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Velociraptor Facts for Kids

You probably know about the Velociraptor through the popular movie Jurassic Park. In that movie, this dinosaur was shown larger than what it really was to make it scary. However, the Velociraptor was not that big. The first fossil of the dinosaur was discovered in 1923 by H.F. Osborn, who was a paleontologist. The Velociraptor thrived about 75 million years ago, during the end of the Cretaceous Period.

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What a Velociraptor is now believed to look like

Photo Credit: FunkMonk under CC license

Am I Good Looking?

The Velociraptor measured about 6 feet from the tip of its nose to its tail. It was just 3 feet in height and weighed about 30 pounds. However, researchers believe that it had a powerful tail that it used to balance while hunting, running and jumping. The tail comprised of hard bones that were fused together, making it inflexible.

The Velociraptor had feathers covering its body, and it is believed it looked more like a chicken because of the feathers. It definitely was not scaly-skinned as it was shown in Jurassic Park.

Am I Fast or What?

This dinosaur could run quite fast considering its size. It could attain speeds of 40 miles per hour. However, there is some debate about the Velociraptor being fast. Some scientists reckon that the dinosaur was not as fast as its contemporary, the ornithomimid, or bird mimic dinosaur, which could run as fast as 50 miles per hour. Velociraptors had had short legs and this may have hindered its ability to run fast.

Smart is My Middle Name!

Though the Velociraptor had a huge brain for its size, there is some question about its intelligence. Jurassic Park showed Velociraptors being smart enough to turn door knobs and enter a room, but considering the intelligence level that prevailed during that time, you can be certain that the “smart” Velociraptor would have used its head to butt the door until the door broke or the dinosaur knocked itself out!

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Velociraptor Fossils

Photo Credit: FunkMonk under CC license

Give Me Meat

Velociraptors were undoubted carnivorous. In all probability they preyed on other plant-eating dinosaurs. There is some debate about these dinosaurs hunting in packs. However, a fossil was discovered that shows a Velociraptor fighting a Protoceratops, a herbivorous dinosaur. Paleontologists use this as evidence to claim that Velociraptors did not hunt down prey in packs.

Also, there is evidence to show Velociraptors were not averse to scavenging the kills of other dinosaurs.

My Home

Unlike what has been depicted in Jurassic Park, Velociraptors did not inhabit North America. In fact, the Velociraptor lived in a desert-like environment. Based on the fossils that have been recovered, it is a foregone conclusion Velociraptors lived in the northern part of China and Mongolia, in the Gobi Desert.

I am Hot Blooded!

We consider most reptiles to be cold-blooded animals. Considering the Velociraptors had feathers, paleontologists assume these dinosaurs were warm-blooded reptiles just like modern mammals and birds.

Other Interesting Facts about Velociraptors

  • Velociraptors had hollow bones and this would explain why they could attain speeds of 40 mph even with their short, turkey-like legs
  • Velociraptors were bipedal, which means they walked on two legs, namely their hind legs
  • Velociraptor gets its name from two Latin words which mean speed and robber
  • Did you know the Velociraptor is the mascot of the Toronto Raptor, the NBA team?

You can learn more Velociraptor facts for kids below:

http://www.ducksters.com/animals/velociraptor.php

http://www.kidsdinos.com/dinosaurs-for-children.php?dinosaur=Velociraptor

http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/dinosaurbasics/a/velofacts.htm

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