It has been said that Dineobellator notohesperus lived around 67 million years ago in a place that we know today to be New Mexico. Its remains have been found on the Upper Cretaceous rocks of the San Juan Basin.
The creature was 2 m long, quite similar in size with Velociraptor and Saurornitholestes. Not all of its bones were recovered, but the bones from the forearm had small bumps on the surface, showing the place where feathers were carried by ligaments. The dinosaur also had enlarged areas of the claws, which showed that it was able to strongly flex its arms and hands. It’s probable that it used its claws to hold on to the prey, and it used its hands for smaller animals, like birds and lizards.
The tail of the dinosaur had some unique characteristics, as well. This one was flexible at its base, which allowed the rest of the tail to be stiff, and simply act as a rudder. Just imagine the tail of a cat that’s running. The tail remains straight, but it is also changing its direction. “A stiff tail that is highly mobile at its base allows for increased agility and changes in direction, and potentially aided Dineobellator notohesperus in pursuing prey, especially in more open habitats,” stated Dr. Jasinski, from the team of researchers.
Dineobellator notohesperus helps us in better understanding the body of North American dromaeosaurids, especially when it comes to the distribution of feathers. With this discovery, it is possible that all the dromaeosaurids had feathers. The discovery also talks about some of the predatory habits of the dinosaurs that lived shortly before the extinction that killed all the dinosaurs that were not birds.