Velociraptor

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 about the Velociraptor

DomainDescription
Velociraptor pronunciationVel-OSS-ee-rap-tor
What does Velociraptor mean?The name comes from 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
Length2 meters (6 feet)
Height0.5 meters (1.5 feet)
Weight7-13 kg (15-30 pounds)
Life expectancyBelieved to have been 15 to 20 years.
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speedThe estimated speed is around 45 km/h (28 mph).
When they livedLived during the late Cretaceous period which is 74-70 million years ago.
Where they have been found?They have been 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 is one of their best known features. Two other specimens the Velociraptor mongoliensis and Velociraptor osmolskae were 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 of the Velociraptor

Being in the same family as the Deinonychus, the Velociraptor are carnivorous. They had a long claw on the second toe of both feet which are estimated to have been 8 centimeters or 3 inches long, which was used as a weapon, usually sinking deep into their prey upon attacking. They 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 were only about the size of a big chicken, as they were only 1.5 feet tall. 
  • They were feathered animals, rather than the scaly skin they have in the movies.
  • Remains have been found in Central Asia, especially in Mongolia.
  • A noticable feature were their curved hind claws that they used to catch and kill their prey.