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Deinonychosauria

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Deinonychosauria
Fossil range: Jurassic-Cretaceous
Deinonychus skeleton FMNH
Deinonychus skeleton at the Field Museum.
Scientific classification

Class

Reptilia

Superorder

Dinosauria

Order

Saurischia

Suborder

Theropoda

Infraorder

Deinonychosauria
Colbert & Russell, 1969

Families



The Deinonychosauria (meaning "fearsome claw lizards") were a successful clade of theropods that lived during the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. These carnivores are known for their switchblade-like second toes. The clade has been divided into two further clades — Dromaeosauridae and Troodontidae.

Juvenile Deinonychosaur

Partial skull of a juvenile deinonychosaur.

Dromaeosauridae includes some of the most fearsome killers of the Cretaceous Period: Deinonychus, Velociraptor, and Utahraptor. The largest known of these was possibly Utahraptor, and Microraptor was among the smallest (40 cm or 16 in).

Troodontids date from the late Cretaceous Period and were lighter and slimmer than the dromaeosaurids. Some of these were Troodon and Saurornithoides.

By some definitions, Deinonychosauria and Dromaeosauridae are synonyms.

Some scientist believe that birds are members of the Infraorder Deinonychosauria.

ClassificationEdit

Tyrannoskull

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