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Deinonychus

Part of Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs.

A glass exhibition case displays a fossil skeleton of a small theropod dinosaur with a long thin tail and long powerful hind limbs.

At 7 feet long, Deinonychus belonged to a group of dinosaurs called maniraptors, or "hand-robbers." Its hands and feet were equipped with sharp claws for catching and grasping prey. The dinosaur's hollow bones and long legs indicate swift and agile movement.

The Deinonychus exhibit is the only real fossil specimen of its kind on display anywhere in the world. The similarities between Deinonychus and early bird skeletons show that modern-day birds descended from small dinosaurs.