Abstract by Steven Hood
Utahraptor, the poorly known but popular Dromaeosaurid
Although it was described in 1993, Utahraptor ostrommaysorum remains very poorly known. It has garnered intense interest, in part because it is the largest known “raptor” (dromaeosaurid). The BYU Museum of Paleontology houses the world’s largest collection of Utahraptor bones and I have been tasked with organizing and cataloging them in our database. This will allow for a detailed study to determine the number of individuals and describe its osteology and functional morphology. I have placed over 350 bones/teeth on tables, organized them by body position, assigned numbers, entered into a database, and compared with other “raptors”.
We conclude that the manual unguals of Utahraptor exhibits are pedal “sickle claws.” We conclude also that we have at least 11 individuals ranging from a yearling to adults, 1- 4.25 m long. The Utah native dromaeosaurid is of crucial importance in our understanding of the Early Cretaceous dinosaurs.