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Considering the terrible claw is small, but carnivorous dinosaur with feathers, learn how his image appeared in the Steven Spielberg film, and the skeleton in the Biological Museum named after K. A. Timiryazev.

A cast of the skeleton of the predatory dinosaur Canonica that lived over 140 million years ago in North America, is one of the most interesting exhibits Biological Museum named after K. A. Timiryazev. This species of dinosaurs was opened by John Ostrom in the mid-twentieth century and its discovery has become the main palaeontological sensation of the century. History of discovery Canonica — in joint material mos.ru and the Agency “Moscow”.

Accidental find

The first remains Canonica discovered by American paleontologist Barnum brown. In the summer of 1931 the scientist organizes an expedition to the neighborhood of the city of Billings in Montana, where four years earlier found fossils of herbivorous tenontosaurus. During the excavation of brown found submerged in the limestone fragments of the skeleton, which was mistaken for a related tenontosaurus lizard.

Found the skeleton for a long time kept at the American Museum of natural history. In the beginning of 1960-x years, brown showed their Yale University student John Sharp. Four years later, Ostrom led an expedition to the vicinity of Montana, where he found a few hundred bones belonging to different species of dinosaurs. Acute assembled a template for the feet and compared it to the fossils that are found brown. The scientist came to the conclusion that they belong to one and the same species.

A paleontologist named Deinonychus antirrhopus. In Greek deinonychus means “terrible claw”, antirrhopus and translates from Latin as “balance, balance”.

Warm-blooded and feathered

Canonici existed in the mid-Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era (115-98 million years ago). They belong to the family of dromaeosaurid, the theropod suborder. The closest relatives of predators, the VelociRaptor (“speedy hunters”), who lived in Asia.

Based on the samples found by Astromom and other paleontologists, the scientists came to the conclusion that Dannii was small, but very nimble lizards, moving on two legs. Horizontal posture and long, heavy tail served as a balance, helping the dinosaur to maintain balance while running. They were animals weighing 70 kilograms, about a meter in height and about three meters in length.

The forelimbs and hind limbs of dinosaurs were three-toed. The same “terrible claw” had a Crescent shape located on the second finger of the hind limbs. The claw was moving, walking bulging up. The size and extent of curvature of the claw each individual was different. Ostrom suggested that this could be related to the gender or age of the dinosaur.

Canonici, most likely, was lizards in feathers — to such conclusion came the John Ostrom, after they compared the bones of the forelimbs of a lizard with a bird. Studies have shown that their structure is very similar. Besides, close relatives of the Raptor — microraptor and VelociRaptor — by the characteristic marks on the fossils, scientists have also established the presence of a covering of feathers.

Sharp also suggested that some dinosaurs could be warm-blooded, among them the scientist took and deinonychus. Only warm-blooded animals characterized by the presence of the pen or hairline.

“Terrible claw” in

Most likely, birds, lizards preyed on the herbivorous tenontosaurus. Such conclusion scientists have made noticing a pattern: skeletons deinonychus was found with the remains of herbivores. John Ostrom suggested that these dinosaurs hunted in packs, one 70-pound predator would not be able to cope with tenontosaurus, weighing more than a ton.

The skeletons of younger individuals was discovered bite marks relatives, which may indicate the hierarchical division of production. So, for example, occurs in modern Komodo dragons: first victim to devour larger species, and small eats the rest. If the low attacking the prey first, older relatives can eat them.

Despite the strong jaw, the force of the bite Canonica was relatively weak, so the main weapon in the attack on the victim was a Crescent-shaped claw. Attacking prey, dinosaurs have crushed her with his body, and claws helped her hold tightly. The victim was eating while she was still alive. Like many predators, the raptors did not hesitate, and carrion.

Hunting herbivores, Dannii themselves from becoming victims of larger predators, such as acrocanthosaurus.

The hero of the novel and the movie star

The iconic Steven Spielberg film “Jurassic Park” (1993) was based on the novel by Michael Crichton, written three years earlier. Interestingly, carnivorous dinosaurs that haunt the main characters in the movie are called velociraptors, but in fact it canonici.

The fact that in the process of writing the book, Crichton repeatedly met with John Astromom to discuss the appearance and habits of Canonica to create a credible image. But in the end, the writer settled on the name “VelociRaptor”, saying that “terrible claw” sounds too intimidating, in contrast to the selected “fast hunter”, but the nature and habits of dinosaurs in the novel and in its film adaptation belong to deinonychus.

The developers of the graphics of the movie “Jurassic Park” at a “VelociRaptor” also turned to the works Stroma, in the end, the dinosaurs in the movie was a cross between Asian and American dinosaurs.

A gift from America

Often in science museums exhibited is not genuine dinosaur skeletons, but their exact copies — casts. To make them, with fossils removed a plaster mold, then pour a special plastic. Copies of weigh much less, are easier to work with, assembling the skeleton, and museums around the world can easily share copies of the originals stored in their funds.

In the early 1970-ies of John Sharp sent casts of a considerable part of the elements of the skeleton Canonica stored at the American Museum of natural history in new York, the Paleontological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The missing parts of the skeleton was recovered by members of the Institute: a fully reconstructed skull, a partial pelvis and some limb bones.

Interestingly, the skeleton Canonica exhibited in new York Museum, partially reconstructed. The skeleton of this dinosaur composed entirely of fossil bones, does not currently exist.

Specifically for opened in 2002 the permanent exhibition “the Development of life on Earth” in the Biological Museum of K. A. Timiryazev staff of the Paleontological Museum made a cast of the reconstructed skeleton Canonica. He now occupies a Central place in the exposition.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure will not be perfect.

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