Deinonychus, meaning terrible claw, was aptly named for the sickle-shaped claw on the second toe of the hind feet. This claw would have been covered with an outer sheath that may have been up to 4.7" (12cm) long. It is believed that they walked on the third and fourth digits and would have used their second digit as their killing tool of choice.
Some paleontologists believe the "killing claw" (2nd digit claw) would have been used to disembowel their prey and to establish hierarchy with other Deinonychus. Further study suggests that rather than evisceration they may have used this fascinating appendage as a grapple used to climb its prey. Once hooked in, they would be free to use teeth and hand claws, thus giving a small pack enough time and leverage to take down a much larger animal.
Paleontologist John Ostrom completely changed the way we look at dinosaurs when he began examining this clearly agile dinosaur (in the 1960's). The prevailing wisdom at that time indicated dinosaurs were slow, plodding, cold-blooded reptiles.
Our replica was made from a complete, well-preserved, right foot of a single adult. Very little restoration was needed on the original. The "killing claw" measures 3.5" (8.9cm).
Available as an unpainted, unmounted cast suitable for some research or reference purposes. Note: some portions of the original fossil may have been scientifically restored.