Velociraptor

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Velociraptor (with feathers) based on recent fossil discoveries
Velociraptor (with scales) based on traditional interpretations

Velociraptor (Vell-oss-e-rap-tor), Swift Plunderer, lived in the Late Cretaceous of Asia. Velociraptor was a small fast running theropod. It is the best known of all dromaeosaurids. The name became popular with the release of the Jurassic Park movie. The real Velociraptor was much smaller slightly built bird like animal with long muzzle. Velociraptor featured in the "Jurassic Park" was too big and the tail moved too flexibly in the movie whereas the real one was greatly stiffened by reinforcement of ossified tendons.


Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References


Genera and Species

Classification: Theropoda, Tetanura, Coelurosauria, Dromaeosauridae

Species: V. mongoliensis, V. osmolska



Characteristics

Velociraptor is best known for the large sickle-claw on its foot. It had a long, low head, a depressed muzzle, relatively large brain, and small, sharp teeth. It was fast and intelligent. The arms were long with quill knobs that indicate feather array so it almost certainly had modern style feathers.


Recently discovered evidence suggests that Velociraptor was actually covered with feathers like modern birds.


Size

LENGTH: 1.8 m (6 ft).


Behavior

It is known preyed small animals, mammals, reptiles and small dinosaurs. It is known to have attacked the similar size Protoceratops. It was probably capable of complex social behavior and cooperative hunting.


History of Discovery

Discovered by Osborn, in 1924 known from more than 12 partial to complete skulls and skeletons. Velociraptor fossil found locked in combat with Protoceratops.


Paleoenvironment

Found in Mongolia habitat includes dunes and Oasis environments. Its close relatives are found in North America, it is suggested that the land bridge was extended between the two continents in the Late Cretaceous


References

1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 3381). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia dev13 (pp. 2521). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.