Scott Hartman has recently released his silhouette of the new Utahraptor reconstruction to Phylopic. Even though the paper hasn’t actually come out yet, Scott gave me permission to upload my own drawing as well, which he has approved as being accurate (at least from a distance - any more subtle anatomy differences would be likely hidden by feathers).
Clearly, the new material will completely revamp our perception of what this animal looked like and probably how it behaved as well. Note the downturned jaw with its procumbent teeth and the much shorter limbs and tail. I’ve heard people say the new material makes Utahraptor “ugly”, but I don’t see ugly, I just see very, very strange - like an “ostrich bulldog”, to use Kirkland’s words.
Hopefully we’ll see the paper out soon. I don’t know much detail beyond what you see here, so I’m as excited as the rest of you. And now to let the ecological speculation on what it was actually doing with that weird jaw and extra-short limbs begin!
Hopefully, the new status as a five-digit species animal group brings more support, funding and awareness for the bewildering diversity reptiles continue to reveal.
Snakes, lizards, and turtles, oh my! A VCU Life Sciences professor has created a Reptile Database cataloging over 10,000 species. Shown is the Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi, a tiny gecko found in the jungle of Laos in Southeast Asia, which was discovered by a team of German, Vietnamese and Lao scientists. [Photo courtesy of Truong Nguyen.]