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Simpson Street Free Press

The Utahraptor: A Cretaceous Menace with Terrifying Toes

When it roamed the Earth centuries ago, the Utahraptor reached over seven feet tall. It had many feathers and was a vicious predator found in eastern Utah. It was the bigger version of the Velociraptor.

The Utahraptor weighed about 1,500 pounds. Its jaws were so enormous that they could fit a person's full head and half of the chest with no problem. It had large claws, two hands and feet. One toe had a huge long claw while the other was average in size. This claw curved served as a slicing tool and could grow to be a foot long. In fact, when the Utahraptor hunted prey, it used its claws to rip the animal open and bite it at the same time.

The Utahraptor lived approximately 125 to 120 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Utahraptors were members of a dinosaur family called Dromaeosauridae. This family also included Velociraptor and Deinonychus. These animals were smaller than the Utahraptor, but their traits were quite similar, such as having a sharp toe.

The Utahraptor, Deinonychus and the Velociraptor are all closely related to birds. Experts believe that they all had feathers. The Utahraptor and the Dromaeosauridae were very intelligent among all dinosaurs.

While the Utahraptor had multiple similarities with previously existing dinosaurs, its traits were nonetheless impressive and show how incredible and diverse dinosaurs used to be!

[Sources: Undercover Dinosaurs; National History Museum]

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