Velociraptor

Name:Velociraptor
Superorder:Theropoda
Species:V. mongoliensis and V. osmolskae
Height:0.5m (Adult, Estimated)
Length:2m (Adult, Estimated)
Period:Late Cretaceous
Territory:Mongolia, and China
Weight:15 kg (Adult, Estimated)
Speed:64 kph (40 mph)

From the evocative name that means “fast raptor”, the small, snappy carnivorous dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period. About the size of a turkey, the Velociraptor had long, nimble legs, claws, and, pointed teeth.

Effective as a war machine, the Velociraptor was an energetic and agile predator, intelligent enough to compensate for its small size with teamwork: when the prey was too large to be attacked by a single Velociraptor, they organized themselves in groups.

Acclaimed in the famous Jurassic-themed films by Steven Spielberg, the image attributed to this dinosaur and transmitted to the public does not coincide with the original one, since all the paleontologists who have dealt with the subject agree in believing that the body of the Velociraptor was covered with feathers.

Velociraptor Characteristics

The Velociraptor had a length that could reach two meters, including the decidedly important tail and the long S-shaped neck, for a height at the withers of about 50 centimeters and an average weight of 15 kilograms: measurements that make this dinosaur a medium-sized Dromeosaurid.

Its head, equipped with a long and flat muzzle on the sides, presented a characteristic curvature that made it hollow in the upper part and slightly rounded in the lower one, and which gave shape to a powerful jaw equipped with 26/28 teeth, arranged in a single row, sharp and well-spaced. The rear teeth, in particular, appeared to have particular knurling designed to hold the prey in an inexorable vice.

The front legs, which can be correctly defined as “hands”, since the Velociraptor was bipedal, had three claws, the central one being more developed than the two lateral ones. From the careful study of the bone structure of the wrist, it was possible to conclude that this dinosaur was unable to assume the position on all fours and that, in the resting phase, its posture was erect and with the hands forward, facing palm to palm, in a kind of silent applause. The feet were composed of four toes: the first acted as a spur, as in the legs of today’s rooster, the second was held off the ground and used exclusively during hunting, while the third and fourth performed the main function of supporting the whole body of the animal.

The claw on the second finger represented the Velociraptor’s most fearsome weapon. With the unmistakable shape of a sickle, this claw, which reached the considerable length of 6.5 centimeters, was retractable and was kept raised from the ground during the run, to be unsheathed like a deadly saber when attacking the poor defenseless prey. The long tail ensured the stability of the race, making it even more effective; several scholars believe that the Velociraptor was able to stiffen it to make it similar to a stick to be used in the predatory activity.

Velociraptor Had Feathers

Velociraptor and the feathered cloak hypothesis, after careful observation of a well-preserved fossil skeleton, some researchers, noting the presence of typical bird bony papillae, distributed on the Ulna of the Velociraptor, concluded that this small dinosaur was endowed with feathers.

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Moreover, the paleontologists were well aware of the fact that the ancestors of the Velociraptor were covered with feathers and perfectly capable of flying and that, therefore, even the small Dromaeosaurid, although no longer capable of taking flight, could have kept, among the hereditary characters, a dense plumage, like any land bird.

Although the suspicion had been brewing for some time among the experts, no one had been able to provide incontrovertible evidence on the plumage of the Velociraptor, and despite the absence of the bony papillae, it does not exclude the presence of feathers ( flamingos, for example, despite being feathered, do not present bony papillae) the finding of the fossil ulna has definitively dispelled all doubts.

The Velociraptor, moreover, possessed hollow bones and hatched its eggs just like a bird; so why not flaunt a feathered livery? A further clue to the advantage of this thesis is obtained from the observation of all the terrestrial birds currently existing on the planet: well, all have ulnar papillae, although they have long lost the ability to fly.
The feathers, in these cases as in that of the Velociraptor, take on a different role from a flight, which can be body thermoregulation, thermal insulation during the hatching of the eggs, or the improvement of aerodynamics during the race.

Velociraptor Hunting

The careful study of the fossil group of fighting dinosaurs has revealed many details about the habits of the Velociraptor, first of all, that it was, in all probability, a nocturnal animal. The magnificent fossil group, already described above, acquires inestimable importance in paleontology because, in immortalizing a common hunting scene in the Cretaceous for eternity, it has crystallized the behaviors and strategies of attack of an animal that no longer exists today and that does not exist anymore. it is more possible to observe.

What Did Velociraptor Eat

Velociraptors diet compromised mostly Protoceratops suggests due to the Fighting Dinosaurs fossil. As well the Djadochta Formation can help us understand more of the other dinosaurs lived in the territory of the Velociraptor. Velociraptors diet consisted of; Protoceratops andrewsi, and Pinacosaurus grangeri and small amphibians, lizards, Ornithischians, and mammals

Velociraptor Habitat

Most of the terrain was semi-desert environments and seasonal streams during or after rains.