Velociraptor, meaning 'Speedy Thief'
1 metres (3ft)
About 12kg (26lb)
Fossils have been found in Eastern Asia, including Russia, Mongolia and China
Other small or medium sized animals.
Late Cretaceous between about 85 and 65 million years ago
|Triassic Period||Jurassic Period||Cretaceous Period|
|Early - Middle||Late||Early||Middle||Late||Early||Middle||Late|
Velociraptor may have been small by Dinosaur standards but it was an efficient killing machine all the same; and they operated in packs making them even more efficient.
Velociraptor was a small bipedal saurischian (lizard hipped) theropod (carnivore) that lived during the Cretaceous period.
A Velociraptor prepares to dig its sickle claw into its victim's neck whilst another attacks from the other side.
It had about 80 sharp curved teeth that could be over 25mm long, claws on each of three fingers per hand, four clawed toes on each foot of which the centre one boasted a long sickle shaped retractable claw about 90mm long. This could be used to puncture a hole in a victims blood vessel so that it bled to death.
Velociraptor was about 1.5/2 m long and about 1m tall weighing about 12 kg. It had long slender legs that enabled it to run very fast, probably up to 60 kph for short spurts. Velociraptor had a brain that was quite large in relation to its body, which is an advantage for a predator that has to be able to predict its prey's behaviour. Its prey would include any small to medium sized animal such as hardrosaurs and fast oviraptors like Gallimimus. A fossil of a Velociraptor has been found in a death grip with a Protoceratops indicating they had died together, probably in a fight.
Predators would have included larger carnivores like T-Rex but they would have struggled to catch a Velociraptor unless it was old or ill.
Fossils have been found in Eastern Asia, the first being discovered by paleontologist H. F. Osborn in Mongolia in 1924. These areas would have been hot and arid in the Cretaceous.