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Facts about the velociraptor: curiosities, characteristics, habitat, food, period whey lived

The Velociraptor roamed around the planet around 85.8 million to 70.6 million years ago. The name “Velociraptor” was given by Henry Fairfield Osborn, the American Museum of Natural History president, back in 1924. The meaning behind its name comes from the Latin words “Velox,” which means swift, and “Raptor,” which means plunderer or robber.

Like the T-Rex, the Velociraptor played a prominent role in Jurassic Park. But scientists, on the other hand, say that these do not resemble how Hollywood had pictured them when it comes to appearance and size. The Velociraptor in the movies was modeled after the Deinonychus because they have similar snouts and sizes.

The characteristics

One of the facts about the velociraptor is that they have feathers on their bodies. Even though these dinosaurs were portrayed featherless in the films, paleontologists have found quill knobs on a well-preserved forearm of a Velociraptor in Mongolia back in 2007. This showed that these creatures had feathers. But the arms of these dinosaurs were way too short to allow them to glide or fly.

The Velociraptors have retained their feathers, mainly because they utilized them to attract mates, protect their eggs, get speed and trust when running up the slopes, and regulate more body temperature.

These dinosaurs had a big skull, around 23 centimeters or 9.1 inches. It also had a shallow, long and narrow snout, which made up around 60% of this creature’s skull length. It also has 13 to 15 teeth located in the upper jaw and 14 to 15 in the lower jaw, and all these teeth were jagged and widely spaced.

Interesting facts about the velociraptor

There are some interesting and cool things about these big lizards, which you might not know. Here are some of them: 

  • Not that slashy: The majority of the individuals think the sickle-shaped claws, which these dinosaurs have, are used for tearing. Well, that’s not true. When these predators jump on the rears of their target, they utilize those deadly claws to hold onto them tightly. This gave these dinosaurs a lot more time to effectively kill and grip the prey’s throat. This is just how the lions or leopards do in this modern day.
  • Have Asian heritage: Both the species of Velociraptor were natives of China. The Osmolskae lived all over China, and V. Mongoliensis lived mainly in Mongolia. Experts didn’t find any fossils of this dinosaur anywhere else in the world, apart from these two regions.
  • The raptor racket: You might easily guess this, but the sounds used to depict these dinosaurs in the movies are not the sounds of the dinosaurs. The barks that you heard between the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were mating noises of tortoises.
Their habitat 

Even though there were many fossilized specimens, there is not much extensive information on the range or habitat of such creatures. Archeologists believe that the habitats of the Velociraptor were dry with sporadic water sources. The existence of sandstone deposits shows that these carnivores usually battered sand storms.

“Fighting Dinosaurs”
What did they eat?

These dinosaurs were carnivores that scavenged and hunted for food. Experts say they spend a lot of time eating small things, such as amphibians, mammals, reptiles, small dinosaurs, and insects. This predator also had a complicated relationship with the Protoceratops, who were the ancestors of the Triceratops.

In 1971, a team of archeologists discovered the “Fighting Dinosaurs” specimen. It was the fossils of a Protoceratops and Velociraptor locked up in a death hold, in which the Protoceratops bit down one of the arms of the Velociraptor. The fossil was neatly maintained right under a sand deposit after being buried because of a sandstorm or tumbled dune.

But the experts had some doubts about the fossils. They believed that the Velociraptors did hunt for food, but they couldn’t attack a dinosaur, which is bigger than their body mass. Later on, it was found out that the predator was not trying to kill the Protoceratops but was feeding on them.

Which period did they live in?

These sickle-clawed predators flourished in the Eastern and Central parts of Asia during the Late Cretaceous Era, 99 million to 65 million years ago. They are related to the Deinonychus, which lived in North America during the Early Cretaceous period.

Final thoughts

Velociraptors are ferocious creatures that once walked the earth. They are way smaller than the T-Rex, but they are pretty deadly when attacking their prey. TheThe fossils were in China, and some of the specimens are also found near the Gobi Desert. They lived during the late Cretaceous period and also had feathers, but since their arms are short, they cannot fly or glide. Did you enjoy learning these facts about the velociraptor?