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Dinosaur Profiles: the Megaraptor

Dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago, and for some species, they were born with offensive and defensive characteristics that allowed them to hunt their prey and fend off other predators. In the case of the Megaraptor, this pre-historic giant of the past was gifted a sharp claw that easily captured and killed its next meal. In this article, you will learn more about the Megaraptor and how it lived millions of years ago.

Physical Characteristics

The Megaraptor was a large beast that lived as a predator during the late Cretaceous period, which was about 90 to 84 million years ago. On its feet, there were two horrifying claws on its toes that were shaped like a sickle. Although the dinosaur had a huge body, it was still lightweight for its size. This allowed the creature to move quite fast after its prey. It walked on its two legs and was agile. Overall, the dinosaur had a lot of bird-like qualities, such as a curved, flexible neck. Inside of rather strong jaws, the Megaraptor had a lot of sharp, serrated teeth.

On the second toe of the Megaraptor’s feet, there was a sickle-like claw that measured 14 inches. The other toes had smaller claws, but it was the large curved claw that did the most damage. The claw even had its own protective shield on the outside that was described as being horny. This made the claw much larger, longer and sharper.

The Megaraptor had a tail that was most likely used for keeping its balance and turning fast. Scientists believe that the dinosaur had a rather large brain and large eyes. On the average, the dinosaur measured about 20 to 26 feet long.

The Megaraptor belonged to a group of advanced theropods that were considered some of the smartest dinosaurs of their time. Scientists use a brain to body weight ratio to calculate just how intelligent they believe a pre-historic creature to be. Because of their increased intelligence, the dinosaurs were able to become rather deadly predators.

Diet

Since the Megaraptor was a carnivore, it searched for meals that consisted of meat. The creature most likely ate nearly any living thing that they could tear apart with their claw. There is evidence to suggest that this type of raptor hunted in packs, which increased their chances of killing any prey they had set their eyes on.  

Movement

The Megaraptor walked on two legs that resembled the slenderness of a bird. When taking a look at their lightweight and length of their legs, they are considered to have been pretty fast runners. When the dinosaur ran, they rotated their huge middle-toe-claw upwards and used the other toes for running.

Fossil Location

Paleontologist Fernando E. Novas is responsible for bringing to light incomplete Megaraptor remains that were uncovered in 1996 in Northwest Patagonia, Argentina. Some of the bones that were found included a huge sickle-shaped claw, metatarsal, ulna, and a finger bone. The dinosaur was then classified as a Saurischian dinosaur, which meant that it belonged to the order of lizard-hipped dinosaurs.