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Northclaw

The northclaw is a coelurosaur with a large head and feathery coat, differing little from its Jurassic and Cretaceous ancestors. The main difference is the massive single claw, the killing organ on its right forelimb.

The northclaw, Monuncus cursus, is a widespread, felid-like maniraptoran from the prairies and grasslands of the North America in The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution.

Puma-like, a northclaw slinks through the grasses of the prairie, its tawny stripes blending it into the dry yellows and browns of the vegetation. Its reptile-like eyes are fixed on an unconcerned grazing group of crested sprintosaurs, its instinctive cunning guiding it towards the most effective attack. For long hours its sleek body moves, slowly but surely towards the unsuspecting herd. Suddenly a male crested sprintosaur, looking round, notes something in the grass that does not quite fit. He trumpets out a warning blast and the herd scatters in a cloud of dust. With an instant reflex the northclaw darts up from its place of hiding and arrows down on the slowest of its prey: a young crested sprintosaur. Its powerful hind legs thrust the horizontal body forward, balanced by its stiff, rod-like tail. Then, when almost upon the young sprintosaur, which is still deciding which way to run, the single long claw springs out, hooks into the skin and pulls the ornithischian over, kicking and struggling in the dust and the grass. Another blow of the claw and the prey is disemboweled, and the northclaw settles down to feast.

Northclaw attack

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