|“||A pack of fast moving dinosaurs: Velociraptors. They're six feet long and their pretty lethal predators.||„|
|— Allen, describing Velociraptor|
Velociraptor (name meaning "Speedy Thief") is a turkey-sized, well known genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now Mongolia. Having hunted in packs, it is the most famous member of the Raptor family.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Velociraptor lived in Mongolia, Asia during the Late Cretaceous period, 80 million years ago. They lived alongside dinosaurs like Protoceratops, Mononykus, Therizinosaurus, Saurolophus, and Tarbosaurus. They died out with all other dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous about 65 million years ago.
During an American Museum of Natural History expedition to the Outer Mongolian Gobi Desert, on 11 August 1923 Peter Kaisenrecovered the first Velociraptor fossil known to science: a crushed but complete skull, associated with one of the raptorial second toe claws. In 1924, museum president Henry Fairfield Osborn designated the skull and claw (which he assumed to come from the hand) as the type specimen of his new genus, Velociraptor.
Velociraptor was a small raptor dinosaur, being about the size of a two meter turkey and having a build like that of a bird. They stood 3 feet (1.2 m) tall at the hips, measured 6 feet (2 m) long, and weighed 100 lbs. Although small compared to larger dinosaurs of its environment, they nevertheless were very lethal predatory dinosaurs.
Additionally, being small gave it great agility. Velociraptor, like other dromaeosaurs, were remarkably fast, agile and lightweight dinosaurs, capable of running at speeds as fast as 40mph, even reaching 50–60mph if they were hungry. It had small and slender body with a long and stiff tail which was used for balance. It had long arms and legs, around 60 razor sharp teeth, 3 inch sharp claws used in slicing flesh, had a great sense of smell, and advanced eyesight that was on equal level with modern birds.
Like all dromaeosaurids, Velociraptor had sharp claws on its hands and the infamous and distinctive sickle claw on the second toe of each foot. They could use their lethal claws on their toes with devastating effect and can kill even a large male Protoceratops. However, Velociraptor were often at risk when they attacked larger prey.
Despite its strength and ferociousness, Velociraptor, like most animals, didn't like loud noises. If they heard a loud noise, they would flee.
Behavior & TraitsEditVelociraptor, as well as other members of its family, took down large prey by hunting in packs. Juveniles raided the nests of other dinosaurs. Their packs have been known to vary in numbers, although they averagely consist of as many as 4–7 individuals, male and female. As it was a lethal hunter armed to the teeth, being in a group would make Velociraptor a dangerous adversary.
Velociraptor was a carnivore, preying on the dinosaurs Mononykus and Protoceratops, though it also preyed on smaller creatures such as the mammals that lived at the time, lizards, and insects. Velociraptor was also highly intelligent, like all dromaeosaurids. With their large brains, they could have planned efficient, coordinated attacks. When attacking a large animal, a Velociraptor would lunge at with its arms outstretched and puncture an animal's skin with its sickle claw. It would do this several times until its prey was subdued from blood loss, allowing other members of its pack to finish off the wounded animal.