The Utahraptor is a predatory dinosaur known only from fossils found in one state in the US – Utah. Its name actually means ‘robber from Utah’.
First discovered in 1975, the Utahraptor fossils date from the Early Cretaceous period, about 126 million years ago. Recent research has revealed that, unlike our model, the Utahraptor was probably feathered, although it was not capable of flight.
The evolutionary adaptation to flight came later, in one small specialised group of dinosaurs. That group remains with us today: they are the birds, the only direct descendants of dinosaurs.
In 2013, while the Oxford University Museum of Natural History is closed to have the roof fixed, some of the exhibits have sneaked away to the town centre!
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