A dinosaur with feathers, with massive claws, has recently been discovered by researchers, and it is thought to be one of the last raptors like dinosaurs from before the mass-extinction. The creature had a whiplash-like tail, which allowed it to hunt like a cheetah, which is the fastest living land animal today.
Paleontologists from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science found it and named it Dinebellator. Experts believe it is one of the last of the raptors. The creature also has sharp teeth and strong forelimbs. The legs allowed it to tear apart the prey. It was larger than the Velociraptor we all know from Jurassic Park, and even more frightening. ‘It would have been a bit longer than a wolf, but would have weighed less, about 50lbs because it was lightly built for speed and agility.’ He had three claws on each foot, with each claw of about 5 inches. It is believed it lived in open habitat and forested areas. The stiff tail allowed it to act as a counter-balance, and help the dinosaur run at high speeds.
The remains of Dineobellator were excavated in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico, which is a well-known dinosaur graveyard. They found parts of the skull, the ribs, spine, and legs. It is believed that it lived 67 million years ago, which is less than a million years before the mass extinction.
The creature has a scar on the hand claw, probably from a fight with another Dineobellator. ‘A fight between two of them could happen for a number of reasons, but it seems the two most likely are resources like food, especially if these were pack animals as many believe, or mates, especially between two males.’