60 Interesting Facts About Velociraptors for Kids

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Velociraptor is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period. Two species are currently recognized, although others have been assigned in the past. The type species is V. mongoliensis; fossils of this species have been discovered in Mongolia. A second species, V. osmolskae, was named in 2008 for skull material from Inner Mongolia, China.

60 Interesting Facts About Velociraptors for Kids

Interesting Facts About Velociraptors for Kids

  • The Velociraptor is commonly called a raptor.
  • Velociraptor had walked on two legs (bipedal animal).
  • The Velociraptor was a carnivorous predator who ate meat.
  • Estimates put the length of a Velociraptor up to 6.8 feet.
  • The name Velociraptor is pronounced: “veh-loss-ih-RAP-tor”.
  • The name Velociraptor means: “Quick Plunderer” or “Rapid Robber”.
  • The Velociraptor was part of a group of dinosaurs known as theropod.
  • Estimates put the weight of a Velociraptor between 33 and 43 pounds.
  • The Velociraptor was a theropod that belonged to dromaeosaurid family.
  • Velociraptor was able to reach length of 6.6 feet and weight of 33 pounds.
  • Estimates put the top running speed of a Velociraptor up to 40 miles per hour.
  • They lived during the Upper Cretaceous period about 71 to 75 million years ago.
  • Paleontologists think the Velociraptor may have had feathers like other dromaeosaurids.
  • The Velociraptor was discovered in 1923, by Peter Kaisen in Outer Mongolian Gobi Desert.
  • According to some scientists, Velociraptor was able to reach the speed of 40 miles per hour.
  • Velociraptor was covered with feathers, but it couldn't fly because its arms were too short.
  • Despite widespread belief that it hunted in packs, Velociraptor was probably solitary creature.
  • Name "Velociraptor" means "swift thief". Name refers to the ability of this dinosaur to quickly grab its prey.

Scientific Facts About Velociraptors

  • Body covered with feathers and active pursuit of prey indicate that Velociraptor had high, warm-blooded metabolism.
  • Known to be a formidable predator, Velociraptors were small and quick with a large brain that contributed towards agility.
  • Velociraptors were depicted in the 1990 novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and its 1993 film adapation named the same.
  • Main purpose of feathers was to attract potential mates, provide insulation and generate heat required for the incubation of eggs.
  • Basketball team from Toronto, known as "Raptors", is named after Velociraptor. Picture of Velociraptor can be seen on the logo of this team.
  • Velociraptor was a carnivore (predator and scavenger). Its diet was based on small animals such as reptiles, amphibians, small dinosaurs and mammals.
  • Velociraptor, pronounced as ‘vell-os-eeraptor’ is considered to be a bird-like dinosaur which comes from two Latin words meaning “speed” and “robber”!
  • 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.
  • Velociraptors roamed the earth during the end of the Cretaceous period which was roughly around 71 million years ago and thrived in hot, desert-like regions.
  • 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.
  • The most famous Velociraptor fossil is GIN 100/25. It’s called the “Fighting Dinosaurs” fossil because it’s fossilized remains of a Velociraptor and Protoceratops engaged in battle.
  • A fully-grown Velociraptor could weigh up to 15kg (33lb) and grow up to 2m(6.6ft) in length, 0.5m(1.6ft) in height at the hip, which is bigger than the size of the common chimpanzee.

Amazing Facts About Velociraptors

  • The next time you find yourself watching a basketball tournament, look out for the mascot of the NBA team – Toronto Raptors. That’s right- it’s none other than the Velociraptor itself!
  • 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).
  • Specimens from two species have been found both in Mongolia – namely, Velociraptor mongoliensis and Velociraptor osmolskae. Velociraptors belong to the Dromaeosaurid family which includes other small bird-like dinosaur species.
  • Moving on to fossils, the most famous fossil discovered comprises of a Velociraptor fighting a Protoceratops, which is a smaller plant-eating dinosaur, about the size of a large sheep. That’s quite the vivid description, now isn’t it?
  • Just as you walk on two legs, Velociraptors did too, walked on two legs and could run almost 40 miles an hour for short distances. Now, that’s much faster than you can run, but just a little slower than a greyhound running at full speed.
  • At the end of the Cretaceous period, Velociraptors were wiped out along with all of the other dinosaurs. Known as the K-T Extinction event caused by an asteroid strike, over seventy-five percent of all earth’s species became extinct during this time.
  • 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.
  • Velociraptors had a relatively large skull, which was about 9.1 inches (23cm) long, concave on the upper surface and convex on the lower surface. Additionally, its snout was long, narrow and shallow, and made up about 60 percent of the dinosaur’s entire skull length.
  • Velociraptors were carnivores (meat eaters) and would usually scavenge kills by larger dinosaurs, or hunt by themselves. Much of their time was spent eating smaller animals such as reptiles, amphibians, insects, small dinosaurs and mammals. Nimble and small, its speed would have been an added advantage.
  • Velociraptors had 13 to 15 teeth in its upper jaw and 14 to 15 teeth in its lower jaw which were widely spaced and serrated, though more strongly on the back edge than the front. They had teeth which were sharp like pointy knives and special four-inched curved claws, that was used as a fork to stab and slash their food.

Unknown Facts About Velociraptors

  • Velociraptors had four claws on each foot with a sickle-shaped talon on the second toe of each foot, used as hooks to keep their prey from escaping. Velociraptors used their claws as razor-sharp weapons to kill their prey while their tails were made up of hard fused bones, which most likely kept it balanced as it ran, hunted and jumped.
  • 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.
  • Velociraptors were considered to be dinosaurs with brains larger in size when compared to species of the same size which hints at a superior intelligence. They were probably a bit smarter than rabbits but not quite as smart as cats and dogs. There is evidence that Velociraptors moved together indicating group hunting which requires intelligence to hunt in packs.
  • Interestingly, the first Velociraptor fossil was found in August 1923 by Peter Kaisen at the first American Museum of Natural History expedition to the Outer Mongolian Gobi Desert. Henry Field Osborne, who was the then president of the American Museum of Natural History, incidentally, named the dinosaur Velociraptor. He bestowed this name on the dinosaur from the Latin words “Velox” (swift) and “raptor” (robber), as an apt description of its agility and carnivorous diet.
  • The first thought that rings in one’s mind when the sound of the word dinosaur makes its way to the eardrum is the movie, Jurassic Park. Did you know that the Velociraptor played a substantial role in this movie but was often displayed inaccurately? The Velociraptor was displayed as larger, human-sized dinosaurs but in reality, they were the size of a turkey. Additionally, they are believed to have had feathers that were not portrayed in the movie. Talk about misrepresentation, right!
  • Try imagining a dinosaur looking bird with feathers- that’s a velociraptor for you! Palaeontologists discovered quill knobs- places where flight-related feathers of birds are anchored to the bone, on a well-preserved Velociraptor forearm from Mongolia in 2007, indicating that Velociraptors had feathers and were warm-blooded. A special bone in its wrist, allowed it to swivel sideways in a flapping motion and fold its arm against its body like a bird. This is an important part of the flight stroke in modern birds.

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