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Velociraptor

'Swift seizer'

WWD

Velociraptor was a small, feathered, carnivorous dinosaur. Velociraptors and their relatives are among the closest relatives to the birds. They share a number of bird-like features including a foldable wrist and large feathers. It is almost certain that Velociraptor behaved like a bird, especially in how it cared for its young.

They call it home

Velociraptor fossils have been found within the Djadochta and Barun Goyot Formations of Mongolia. The conditions here, in the hot, dry Gobi Desert, would have been very similar 75 million years ago. Velociraptor shared its habitat with Protoceratops and Pinacosaurus as well as ankylosaurs and numerous species of lizard.

What we heard about their hearing

What we heard about their hearing

Raptors in general are thought to have been able to hear low frequency sounds best.


What big teeth you have

What big teeth you have

Velociraptor had around 15 widely spaced teeth on each side of its jaw. Velociraptor sliced its prey with serrated teeth.


Nose knowledge

Nose knowledge

Velociraptor had an excellent sense of smell, just like T. rex. Both would have had a nose to rival a bloodhound.


The most fantastic find

The most fantastic find

The best ever fossil find has got to be the 'fighting dinosaur'. This beautifully preserved fossil was uncovered in 1971 in the Mongolian Gobi Desert and shows Velociraptor in a death grip with a Protoceratops. It is the most direct evidence of predation ever seen in the fossil record.

Velociraptor features

Velociraptor features Height: 0.8m (2.46ft)
Length: 1.8m (5.9ft)
Weight: 18.14kg (40lbs)
Top speed: 39kph (24.23mph)
Vision: Velociraptor had excellent binocular vision and its eyesight was among the best of all dinosaurs. In fact, its eyesight was so advanced that it was close to that of our modern-day birds.
Skin: Although Velociraptor had feathers, it probably would have been unable to fly due to its small forearms. Instead, its feathers might have been used for display, temperature control, manoeuvrability or in shielding their nests.
Brain: Velociraptor is one of the most intelligent dinosaurs known. The dromaeosaurs were in general highly intelligent.
Prey: Velociraptor were thought to have chased down their prey, leaping on top and gripping them with their sickle claws. Velociraptor would have eaten a modest amount, probably about as much as a chicken each day.
Bite: Velociraptor's bite was probably around 3,000 newtons, much lower than T. rex's at 57,000 newtons but on a par with a lion.
Nest: Velociraptor would have laid bird-like, ornithoid eggs about the size of an emu egg and not unlike all other theropod eggs.

Velociraptor facts and theories

Velociraptor facts and theories

  1. One of the closest relatives of Velociraptor is Balaur bondoc. Found in the Late Cretaceous of Romania, Balaur was also a two-legged, turkey-sized carnivore, but it had two sets of sickle-shaped killer claws on each foot instead of one.
  2. Just as portrayed in the film Jurassic Park, some experts believe Velociraptor were pack hunters, tackling large prey cooperatively.
  3. It has long been thought that Velociraptor used its famous 6.5cm (2.6in) long claws to slash its victims, but new research suggests it used them like climbing crampons to grip onto the sides of its prey.
  4. The first fossils of Velociraptor, along with dinosaur eggs and amazing examples of Protoceratops and Oviraptor, were found in the 1920s by Roy Chapman Andrews' famous American Museum of Natural History expeditions to the Gobi Desert. More Velociraptor fossils were found during a joint Polish-Mongolian expedition in the 1970s.
  5. Although Velociraptor were extremely fierce predators, they might have been prey for larger animals like their fellow theropod, Tarbosaurus.
  6. As a night hunter, Velociraptor would have been able to see well in the dark, allowing it to catch its prey at the dead of night.