The remarkable dinosaur claw in an unearthed condition, as found in the fossil bed in North Africa.Of slender proportions the claw having the archetypical sabre curved killing claw of a medium sized dromeosaur, which has been attributed to this fossil find. The tip is missing however otherwise the claw is in very good preservation. In the dinosaurs lifetime the claw would have been covered with a keratinised cuticle or stratum corneum type sheathing. The fine manual ungual (forefoot claw), from a dromaeosaurid discovered in the continental intercalaire of the Lower Cretaceous period, Albian Stage deposits 113 to 100 m.y.a. of the Kem-Kem Basin, Morocco. The presence of Dromaeosaurids as early as the middle Jurassic was confirmed with the discovery of their fossilised teeth.
Condition; The dromeosaur claw is a very fine example, exhibiting exceptional and a stable condition, not fragile and crumbly which can often be the case from fossilisation and require stabilised conservation work with preservatory mediums. The claw has been re-assembled distally. As is often the case, the rigours of the fossil bed cause separations, fractures etc. however this does not affect the overall unique and appealing fossilised carnivore killing ungual. Otherwise the claw is excellent morphology dorsally and ventrally with curved vein artery groove. The claw has not suffered any crushing during fossilisation and is of slim three dimensional proportions.
Claws are far less common discoveries than that of the teeth of dinosaurs, thousands of teeth are discovered from this location, many types and qualities of preservation including mostly damaged or partial teeth. Among these thousands over the last decade very few claws have been discovered and good raptor claws are even more rare than other reptilian types. On a topical note while the popularity of the Jurassic Park films led to the common use of the name raptor for this taxon of dinosaur, the name does not have any academic taxonomic validity.
The archetypical sabre curve looks menacing, the highly developed slashing claw is the signature of the evolution of this particular dinosaur genus type, over 100 million years of the dromeosaur lineage has gone into refining the shape and durability of the killing ungual. The Claw oozes with appeal for any dinosaur aficionado, a truly exceptional find.
Dromaeosauridae is a family of bird-like Therapod Dinosaurs [bird hipped]. They were small to medium sized possibly feathered Carnivores that flourished the Cretaceous Period. Often referred to as Raptors, after the popular and emotive Velociraptor. The name Dromaeosauridae means Running Lizards, from the Greek dromeus meaning runner. Dromaeosaurid Fossils have been found in several geological localities including N.America, England, Mongolia and North African Fossil Beds of Kem Kem.
Utahraptor Ostrommaysorum is the largest dromeosaurid discovered to date at around 15 to 20 feet in length and one tonne mass weight, a giant among the raptors. Utahraptor lived during the Barremian stage of the Cretaceous period some 131 to 126 m.y.a. The first discoveries of the bones of Utahraptor were unearthed by Jim Jensen at Dalton Wells Quarry, Utah in 1975.