Dromaeosaur Raptor Fossil Vertebra Section- SOLD 5.45"
Dromaeosaur Raptor Fossil Vertebra Section- SOLD 5.45"
This specimen is a 4.45" Dromaeosaur fossilized vertebra section from the Cretaceous Two Medicine Formation in Montana. The specimen was recovered on private land and is an incredibly rare fossil. The fossil dates back over 70,000,000 years old.Dromaeosaurids, also known as raptors, were a ferocious and swift group of dinosaurs that hunted their prey with sharp teeth and sickle-like claws. They were made famous by the 1993 film, Jurassic Park (though most were much smaller than the ones in the movie) and have become an iconic creature of the prehistoric age. This specimen comes with a display stand and certificate of authenticity.
📸 A close look at a dromaeosaurid rib fossil
dromaeosaur (Raptor) fossils
With a retractable sickle claw on each of its feet and one of the highest intelligences of any dinosaur, Dromaeosaurids had both brains and brawn. They were vicious dinosaurs that could jump onto their prey and hold it down with their sharp teeth. The family was diverse, with some species the size of a wild turkey and others growing up to 18 feet long.
The group gets its name from the Dromaeosaurus, a small raptor dinosaur discovered in 1914 by Barnum Brown in Alberta, Canada. Dromaeosaurus and its wider family has since had a profound impact on paleontology and was at the center of the Dinosaur Renaissance of the 1960s. Their physiology as swift and deadly hunters has also become an iconic image of the dinosaur age.
📸 A sample showcase dromaeosaurid fossil
This specimen is a fossilized dromaeosaurid bone which was recovered from the Two Medicine Formation in Montana. It dates back to the Cretaceous period, over 70,000,000 years ago. The family remains one of the most famous of all dinosaurs, changing our understanding of the creatures and leaving a deep mark in the public’s understanding of these prehistoric creatures.
Each specimen comes with a certificate of authenticity as well as a black metal stand for display. Several fossils are available and you can see all our raptor material in the collection below.
MORE ABOUT dromaeosaurids
"You bred raptors?" ~ Dr. Alan Grant, Jurassic Park
📸 Size chart of different well-known dromaeosaurs: Microraptor gui, Velociraptor mongoliensis, Austroraptor cabazai, Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Utahraptor ostrommaysorum, and Deinonychus antirrhopus. (Image Credit: Fred Wierum)
What makes a raptor?
Within the dromaeosaurid family individual characteristics include a relatively large skull, serrated teeth, a narrow snout, and forward-facing eyes, the latter suggesting some level of binocular vision common to most predators. They had a moderately long S-curved neck and a short body. They were bipedal, walking on their hind legs, their feet bore a large, recurved, scimitar-like claw on the second toe, and their tails were long and slender. Their long arms could be folded next to their body and their large hands had three long fingers ending in sharp claws.
Fossil discoveries in 1999 confirmed that most if not all dromaeosaurids were probably covered in feathers. This would have included down-like feathers which would have coated the body as well as pennaceous feathers (those with a stalk or quill as illustrated here). Some theropod fossils also include fully developed feathered wings.
These dinosaurs were swift-footed and quick-minded predators that flourished during the Cretaceous over 145 million years ago, though some evidence suggests they go all the way back to the Jurassic. Dromaeosaurids were initially poorly known as Barnum’s specimens were limited to little more than some skull fragments and a few limb bones. Only decades later with the discovery of the Deinonychus genus was Dromaeosaurus proven as the dangerous hunter we know today.
Dromaeosauridae are colloquially known as raptors and had quite a variance in size. The smallest dromaeosaurs, such as the Velociraptor, were only around 5-6 feet in length, while the much larger Utahraptor could grow up to 18 feet. Despite the differences in size though, they both shared a bipedal body plan of a sleek build, long tail, and large sickle claw. When hunting, they used this claw to puncture and latch onto their prey.
Despite their depictions in popular culture, many dromaeosaurid species were on the smaller side. This confusion stems from the deadly predators Dr. Alan Grant faces off against in Jurassic Park. The movie’s velociraptors were actually based on Deinonychus, though author Michael Crichton preferred to use the name of their smaller cousins.
Limited remains of Deinonychus were first found in 1931, but with the discovery of thousands of bones in 1964 by Robert Bakker, a clearer picture began to form of the genus. Deinonychus’s hollow bones and their configuration firmly established the relationship between dinosaurs and living birds. Moreover, their warm-blooded endothermic system dispelled the idea of dinosaurs as sluggish evolutionary deadends, sparking new interest in dinosaur paleontology.
📸 The holotype of Microraptor gui. Preserved feathers indicated by the white arrow and black arrows indicate where they appear to be absent. (Scale bar at 5 cm.)
Species in the larger family ranged in size from smaller than a modern-day chicken to large, powerful predators measuring more than 18 ft (6 m) in length from tooth-to-tail. In addition to being feathered, members of Dromaeosauridae had long tails and an elongated "sickle claw" on the second toe. Numerous studies suggest that these adaptations helped these predators quickly subdue their prey.
It has been suggested that at least five dromaeosaurid species had the ability to fly or glide. This possibility is supported by the length of the forelimbs and the evidence of quill knob attachments for long, sturdy flight feathers. The dromaeosaurid, Microraptor gui (pictured above), was equipped with well-developed wings on both hind and forelimbs. Studies have found that Microraptor gui had the physical requirements to sustain level-powered flight in addition to gliding.
📸 A very ferocious pair of raptors on a hunt together
While this distinctive body plan suggests a link to birds, scientists are still unclear on the exact connection between these two successful evolutionary lines, though there is some evidence that at least five smaller species could glide, if not fly. This possibility is supported by the length of the forelimbs and the evidence of quill knob attachments for long, sturdy, flight feathers.
For many years scientists had hypothesized about group hunting behavior in dromaeosaurids, a natural question given their size in relation to certain prey. The exciting discovery and analysis of a fossil theropod trackway in 2007 uncovered six parallel and closely spaced trackways. Elsewhere, theropod fossils have been uncovered in small groups, sometimes near the remains of herbivore dinosaurs. This has been taken as evidence of coordinated packs working together to hunt. However, other interpretations suggest that the theropods were solitary hunters which were drawn to previously killed carcasses; a mobbing behavior.
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