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Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Class Information
Class Sauropsida
Sub-class Diapsida
Infra-class Archosauromorpha
Order Information
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Sub-order Theropoda
Infraorder Deinonychosauria
Family Information
Family Dromaeosauridae
Genus Information
Genus Deinonychus
Population statistics
Conservation status Extinct

Dromaeosauridae (Greek: δρομευς, dromeus; and σαυρος, sauros; "running lizard") is a family of carnivorous, small-to-moderate-sized dinosaurs whose chief characteristic was the presence of what has come to be called a "switchblade" claw on a retractile second toe. It is generally believed among evolutionists to have existed about 65-70 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, but young earth creationists accept it as having been created on the sixth day, along with all other dinosaurs.


Dromaeosaurs ranged in size from about 2 to 20 feet, depending on the species. They had a short, compact body held horizontally at the hips. It was bipedal, walking and running on its powerful hind legs, using a long tail stiffened with tendons for balance. The head was relatively-large, with a narrow snout containing serrated, backward-pointing teeth, and forward-facing eyes indicating binocular vision. The arms were large, and ended in three-fingered hands capable of grasping prey; these apparently were held close to the body when running.

The feet bore four toes, of which the third and fourth toes bore the weight of the animal when moving about. The second toe was much larger by comparison, and fossilized remains in situ - as well as recently found footprints [1]- have shown it was held off the ground in a retracted position similar to a cat's claws. This "switchblade" claw - much larger than any of the other claws - is believed by scientists to have been used as a slashing weapon during the hunt; the raptor would leap on its prey and disembowel it with these claws.