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Velociraptor (Vu-LA-si-rap-tur)

If you've seen the movie Jurassic Park you'll remember the speedy dinos with sharp teeth that run around ripping apart everything in sight. These fierce predators were called Velociraptors. The movie makes these little guys about 400 percent larger than the fossils actually are, the movie dinos are more like Utahraptors. Velociraptors were about the size of a Great Dane, except not so friendly.

What Did the Velociraptor Look Like?

Velociraptor, which means speedy raider, was quick on its two feet. This meat-eater had about 80 sharp, curved teeth in a long flat snout. Some of its dagger-like teeth were over an inch (2.5 cm) long. This dinosaur had a s-shaped neck but you wouldn't have laughed at it after seeing its hand with three clawed fingers and four clawed toes. As if that wasn't scary enough a 3.5 inch (9 cm) long hooked, retractable claw was in the middle of each foot. It was probably what killed most of the raptors' defenseless prey (mostly plant-eaters.) A human would have been torn apart by a Velociraptor in about 30 seconds.

Where Did Velociraptors Live?

Velociraptors lived about 80 million years ago during the Upper Cretaceous period. Fossils have been found in Mongolia. Some scientists believe it had feathers. There is no fossil evidence but they think it did because animals directly related to it that came before and after Velociraptor had feathers.

Velociraptor and Protoceratops Battle To The Death

A nearly complete Velociraptor skeleton was found in an attack position, clutching the skull of a Protoceratops skeleton. It seems they both killed each other while battling. This is one of tose rare finds that shows a carnivore's eating habits. This is one species of dinosaur that should never be cloned, even in the movies.


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Which of the Above Dinos Would You Build?

  • T-Rex, duh!
  • Triceratops, of course.
  • No doubt about it, Velociraptor.
  • I'll have to go with some small, cute creature instead.

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