From The Dinosaur Collector
Early Cretaceous of North America

can be divided into three faunal zones.  
The Central Interior is an arid zone characterized by the Deinonychus Tenontosaurus fauna through the middle Cretaceous.  The best finds of raptors and other small theropods traditionally comes from arid environments that larger dinosaurs did not favor. Flowering plants are present but are not yet the dominate flora as they will be later.  The Cycadoids and cycads are declining leaving conifers and ferns as the most important plants species.   updated 2/18/05    

More Diorama Early Cretaceous  

Paleontologists have found multiple, individual fossils of Velociraptor's close North American relative, Deinonychus.  Deinonychus antirrhopus , (Terrible Claw) one of the most important dinosaur fossil ever discovered, Dr. J.H. Ostrom's (of Yale University) 1969 and 1976 descriptions of Deinonychus  were a major contributor to the re-evaluation of dinosaur activity levels and the similarities between it and modern birds.

HLBS Deinonychus

HLBS Deinonychus, requires some assembling and comes in 3 poses.  The metal is pliable enough to allow easy customization.  Metal figures offer the more options for collectors to create original figures. This has long been a staple for military figure collectors. Diorama base by Taliesin Knol.

Deinonychus at 12 feet in length along with a herbivore called Tenontosaurus, a primitive relative of the duck-bills or an advanced dryosaur that was about ten times as big as each Deinonychus, have been found together suggesting that it operated in packs to bring down larger animals.  Track finds also seem to show groups of small predators traveling together.  There is a recent trend towards portraying the raptors with feathers based on finds of related animals in China showing feathers.

Bullyland Deinonychus

Deinonychus from Bullyland reflects a more traditional European look without the feathers. Tenontosaurus would seem like the natural partner for a set that includes Deinonychus. A famous find of Tenontosaurus with with Deinonychus fossils has be been reconstructed as fatal encounter between a pack and the much larger herbivore.

Utahraptor was found about the same time Jurassic Park was released.  It is actually a much better fit for the movie raptor than the actual turkey sized Velociraptor.  This was a large animal around 21 feet long the largest known official dromaeosaurid. .  Oddly raptors get smaller over time and by the Late Cretaceous they are relatively small animals. Fossils have been found associated with the sauropod Astrodon and the armored dinosaur Gastonia.  They may have been prey although Iguanodon seems like an easier meal.  In WWD (Walking with Dinosaurs) a pack of Utahraptors stalk and attack an Iguanodon herd.   It may a relative of the large but obscure Mongolian raptor Achillobator.

  Utahraptor Toyway FameMaster Utahraptor Sauropelta

FameMaster Utahraptor from their 4D Diorama puzzle.  Sauropelta from Schleich. Out of production Toyway WWD with Dinosaurs Utahraptor.

Go to the next North American Early Cretaceous page with the arrows
Acrocanthosaurus Astrodon Zone

Acrocanthosaurus Astrodon Zone Europe
Early Cretaceous Europe

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