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Deltadromeus (Wikimedia Commons)


Deltadromeus (Greek for "delta runner"); pronounced dell-tah-DROE-mee-us


Plains of northern Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (95 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 30 feet long and 3-4 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long, slender build; powerful legs


About Deltadromeus:

It's hard to picture a carnivorous dinosaur measuring over 30 feet from snout to tail and weighing in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 tons building up a significant head of steam during a chase, but judging by its streamlined build, Deltadromeus must have been one of the fastest and most dangerous predators of the middle Cretaceous period. Until recently, this large theropod was classified as a coelurosaur (a family of fairly small, predatory dinosaurs), but its size and other anatomical characteristics have since placed it more firmly in the ceratosaur camp, and thus closely related to the equally dangerous Ceratosaurus.

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