STL Science Center

STL Science Center

11 December 2013

Something We Often Missed

©Emily Willoughby
Deinonychus was a tad slower than we have been led to believe. Ostrom (1976) stated that the foot-tibia ratio of .48 indicated that Deinonychus was not much faster than contemporary dinosaurs. Some estimates put its top speed at around 6m/h; still plenty of speed to run down a human being of course. It also ranged a lot further than previously thought according to a hypothesis based on teeth from Maryland. These teeth were described by Lipka (1998) as being near deinonychid if not from Deinonychus itself. Speaking of those teeth, the bite force of Deinonychus was found to be relatively weak; recall papers from yesterday. They were short recurved teeth designed for tearing flesh, but they were weakly rooted and the force of bite was not sufficient to be the main predatory apparatus of Deinonychus, meaning that the feet and hands were most likely responsible for the killing of prey items and that the muzzle most likely acted in coordination with strengthened arm muscles and sometimes weight, while standing on its prey, to aid in the tearing of flesh while dining on its victims; not unlike the feeding Deinonychus in the Emily Willoughby image today.

Lipka, Thomas R. "The affinities of the enigmatic theropods of the Arundel Clay facies (Aptian), Potomac Formation, Atlantic coastal plain of Maryland." Lower and Middle Cretaceous Terrestrial Ecosystems. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 14 (1998): 229-234.
Ostrom, J.H. (1976). "On a new specimen of the Lower Cretaceous theropod dinosaur Deinonychus antirrhopus". Breviora 439: 1–21.

No comments:

Post a Comment