Jurassic Park rightly depicted raptors as human sized predators

November 14th, 2007 - 3:03 am ICT by admin  
The movie depicted Velociraptor as much larger than the real turkey-sized Velociraptor.

Now, researchers from the Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology in China have found a trackway that shows footprints left by six Dromeosaurs - the more formal name for raptors.

The tracks are 28 centimetres long and 12 cm wide. Each track shows two long toes, but only a stub of the toe bearing the long claw, indicating the animal held the claw off the ground.

According to researcher Rihui Li, the Dromeosaurs are on the same scale as the movie raptor.

Peter Makovicky of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, who was also involved in the study, said these creatures stood 1.2 metres tall at the hip - “almost as big as Utahraptor”.

The track-makers would have weighed about as much as a large cougar or jaguar - approximately 90 kilograms (200 pounds) and much larger related species to the Utahraptor discovered in Utah, he said.

Li said the Dromeosaurs lived in Shandong Province, China, about 120 to 100 million years ago.

Li said part of the trackway showed several prints from one creature, roughly one metre apart.

The large-clawed toe was also held clear of the ground, as depicted in Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking flick, Li said.

The scientists have named the new species Dromaeopodus shandongensis after the province in which they were found.

The study appears in the journal Naturwissenschaften, reports New Scientist magazine. (ANI)

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