Velociraptor

This dinosaur belongs to the Dromaeosauridae family, which consists of small-medium, bird-like dinosaurs. It lived 75–71 million years ago, in the late Cretaceous period.

Velociraptor was roughly the size of a turkey and smaller, compared to others in its family.

Size & Physique

An adult would have grown up to 2 metres (6.8 feet) long, and up to 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) tall at the hip. It would have weighed up to 15 kilograms (33 lbs).

Scientists currently agree that Velociraptor was mostly covered with feathers. Its arm feathers and “wings” did not enable flight. Though it is believed wings provided stability while it chased its prey. The feathers may have also kept the animal warm and perhaps to attract a mate.

Velociraptors were fast runners and could reach a top speed of approximately 60 kmph. They had fused tail bones, which helped to maintain balance while chasing down prey.

size of velociraptor
Size of Velociraptor compared to an average person.

Overall, this dinosaur was smaller and more slender than its depiction in the Jurassic Park and Jurrassic World films.

Discovery & Location

The first specimen of Velociraptor was discovered in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, in 1923.

Diet

Velociraptor was a carnivore that hunted for its food. It most likely preyed upon animals that were smaller than itself; Including small mammals and reptiles. There is also evidence to indicate that Protoceratops was part of its diet.1

Velociraptor Trivia

  • Velociraptors have become a well-known dinosaur thanks to their appearance in the Jurrasic Park films. They were in fact modeled after a larger species known as Deinonychus.
  • There is a famous fossil specimen of a Velociraptor and Protoceratops locked in combat.2 The “fighting dinosaurs” specimen is proof of Velociraptor’s predatory behaviour.

Image credits: Velociraptor size (PaleoNeolitic)

  1. Hone, David; Choiniere, Jonah; Sullivan, Corwin; Xu, Xing; Pittman, Michael; Tan, Qingwei (2010). “New evidence for a trophic relationship between the dinosaurs Velociraptor and Protoceratops.
  2. American Museum of Natural History “Fighting Dinosaurs: New Discoveries from Mongolia: Exhibition Highlights”.