The velociraptor is a feathered animal that lived during the Cretaceous period and was known to belong to the genus of another dromaeosaurid dinosaur called Deinonychus, which was used for protection and hunting.

Key facts

Velociraptor pronunciationThis dinosaur species is pronounced as “vel-OSS-ee-rap-tor”.
What does Velociraptor mean?The name Velociraptor came from the two Latin words, “Velox” and “raptor”, which means swift and robber. Velociraptors were known to be quick thieves.
Dinosaur typeTheropod
On the menuCarnivorous
Length7-13 kg (15-30 pounds)
Height0.5 meters (1.5 feet)
Weight2 meters (6 feet)
Life expectancyDuring the Cretaceous period, the life expectancy of a Velociraptor is believed to be 15 to 20 years.
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speedThe estimated speed of a Velociraptor is between 40 kp/h – 50 kp/h (28 mp/h).
When they livedVelociraptors are known to have lived during the late Cretaceous period which is 74-70 million years ago.
Where they have been found?This type of dinosaur was found in Mongolia.

When & Where

In 1923, during the first American Museum of Natural History expedition to the outer Mongolian Gobi Desert, the first fossil of a Velociraptor was found by a paleontologist named Peter Kaisen. The fossil that was discovered was a broken skull and a toe claw, which was one of the known features of a Velociraptor. Two other specimens of the Velociraptor, which is the Velociraptor mongoliensis and Velociraptor osmolskae was found in Djadochta Formation in the Mongolian province of Ömnögovi and Bayan Mandahu Formation in Inner Mongolia, China respectively.

Size & Weight

As seen in the Jurassic Park movies, the Velociraptor was measured to be 6 feet in height, 9-12 feet in length, and 330 lbs in weight. But this was far from the real-life measurements of the Velociraptor. Apart from being in the same family as a Deinonychus, the Velociraptor is actually only 1.5 feet in height, 6 feet in length, and only about 15-30 lbs in weight. 

Mobility & Diet

Being in the same family as the Deinonychus, the Velociraptor are carnivorous. These species had a long claw on the second toe of both feet which are estimated to be 8 centimeters or 3 inches long, which was used as a weapon, usually sinking deep into their prey upon attacking. Velociraptor usually fed on dinosaurs smaller than them such as the protoceratops.

Interesting Points

  • Far from what’s portrayed in the Jurassic Park movies, the Velociraptors are only the same size as a big chicken, or the same size as a turkey as scientists concluded that they are only 1.5 feet tall. 
  • The velociraptors are smaller compared to the velociraptors present in the movie, “Jurassic Park”.
  • They are feathery animals, rather than the scaly skin they have in the movies.
  • Velociraptors are home to Central Asia, especially in Mongolia.
  • What makes the Velociraptors known are their curved hind claws that they use to catch and kill their prey. 
  • These species often attack dinosaurs smaller to their size, which of them are the protoceratops.