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The second toe on each foot had a 14 inch (35 cm) sickle-like claw and the other toes had smaller claws. When alive, this claw would have been sheathed in a horny, keratinous material much like our fingernails, making the claw even bigger, longer and sharper. The tail was probably used for balance and fast turning. It may have had a relatively large brain and large eyes. Megaraptor was about 20-26 feet (6-8 m) long.
BEHAVIOR AND INTELLIGENCE
Megaraptor, along with the other advanced theropods (like the closely-related dromaeosaurids), were among the smartest of the dinosaurs, as calculated from their brain:body weight ratio (or EQ). This made them very deadly predators.
Megaraptor walked on two slender, bird-like legs; it must have been a fast runner, considering its leg length and light weight. When it ran, it rotated its huge middle-toe-claw upwards and ran on the other toes.
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Incomplete Megaraptor remains were found in 1996 in Northwest Patagonia, Argentina, by paleontologist Fernando E. Novas. Novas named it in 1998 (when it was still thought to be a raptor, hence the name). Fossils included a huge sickle-shaped claw, metatarsal, ulna, and a finger bone.
Megaraptor was a Saurischian dinosaur, the order of lizard-hipped dinosaurs. It was a theropod and a coelurosaur. It was more primitive than the dromaeosaurid (the smartest dinosaurs, or "raptors," which had wider feet and included Velociraptor, Deinonychus, Hulsanpes, Dromaeosaurus, Utahraptor, and others).
Some scientists believe that Megaraptor is actually an adult Unenlagia
The type species of the genus Megaraptor is M. namunhuaiquii (Novas, 1998); this species is named for the Mapuche (an Argentinian Indian language) word for "foot lance".
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