Dromaeosaur (Raptor) Toe Claw - Two Medicine Formation

 
This is a toe claw of a Dromaeosaur, commonly referred to as a raptor. It comes from the Two Medicine Formation (Judith River Group) in Montana, which is older than the Hell Creek Formation which more commonly produces material. Dinosaur claws are rare in the fossil record, MUCH more rare than teeth which are relatively common. This claw is 1.05 inches long and is missing the tip but has no restoration or repair done to it.

Dromaeosaurus
Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
was a small genus of meat eating dinosaurs (raptors) that ripped flesh with its sickle claws and pulverized bone with a powerful bite. Its toothy grasp is suspected to be nearly three times as powerful as that of Velociraptor.

Dromaeosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous period, sometime between 76.5 and 74.8 million years old, in the western United States and Alberta, Canada. Fossil teeth dated to 65.5 million years old may possibly belong to the genus, though these teeth are one of many mysteries that surround Dromaesaurus.

This little beastie’s name means 'running lizard'. Dromaeosaurus was a small carnivore, about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length,15 kg (33 lb) in weight, and stood 1.5 feet tall at the hips. It darted around in a world of other small theropods, ceratopsians, ankylosaurs, 30 ft hadrosaurs, and both small and massive tyrannosauroids.

In the sediments for which they are found, there is selection against the preservation of small theropods. Consequently, little is known about their lifestyle except what can be gleaned from the stories which their teeth reveal. We do know that they frequently shed teeth as they attacked and frenzied over their meals.

Cast of Demaeosaurus foot showing sickle like claws
Cast of Demaeosaurus foot showing sickle like claws
The genus is related to Utahraptor, as may be evident by its deadly toe claw on each foot. Dromaeosaurus varies from its relatives in some traits. It has a short, massive skull, a deep mandible, and robust teeth. The teeth tend to be more heavily worn, suggesting that its jaws were used for crushing and tearing and the giant toe claw may have had other primary uses. These details support a scavenger lifestyle, but as already mentioned, there are few absolute conclusions regarding this robust little theropod.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Dromaeosaur
LOCATION
North Central Montana
FORMATION
Two Medicine Formation, Judith River Group
SIZE
1.05" long
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#3837
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