Discovery of Giant Raptor Fossil Bearing Indication of Wing Feathers

Owen Grady would be thrilled to know that a new giant raptor has been discovered by a team of scientists from the University of Kansas. The specimen is the largest to be found bearing wing feathers. The paper by Robert A. DePalma et al, entitled ‘The first giant raptor (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae) from the Hell Creek Formation, Paleontological Contributions’, is available in the October edition of Paleontological Contributions.

giant raptor

The newly-identified giant raptor has been named Dakotaraptor. Its fossil came from the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota, and was spotted by the group of researchers whose lead author was curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History, Robert DePalma.

Making around 5 metres in length, the creature has been described as being one of the biggest raptors ever to be discovered.

“This new predatory dinosaur also fills the body size gap between smaller theropods and large tyrannosaurs that lived at this time,” says a co-author of the study, paleontologist David Burnham from Kansas University.

The Dakotaraptor appears to have been as agile as Jurassic World’s Blue, which was a Velociraptor.

“This Cretaceous period raptor would have been lightly built and probably just as agile as the vicious smaller theropods, such as the Velociraptor,” De Palma said.

The fossils displayed another feature: ‘quill knobs’ which might constitute an indication of attached feathers. The dinosaur would have feathers on its forearm.

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