|Any creature whose name means 'terrible claw' is one that should be given respect. That's what you have there... a Deinonychus.
Deinonychus is a genus of dromaeosaurid dinosaur in the Jurassic World Evolution series. A close relative of Velociraptor, and one of the best-known dromaeosaurid species, Deinonychus originated from Early Cretaceous North America.
Deinonychus was not planned to be featured in Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, and no Deinonychus populations were reported by InGen on either Nublar or their Site B facility on Isla Sorna in 1996. As of 2018, it has been revealed that the Deinonychus was the victim of an unconfirmed form of cruelty.
A close relative of Velociraptor, Deinonychus is portrayed with a rooster-like comb on its head, as well as another fleshy ridge along its tail. Its skull is shorter than that of the Velociraptor, with large pronounced eye ridges. The base genome has a velvet and reddish-grey skin with a dark band along its body and around its eyes. Like Velociraptor, Deinonychus is a swift-moving predator.
Despite their similarities, Deinonychus and Velociraptor cannot coexist and will fight each other. In fact, the genus seems antagonistic toward one another and will hunt down the other. Who is the victor in the battle can vary, though unmodified the Velociraptor has slightly higher base stats and may have an advantage. However, Deinonychus can reap a higher benefit from some genome splices meaning a heavily modified Deinonychus will be exponentially more dangerous than the base creature.
Like Velociraptor, Deinonychus are social and will rapidly lose comfort and turn antagonistic if denied a pack. A bare minimum pack of 3 individuals per paddock can reduce rampages, though a pack of 4 to 6 is recommended. If given space and numbers, Deinonychus can be considered a more docile alternative to Velociraptor.
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In reality, like other dromaeosaurids, Deinonychus would have been covered in feathers safe for avian scales present on the feet and the end of the snout. Fossils of relatives such as Microraptor and analysis of quill knobs found on Dakotaraptor, Utahraptor, and Velociraptor indicate it would have had short feathers across most of its body with larger feathers forming a tail fan and small wings on its arms. This would have made Deinonychus resemble a flightless eagle in real life.
It is thought these wings and the tail fan would have assisted Deinonychus in maneuvering as airfoils, potentially gliding when it was young, as well as aid in visual displays and brooding its nests. Studies on the feet and hands of Deinonychus support the notion that the genus was a fairly good climber, especially when younger and lighter. In terms of build in real life, Deinonychus had a longer, pointer skull, and longer arms than what is seen in-game. Deinonychus has been found in both the Cedar Mountain and Cloverly Formations.
A relatively medium-sized dromaeosaurid, it was one of the earliest of its family yet had advanced adaptations like a stiffened tail to keep the dinosaur steady while running and stereoscopic vision so it could gauge distances. Deinonychus was somewhere in the middle of the food chain, targeting small- to medium-sized animals like Tenontosaurus, Aquilops, and Zephryosaurus, but avoiding large sauropods such as Astrodon and Sauroposeidon and armored dinosaurs like Sauropelta.
A series of bonebeds containing bones and teeth of Deinonychus alongside the remains of the ornithopod Tenontosaurus gave rise to the incredibly popular idea that dromaeosaurids like Deinonychus hunted large prey in packs, which powerfully informed the portrayal of Velociraptor behavior in the Jurassic Park franchise. This hypothesis isn't without its critics; a 2020 evaluation of juvenile Deinonychus diets showed that they ate different food items than adults, which was presented as evidence against the idea of a familiar mammalian pack structure where immature animals ate prey caught by their parents. However, a trackway of several individuals of an unknown Chinese dromaeosaur moving together shows that group behavior likely existed among this family to some degree.
Deinonychus is known to have inhabited a floodplain or swamplike habitat as Cloverly Formation and the Antlers Formation consisted of tropical or sub-tropical forests, deltas and lagoons. Other animals Deinonychus lived alongside include herbivorous dinosaurs such as the armored Sauropelta, as well as the ornithopods Zephyrosaurus and Tenontosaurus.
In the Antlers Formation, Deinonychus shared its environment with the large theropod Acrocanthosaurus, the huge sauropod Sauroposeidon, as well as the crocodilians Goniopholis and Paluxysuchus.
Behind the Scenes
Deinonychus was revealed to be in Evolution on December 23, 2017, in an IGN First video.
- What Killed the Gene Guard Act?. (February 23, 2018). Dinosaur Protection Group. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
- Dinosaur Protection Group. (2018). Dinosaurs Are Mortal. Cruelty Is Timeless. [Poster]. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
- Johnson, Natalie. (May 06, 2020). Jurrassic Park got it wrong: Research indicates raptors didn't hunt in packs. Phys.org. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
- IGN. (December 23, 2017). Jurassic World Evolution: Up Close With the Dinosaurs - IGN First [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- Deinonychus on Wikipedia