Interesting Facts About The Velociraptor
Velociraptor is a name which means speedy thief and they roamed the Earth during the late Cretaceous period roughly 80 million years ago. There is proof that they lived in Central Asia. Fossils have been found in Mongolia, Russia and China. They preferred and lived in a hot, dry environment. At the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth Asia was probably a desert-like environment with just had a few streams for the dinosaurs to drink from.
They were one of the smaller dinosaurs and they were strange looking creatures because they resembled what we would consider to be a large chicken. It is also believed that they had chicken-like tufts. They also had an s-shaped neck and thin legs. Their head was about 7 inches long. Paleontologists believe that the Velociraptor had feathers though there is very little evidence proving it. If they did have feathers and a warm-blooded metabolism that would further encourage the idea that they are comparable to today's birds and mammals.
A full grown Velociraptor was only 5-6 feet long and 3 feet tall at their hips. They weighed on average between 15 and 33 pounds. Their size was both a benefit and a hindrance. They were able to run on two legs approximately 40 miles an hour for short periods of time. This may sound impressive but they were slowed down by their short legs. This means they could have been much faster if their turkey legs hadn't prevented it. However, the fact that they could run 40 miles an hour still makes them one of the fastest moving dinosaurs.
It is likely that they could also jump thanks to their hallow bones and small size though no one knows for certain that they did jump. There is proof though that they had a fused wrist bone. They also had another beneficial feature; a tail that was stiff and worked as a counterbalance of sorts. This allowed them to make turns quickly on their two legs.
The Velociraptor was also probably a warm-blooded animal. This means that they differed from cold-blooded lizards that would wait patiently for extended periods of time before attacking their prey. The Velociraptor attacked quickly and savagely. They were a Dromaeosaurid which means they were smart as well. Their brains when you look at their brain/body weight ratio were quite large. This made them a very deadly predator. They may have hunted in packs but this is not a proven fact since most of the fossils that have been found were solo. Either way, their intelligence combined with their swiftness and small size, would have enabled them to attack possibly even very large animals.
Their main weapon was on their feet, which had 4 toes and each had claws. It came in the form of a three inch long hind claw and it was located on their second toe on each foot. The claws were very sharp, sickle-shaped, and retractable. Most likely they used those claws to slash and jab their prey. This was a very deadly weapon and it possible that they would attack, stab, and retreat from their prey to wait on it to bleed to death before they returned to eat their kill. Most likely they ate plant-eaters, though they would eat anything that it could slash and tear apart.
They could tear at their dinner with 80 curved and very sharp teeth, some of which were over an inch long. All of their teeth fit inside their flat snout. They could also grip or tear their meat with their three-fingered hands that had claws.
Not a whole lot is known about the Velociraptor since there has only been a total of about a dozen fossils found. The first fossil was found in Mongolia back in 1924. In 1971 there was a fossil was found alongside a Protoceratops and paleontologists feel that the two died in battle. There is evidence of injury to the Protoceratops being stabbed by claws as well as injuries on the Velociraptor that indicate he may have been punctured by the armored head of his enemy. Other fossils that have been located include two hatchling skulls that were found near an oviraptorid nest. There is reason to believe those two eggs may have served as another dinosaur's meal.
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