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Talos (Utah Museum of Natural History)


Talos (after the figure from Greek myth); pronounced TAY-loss


Woodlands of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80-75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 6 feet long and 75-100 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Medium size; long talons on hind feet


About Talos:

Discovered in Utah in 2008, and named three years later, Talos was a nimble, feathered, child-sized theropod equipped with oversized talons on each of its hind feet. Sounds a bit like a raptor, doesn't it? Well, technically, Talos wasn't a true raptor, but part of a family of theropod dinosaurs closely related to Troodon. What makes Talos interesting is that the near-complete "type specimen" had an injured talon on one of its feet, and clearly lived with this injury for an extended period of time, possibly years. It's too early to say how Talos hurt its big toe, but one likely scenario is that it stubbed its precious digit whilst attacking a particularly thick-skinned herbivore.

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