Velociraptor Facts

Velociraptor Facts
Velociraptor was a type of dromaeosaurid dinosaur (bird-like dinosaur). There were two species of Velociraptor that lived in Central Asia 75 to 71 million years ago (end of Cretaceous period). First fossil of Velociraptor was discovered in 1923 in a Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Second species has been discovered in 2008 in China. Velociraptor lived in arid, sandy areas. It became very popular and widely recognized after the movie "Jurassic Park", even though it wasn't portrayed correctly (Velociraptor wasn't extremely intelligent, large and covered with scaly skin).
Interesting Velociraptor Facts:
Velociraptor was able to reach length of 6.6 feet and weight of 33 pounds.
Velociraptor had large, up-curved skull that was concave on the upper surface and convex on the bottom side. It had long, narrow snout and two large hand-shaped appendages with three curved claws. These appendages were anatomically very similar to the wing bones of modern birds. Velociraptor had long, inflexible tail whose main purpose was to provide balance.
Name "Velociraptor" means "swift thief". Name refers to the ability of this dinosaur to quickly grab its prey.
Hind feet of Velociraptor were equipped with sharp claws. 3-inches-long, sickle-shaped claw on the second toe was used for killing and to prevent escape of the prey.
Velociraptor was a carnivore (predator and scavenger). Its diet was based on small animals such as reptiles, amphibians, small dinosaurs and mammals.
Velociraptor had 13 to 15 teeth in the upper jaw and 14 to 15 teeth in the lower jaw. Its teeth were sharp, widely separated and serrated on the edges.
Velociraptor had walked on two legs (bipedal animal).
Despite widespread belief that it hunted in packs, Velociraptor was probably solitary creature.
According to some scientists, Velociraptor was able to reach the speed of 40 miles per hour.
One of the most famous fossils of Velociraptor is the one where this dinosaur is "caught" in the middle of the fight with Protoceratops (pig-sized herbivorous dinosaur, Velociraptor's potential prey).
Velociraptor was covered with feathers, but it couldn't fly because its arms were too short.
Main purpose of feathers was to attract potential mates, provide insulation and generate heat required for the incubation of eggs.
Body covered with feathers and active pursuit of prey indicate that Velociraptor had high, warm-blooded metabolism.
Dinosaur represented as Velociraptor in the movie "Jurassic Park", was actually much larger species of bird-like dinosaur, better known as Deinonychus. Velociraptor was small animal, sized of a turkey. Instead of scaly skin, its body was covered with feathers.
Basketball team from Toronto, known as "Raptors", is named after Velociraptor. Picture of Velociraptor can be seen on the logo of this team.

Related Links:
Dinosaurs Facts
Animals Facts
Deinonychus Facts
Dinosaurs Facts for Kids
Swift Thief Quiz