13 Fascinating Facts About Velociraptors

Did you know that Velociraptors were not the scaly creatures depicted in Jurassic Park, but were actually covered in feathers?

For most 5-year-olds, Velociraptors are their favorite dinosaurs, and thanks to the Jurassic Park movies, they are probably even the favorite of 10-year-olds as well. In fact, they are my favorite dinosaurs too.

If you are not familiar with Velociraptors and want to know more about them, here is a brief overview: Velociraptors were small to medium-sized dinosaurs that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago. Adult Velociraptors were around 6.8 feet (2.07 m) long and 1.6 feet (0.5 m) high, and weighed only about 33 pounds (15kg). They had 26 sharp, serrated teeth, stood on two feet, and had two small arms with three claws on each.

Most importantly, they were incredibly fast and could outrun most prey or predators. Now that you have a basic idea of what Velociraptors are, let’s explore some of the most interesting facts that make these dinosaurs so fascinating.

The Velociraptors in Jurassic Park are not accurate.

The Velociraptors depicted in the Jurassic Park movies are actually based on a different dinosaur called Deinonychus antirrhopus, which lived about 30 million years before Velociraptors. The Deinonychus was much bigger and scarier than the Velociraptor, and its name was simply not as cool.

Velociraptors were only discovered in 1924.

The fossils that were later identified as Velociraptors were discovered in the Mongolian Gobi Desert on August 11, 1923, by Peter Kaisen. The fossils consisted of a crushed skull and a claw, and were completely unknown to the world until that point in time. The first Velociraptor fossil was named by Henry Fairfield Osborn, a paleontologist and the president of the American Museum of Natural History.

The name “Velociraptor” is fitting.

When Henry Osborn named Velociraptors in 1924, he had limited information regarding the animals. However, from what he could see, he believed they were swift and agile hunters. As such, he named them Velociraptors, which is a combination of the Latin word “velox” meaning “swift,” and “raptor,” which means thief.

There is a fossil of a Velociraptor and Protoceratops caught in a fight.

This fossil is one of the most striking fossils of any dinosaur. It depicts a Velociraptor and Protoceratops in the middle of a fight, providing valuable insight into the behavior of these prehistoric creatures.

In 1971, a team of Polish and Mongolian researchers discovered fossils that revealed two dinosaurs engaged in a life-or-death struggle. The cause of their burial was likely a freak sandstorm. Despite one velociraptor having its arm trapped in the jaws of a Protoceratops, both dinosaurs appeared evenly matched. Interestingly, it is now known that velociraptors were actually feathered dinosaurs, a far cry from the giant, scaly beasts depicted in Jurassic Park. Although scientists are unsure of the extent of their plumage, it is possible that their feathers were used for mating rituals or to shelter their eggs. Despite their fearsome appearance, velociraptors were not particularly intelligent, with brain development similar to that of a newborn cat. It is also worth noting that there are two different species of velociraptors, the first discovered in 1924 and the second in 2008.

The second type of dinosaur was given the name Velociraptor osmolskae in honor of the Polish paleontologist Halszka Osmólska. However, there are only minor differences between the two species, mainly in their jaw structures. The sounds that Velociraptors made are unknown because fossils alone cannot recreate their vocalizations. Some sound designers recorded various animal sounds, such as horses, geese, dolphins, and tortoises, to create the sounds of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movies. Scientists believe that Velociraptors were similar to land-based eagles due to their large hind claws, which they used to grip their prey. Velociraptors were skilled hunters but had narrow jaws, which meant they most likely hunted smaller animals. They could run up to 40 miles per hour, faster than humans. Overall, the discovery of Velociraptor feathers was the most surprising finding about this dinosaur.

What do you think?

As for me, the concept of ground-dwelling eagles capable of reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour is absolutely frightening!

FAQ

1. What is a velociraptor?

A velociraptor is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 75 to 71 million years ago. It was a small, agile predator that measured up to 6 feet long and stood about 2 feet tall at the hip.

2. How was the velociraptor discovered?

The first velociraptor fossils were discovered in 1923 by a joint American-Mongolian expedition in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. They were originally classified as a type of bird, but later analysis showed that they were actually a type of dinosaur.

3. What did the velociraptor eat?

Velociraptors were carnivorous and primarily ate small animals such as lizards, mammals, and other dinosaurs. They were known for their sharp, curved teeth and powerful jaws, which they used to tear apart their prey.

4. How fast could a velociraptor run?

While the exact speed of a velociraptor is unknown, it is believed that they could run at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. This would have made them one of the fastest dinosaurs of their time.

5. Did velociraptors have feathers?

Yes, recent studies have shown that velociraptors and many other theropod dinosaurs had feathers. These feathers were likely used for insulation and display purposes rather than for flight.

6. Are velociraptors related to birds?

Yes, velociraptors and other theropod dinosaurs are believed to be the ancestors of modern birds. They share many skeletal features and other characteristics, such as feathers, with birds.

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