Earth Science - Other

What was the most Ferocious Dinosaur

Red Dwyer's image for:
"What was the most Ferocious Dinosaur"
Image by: 

Paleontologists place three dinosaurs on the fiercest list. None of them are on the giants list or the popular list. These three middle- and lightweights were the most deadly dinosaurs to roam our planet.

1. Megaraptor: Genus named (M. namunhuaiquii) for the Mapuche (Argentinian Indian) word for "foot lance", megaraptor literally means "huge robber". Measuring 20-26 feet long, he was the largest of the fiercest. With a 14 inch (35cm) sickle shaped claw on the second toe, large head with sharp serrated teeth set in a powerful jaw, this carnivorous pack hunter had his choice of meat.

Ranking as one of the most intelligent species, megaraptor's large brain help him to survive from 90-84 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Fast on his bird-like legs, megaraptor used his long tail for balance and as a rudder.

Megaraptor's incomplete remains were discovered in Patagonia, Argentina by Fernando E. Novas in 1998. At the time, Novas believed his find to be a raptor based on the huge claw and complex hand-like bones.

2. Utahraptor: Named in 1993, after the location where it was found in 1991, by James Ian Kirkland, Donald Burge and Robert Gaston, utahraptor literally means "robber from Utah". Similar in build to megaraptor, utahraptor was 16-23 feet (5-7m) long and weighed close to a ton. With his 9-15 inch (23-38cm) toe claw, utahraptor also had three similar claws on his other toes.

At speeds nearing 60 mph, carnivorous utahraptors ran down the prey of their choice. Utahraptor lived in the early Cretaceous Period, 125 million years ago. He was another brainy dinosaur with large eyes, which he used to hunt prey while standing still. Pack hunters would kill prey up to twice their size, using one member as bait.

3. Deinonychus: Named in 1969, by John H. Olstrem, who discovered him with Grant E. Meyer in 1964, deinonychus ("terrible claw") lived in the western United States during the middle of the Cretaceous Period. The much smaller deinonychus had a 5 inch (13cm) claw, stood 5 feet (1.5m) tall, was 10 feet (3m) long and weighed only 175 pounds(80kg).

These carnivores were able to take on prey three times their size by using their superior intellect, tremendous speed and agility. Their prey included the massive armored and long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs. Deinonychus never let his size get in the way of his ferocity.

Remember, it is not always the biggest enemy that is the most ferocious! Sometimes the smarter enemy can be the fiercest of all.

More about this author: Red Dwyer

From Around the Web