A team of paleontologists, led by David Burnham, has made a stunning discovery in Hell Creek Formation, a rocky region of South Dakota. A dinosaur with feathers was found in South Dakota and, according to the specialists, it belongs to the same dinosaur family as the velociraptor.
The new dino marvel measured approximately 17 feet and had a wing-like formation that had lots of feathers. Due to its constitution, the dinosaur named Dakotaraptor, was very agile and very deadly. Although, in terms of length, the Dakotaraptor is smaller than a Velociraptor, which was about the size of a plump turkey and even smaller in comparison to its distant cousin the Utahraptor, that measured over 22 feet, he is viewed as being twice as fast and deadly.
Burnham also added that this newly discovered dino predator could actually help paleontologists fill the gap between other species of theropods that lived and died during that time. According to carbon dating procedures, the Dakotaraptor went extinct about 66 million years ago.
Apart from its light constitution, the Dakotaraptor also presented other features that places him among the deadliest predators. The dinosaur had a special claw on his middle tow, very curved, which measured around 9.5 inches. Scientists also found evidence that would suggest the presence of quill nobs situated on his forearms and tail. It is yet unclear why this dinosaur had feather. Researchers theorized that the feathers could have been part of the predator’s mating ritual or they could be used in order to keep his eggs warm inside the nest.
Although the dinosaur had wings, scientist believe that due to its constitution, he was unable to fly, but he could be construed as a key element in discovering how modern birds evolved.
There is another interesting aspect to this problem. Given the fact that the Dakotaraptor is part of the theropod family, which would actually indicate that he is closely related to the king of predators, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to the paper, the fossils found in Hell Creak Formation, could actually be what the scientists were looking for. Maybe this is not just a pure coincidence.
In light of this new discovery, paleontologists are starting to catch up on their evolutionary theory. Ultimately, the little fury reptile could actually prove to be the most significant discovery of the century in the field of paleontology. And we will have to wait until the next Jurassic Park movie to see this new dino in action.