Velociraptor Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Velociraptor mongoliensis

Scientific Name:

Swift seizer of Mongolia

Wild Status:

Cretaceous Period, 75-71 MYA

Habitat:

Mongolia

Country:

Mongolia

Shelter:

Unknown

Life Span:

Unknown

Size:

6 feet long, 18 inches tall at the hips, 30 pounds

Cool Facts:

  • Small bumps found on the arm bones of Velociraptor have been discovered to be quill knobs.
  • Modern birds have similar structures on their arms to allow for solid attachments of flight feathers.
  • While it would not have been able to fly, Velociraptor may have used its arm feathers to help keep balanced while perched atop thrashing prey. Coupled with its avian method of hunting, it is possible this behavior was the evolutionary precursor to flapping.
  • There is poor evidence to support raptors living and hunting in packs. This theory originated with the discovery of an ornithopod surrounded by the carcasses of two dead raptors and numerous shed raptor teeth. However, this is more likely to have been caused by non-cooperative group feeding. This involves numerous individuals gathering around a food source and fighting amongst each other for access.

Details:

Velociraptor is often portrayed in popular culture as a terrifying predator the size of a man. In reality, it would have been little larger than a domestic turkey! Most members of this group were under 100 pounds. Raptor dinosaurs, technically known as dromaeosaurs, are well known for the enlarged, heavily curved claw on the innermost toe. This claw was held up off the ground and could measure up to 2.5 inches in Velociraptor. Despite having a sharp tip, the claw had no cutting edge and would not have been able to disembowel large prey as depicted in movies. Instead, it is believe raptors used their claws to restrain smaller animals in a manner similar to modern birds of prey.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Reptilia Order - Saurischia Family - Dromaeosauridae Genus - Velociraptor Species - V. mongoliensis  

Conservation & Helping:

The Velociraptor is currently extinct, and was believed to exist 75 - 71 Million Years Ago.

For Teachers and Educators

Velociraptor-Fact-Sheet.pdf

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