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Two carnivorous dinosaurs were responsible for inspiring the novel and popular movie Jurassic Park: Deinonychus and its close cousin, Velociraptor. Both of these raptor-dinosaurs were smart, speedy kick-boxers. Their teeth were sharp, but too small to kill big prey. Instead, their main weapon was an enlarged claw mounted on the hind foot. The hind leg way by far the strongest part of the body – far stronger than the jaws. Most predatory dinosaurs had claws, with a flat bottom-surface, like an eagle’s claw. Flat-bottomed claws are good for penetrating prey bodies and holding on. Raptor claws, in contrast, had a knife-like bottom edge that could cut a long wound. Body design in raptor-dinosaurs made them three-dimensional fighters. The torso was short and compact, and the tail had special bone rods that made the entire tail flip sideways or upward when its muscles were contracted. Tail flipping provided balance when the raptor-dinosaur twisted and turned in mid air.

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  • Title: Deinonychus

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