Previous studies had shown that the amount of curvature in a claw corresponded to what lifestyle the animal has: Dromaeosaurid jaws, thought by Fowler and colleagues to be comparatively weak, would have been useful for eating prey alive but not as useful for quick, forceful dispatch of the prey. This is considered possible evidence of pack-oriented predatory behavior; leading to speculation that these dinosaurs were fairly intelligent, social animals as well. Due to its size and short arms it is unlikely that Zhenyuanlong was capable of powered flight though the importance of biomechanical modelling in this regard is stressed  , but it may suggest a relatively close descendance from flying ancestors, or even some capacity for gliding or wing-assisted incline running. When John Ostrom described it for Deinonychus in , he interpreted the claw as a blade-like slashing weapon, much like the canines of some saber-toothed cats , used with powerful kicks to cut into prey.
Contrary to Jurassic Park , Velociraptor was not a large animal; it was about 6 feet 1. A study proclaimed that the giant raptor from the movie had been found; this animal seemed to be the perfect size for such a creature. The individuals were spaced about one meter apart, traveling in the same direction and walking at a fairly slow pace. When this information is applied to the sites containing putative pack-hunting behavior in dromaeosaurids, it appears somewhat consistent with a Komodo dragon-like feeding strategy. Since stress fractures are caused by repeated trauma rather than singular events they are more likely to be caused by regular behavior than other types of injuries. The stiffened tail would have been good to stabilize the body while the grasping arms and jaws held onto the prey for balance. Preserved feather traces in a fossil Zhenyuanlong suni. While the trackways clearly do not represent hunting behavior, the idea that groups of dromaeosaurids may have hunted together, according to the authors, could not be ruled out. Microraptor even shows evidence of a second pair of wings on the hind legs. Chatterjee also found that Microraptor had the basic requirements to sustain level powered flight in addition to gliding. The scientists found that the sharpened tip of the claw was a puncturing and gripping instrument, while the curved and expanded claw base helped transfer stress loads evenly. This is considered possible evidence of pack-oriented predatory behavior; leading to speculation that these dinosaurs were fairly intelligent, social animals as well. They found that, based on the way that stress was conducted along the claw, they were ideal for climbing. Dromaeosaurs were probably not the fastest of dinosaurs since dromaeosaurs have fairly large femora thigh bones ; ornithomimids probably were fastest see our dinosaur speeds exhibit for more information , but persuasive evidence in any case is lacking. Dromaeosaurs constitute a small clade of theropod dinosaurs which exhibit some highly derived characteristics that they all share, especially modifications of the forelimb allowing for a flexible seizing function which is thought to have been modified to create the bird "flight stroke". Reproduction[ edit ] In , Grellet-Tinner and Makovicky reported an egg associated with a specimen of Deinonychus. This had been interpreted as evidence that these dromaeosaurids hunted in coordinated packs like some modern mammals. New finds of dromaeosaur specimens in the last few years will hopefully tell us more about these strange and exciting dinosaurs. The claw base-to-tip angle maximized the transmission of forces from the leg to the tip of the claw, providing for a powerful slash that may have been able to disembowel prey swiftly. They analyzed the bio-mechanics of how stresses and strains would be distributed along the claws and into the limbs, using X-ray imaging to create a three-dimensional contour map of a forelimb claw from Velociraptor. Let's take a look at birds. Truly an example of evolution producing a killing machine. These predatory adaptations working together may also have implications for the origin of flapping in paravians. However, Senter did not test whether the strong curvature of dromaeosaurid claws was also conducive to such activities. Ostrom's of Yale University and descriptions of Deinonychus "terrible claw" were a major contributor to the re-evaluation of dinosaur activity levels. Some dromaeosaurid fossils preserve long, pennaceous feathers on the hands and arms remiges and tail rectrices , as well as shorter, down-like feathers covering the body.
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