Dakotaraptor is an extinct genus of dromaeosaurs known from partial skeletons unearthed in South Dakota, USA. Its fossils have been found in the Maastrichtian-age Hell Creek Formation, dated to the very end of the Cretaceous period, making it one of the last surviving dromeosaurids. It is currently the only playable dinosaur in Saurian.
A common misconception is that Dakotaraptor has beaten Utahraptor as the largest dromaeosaurid, but this is untrue. Utahraptor was 7 metres (23 ft) and 500 kg (1,100 lbs), while Dakotaraptor was 5.5 metres (19.6 ft) and 453 kg (1,000 lbs) but were on a similar scale.The fossils discovered in South Dakota show tiny “quill knobs” on the lower arm bones, suggesting Dakotaraptor had feathers all over the body, including wings on its arms.
A study of the known fossils of Dakotaraptor show that in body proportions this genus was actually more like genera such as Deinonychus and Dromaeosaurus than it was Utahraptor, making a direct link between Dakotaraptor and Utahraptor unlikely. Curiously, they were built less like a Utahraptor it was more like a small raptor and was lightly. This is consistent with the time that spans between Utahraptor and Dakotaraptor. It is currently classified as being a closer relative to the Campanian Dromaeosaurus, so Dakotaraptor's large size is only an example of convergent evolution.
Dakotaraptor is the second dromaeosaurid dinosaur known from the Hell Creek Formation, with the first being the much smaller Acheroraptor. The only other mainly predatory dinosaur known to have been around at the same time and location and also be bigger than Dakotaraptor is the mighty Tyrannosaurus. Possible prey dinosaurs for Dakotaraptor could include anything from ceratopsian dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Leptoceratops, ankylosaurs and nodosaurs such as Ankylosaurus and Denversaurus, pachycephalosaurs such as Pachycephalosaurus, and hadrosaurs and parksosaurids such as Anatosaurus and Thescelosaurus.
A recent study seemed to show that the wishbones of Dakotaraptor may actually belong to an extinct genus of turtles: Axestemys splendida. If this was true, Dakotaraptor would've no longer have been a valid genus, and merely a chimaera between a theropod dinosaur and a turtle. However, this is dubious at best, as there may be new papers confirming that Dakotaraptor was indeed a valid genus. Plus, the wishbones could easily be removed from the type fossil definition, maintaining the validity of the genus.
The morphs, a robust and gracile one, were present in the fossil material. Studies show that both of these Dakotaraptor were adults. Reasons for this disparity of shape can vary from individual variety of pathologies (malnourishment or a deficiency during growth may have caused the gracile variety), while the simplest explanation may have been sexual dimorphism, which could suggest that males and females were different from each other in terms of shape. If the latter is true, however, there is still no clue to which is the male or the female.
In Saurian Edit
"Dakotaraptor are not good parents. They will tolerate you as a hatchling but once you become a juvenile they will start to see you as food."
― Saurian Dakotaraptor hatchling gameplay guide, referencing Dakotaraptor's poor parental care
"Dakotaraptor can take down larger prey with Raptor Prey Restraint. Jump onto an animal to initiate RPR. Once mounted, flap to maintain your balance by clicking RMB and damage your prey by clicking LMB."
― Saurian Dakotaraptor juvenile gameplay guide, teaching how to practice RPR.
Dakotaraptor is the first playable dinosaur in the game. Currently the player only has the ability to play this animal, from hatchling to adult, but in the future, Dakotaraptor gameplay will be complemented, and the game will soon have much other playable dinosaurs. Currently in the game, the Dakotaraptor is able to practice RPR (Raptor Prey Restraint) to restrain prey that are about it's size, or larger. Young Dakotaraptor are also able to climb trees and glide with their pennaceous wings, a useful tool to evade predators and cover large distances without risking aggression from other animals.
The coloration of Dakotaraptor changes as it grows, but throughout its life it is fully feathered, save for its snout. As a fully grown adult, its feather coloration is brown/black, white and grey, along with yellow along the bottom of its feet.
GalleryEditFor a more complete gallery, visit Dakotaraptor/Gallery
|Animals of Saurian|
|Playable: Ankylosaurus • Anzu • Dakotaraptor • Pachycephalosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus
Non-playable: Acheroraptor (originally playable) • Alvarezsaur • Anatosaurus • Axestemys • Basilemys • Borealosuchus • Brachychampsa • Brodavis • Casterolimulus • Chamops • Champsosaurus • Denversaurus • DePalma's Ornithuran • Didelphodon • Habrosaurus • Lepisosteus • Lonchidion • Meniscoessus • Mosasaurus • Ornithomimid • Palaeosaniwa • Pectinodon • Quetzalcoatlus • Thescelosaurus • Thoracosaurus • Toxochelys