FACTOID # 30: If Alaska were its own country, it would be the 26th largest in total area, slightly larger than Iran.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
People who viewed "Velociraptors" also viewed:


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Velociraptors
Conservation status: Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Archosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Coelurosauria
Superfamily: Deinonychosauria
Family: Dromaeosauridae
Genus: Velociraptor
Species: V. mongoliensis
Binomial name
Velociraptor mongoliensis
Osborn, 1924
A model of a velociraptor
A model of a velociraptor

Velociraptor, meaning roughly "fast thief", is a genus of small, agile and slender dinosaurs with up-curved skulls and large sickle claws. They are commonly known as raptors, a name which can also refer to other dromaeosaurids.

Claws and teeth

Velociraptors had strong jaws with rows of bladed teeth. These, in combination with very big claws on their forelimbs and on one of their toes (the size of these claws could reach up to the length of the teeth on extinct sabertooth cats) gave the animals some impressive weaponry.

There is some evidence of how these weapons were used: one of the more spectacular specimens of Velociraptor is a complete, articulated skeleton clutching the skeleton of the dinosaur Protoceratops. The slashing toe claw is where the Protoceratops throat would have been, and the Velociraptor arm is clutched in the herbivore's jaws. The dinosaurs may have been caught in a sandstorm or buried as a sand dune fell on top of them.

Other characteristics

Velociraptors are among the most birdlike dinosaurs known. Recently, fossils of dinosaurs closely related to Velociraptor have been found in China with downy feathers on their bodies, and some even have flight feathers on their arms. It is therefore likely that Velociraptor bore feathers too, although no fossil evidence has yet confirmed this.

One of the more unusual features of these animals is that the tail is stiffened by elongated bones. Though sometimes referred to as ossified tendons, they are actually just incredibly lengthened versions of bones most amniotes use to articulate vertebrae together, termed prezygopophyses. The chevrons (bones that attach to the bottom of the tail vertebrae) were also highly elongated.

The Velociraptor has a skull length of 249 mm (9.80 in), a total length of 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in), a hip height of 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in), and weighs 15 kg (35 lb).

Jurassic Park film

The name Velociraptor is well-known from the novel and film Jurassic Park, but the dinosaurs portrayed there were actually modelled after a larger relative, Deinonychus. It is from this movie that the Velociraptor became popularly known as the raptor. Velociraptor itself was only about the size of a coyote. Although it is possible that the animals hunted in packs (as in the movie) there is no strong fossil evidence to support this idea.

  Results from FactBites:
Velociraptor: Information from Answers.com (3825 words)
Velociraptor (meaning "swift robber") is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that existed approximately 83 to 70 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period.
Velociraptor was a member of the subfamily Velociraptorinae, a derived sub-group of the larger family Dromaeosauridae.
Velociraptor is well-known in its role as a vicious and cunning killer, from the 1990 novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and its 1993 film adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg.
Velociraptor- Enchanted Learning Software (666 words)
Velociraptor's brain was relatively large in comparison to its body size (this is true for all the Dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, who were the most intelligent dinosaurs).
In 1971, fossils of a Velociraptor and a Protoceratops
Velociraptor was a dromaeosaurid, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the highest among the dinosaurs.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m