Dinosaur Discovery Sheds Light on How Raptors Used Talons
A new dinosaur discovery in Utah has shed light on how Velociraptors used curving talons as a weapon.
The 75-million-year-old dinosaur is a feathered raptor named Talos sampsoni or “Talos.” Estimated to have been about 6 feet long and weighing 80 pounds, the recently discovered fossil was found in one of the last unspoiled dinosaur graveyards in the US. Located in southern Utah, at least 15 new dinosaur species have been discovered in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument during the last decade.
"Finding a decent specimen of this type of dinosaur in North America is like a lighting strike," Zanno told LiveScience. "It's a random event of thrilling proportions."
Made famous by the book Jurassic Park, Velociraptors possessed a switchblade talon on the second toe of each foot, which they held off the ground while walking.
A discovery in Mongolia 30 years ago suggested that the talons were used to inflict damage while hunting or fighting. The recent find in Utah further supports this hypothesis as researchers discovered what appeared to be signs of trauma to the raptor’s second toe.