Lizard-Hipped) and finally into Dinosauria.

Two Deinonychus