Deinonychus is a genus of carnivorous dromaeosaurid dinosaur that
existed during the Early Cretaceous. It contains only a single species,
D. antirrhopus. Fossils of the 3.4 meter (11 ft) long dinosaur have
been recovered from the U.S. states of Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma,
though teeth attributed to Deinonychus have been found as far east as
Maryland. A 1960s study of Deinonychus revolutionized the way
scientists thought about dinosaurs, leading to the "Dinosaur
renaissance" and igniting a debate on whether dinosaurs were
warm-blooded. Where the popular conception of dinosaurs had been one of
plodding reptilian giants, the study's description of Deinonychus'
small body, sleek horizontal posture, ratite-like spine and enlarged
raptorial claws suggested an active, agile predator. As in other
dromaeosaurids, the tail vertebrae have a series of ossified tendons
and super-elongated bone processes. These features would seem to make
the tail into a stiff counterbalance, but fossils of closely-related
species suggest that, in life, the tail could swish to the sides with a
high degree of flexibility. Deinonychus teeth and other remains have
been found closely associated with those of the ornithopod
Tenontosaurus, implying that it was hunted or at least scavenged upon
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Today's selected anniversaries:
A 1,600-man force of the Holy Roman Empire led by Christian of Buch and
Rainald of Dassel defeated a 10,000-man Papal States army.
Constantinople fell to the besieging Ottoman army led by Sultan
Mehmed II, ending the Byzantine Empire.
English dramatist W. S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan dies while
saving a young woman from drowning in his lake.
The Rite of Spring, a ballet with music by Russian composer Igor
Stravinsky, was first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in
New Zealand explorer Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer
Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount
A wall at Brussels' Heysel Stadium collapsed under the pressure of
football fans escaping a riot before the European Cup Final between
England's Liverpool F.C. and Italy's Juventus F.C., killing 39 people
and injuring over 600 others.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Any of various insects which give off a ticking noise, especially
the deathwatch beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum.
2. A vigil held over a dying person
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the
gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is
the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the
universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The
fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things
are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial.
--G. K. Chesterton