but not a dinosaur

Deinonychus, which takes its name from the Greek word for “terrible claw,” did indeed catch and grasp prey with its sharp claws. The animal lived during the Cretaceous period, and famed fossil hunter Barnum Brown first discovered this species’ remains in 1931. Its anatomy eventually helped revive the idea (dismissed during much of the 20th century) that birds were descended from dinosaurs.

Paleontologists believed that Deinonychus used their claws to stab their victims, waiting for them to bleed to death before consuming them. Without opposable digits, however, they had to pick up these animals by squeezing them between their palms. They probably had weak jaws and might only have been able to walk about 6 miles per hour.

Still, the species seemed impressive enough for Hollywood, which modeled Jurassic Park’s raptors after Deinonychus, but called them Velociraptors– after a smaller, but more dramatic-sounding dinosaur.

You can find Deinonychus in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs: https://goo.gl/7gU39R


“Hell Creek Ornithomimid” © Chris Mansa, accessed at ArtStation here

[Another dinosaur that got a notoriety boost from Jurassic Park, but rather more accurate in that movie than Dilophosaurus was. It just should have been fluffy. The mechanics are based around a simple fact. In D&D/Pathfinder, knighly characters ought to be able to ride a dinosaur from level 1. Because it’s badass.]

This graceful creature has long thin legs and arms, and stares forward with wide eyes. Its body is coated in a layer of long, hair-like feathers that puff up along its tail and arms.

The dinosaurs known as gallimimus are prized among civilized folk for their incredible speed. Gallimimuses are omnivorous, feeding mainly on plants but supplementing their diet with small animals, large insects and eggs. They often travel in the wake of herds of larger dinosaurs, digging in the disturbed soil for buried tubers or insect larvae. Juvenile gallimimuses are precocious—they can run within hours of hatching. Juveniles spend most of their development in large flocks of other juveniles. Although they can fight with their toothless beaks and claws, gallimimuses are not adept at combat. The large feathers that grow on the arms of a gallimimus resemble flight feathers, but the creature is much too heavy to fly—these are used instead to display for mates and to make themselves look larger and intimidate would-be predators.

In lands where dinosaurs and humanoids co-occur, gallimimuses are often considered valuable mounts. If captured as young, they are trained easily enough to bear a rider and saddle, and their fleet feet and keen eyes make them excellent companions. The mounted charges of a cavalry of lizardfolk riding gallimimuses are not easily forgotten. Long but lean, a gallimimus grows to about 18 feet long (half of which is tail) and stands 6 feet tall at the hip.

Gallimimus as Animal Companions

Starting Statistics: Size Large; Speed 60 ft..; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d3), 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 11; Special Qualities docile, low-light vision.
4th-Level Advancement: Ability Scores
Str +2, Con +2; Special Qualities fearsome display, war-trained

A gallimimus is suitable as a mount for a cavalier and can be summoned using a paladin’s divine bond class feature.

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