The cheetahs of their time, these were among the faster dinosaurs around; velociraptors were fierce pack hunters that would take down prey many times their size.
Meaning of name: Speedy plunderer/thief.
Size: 1.8 meters (around 6 feet long).
Species: Velociraptor mongoliensis (other dromaeosaurids such as Dienonychys, Saurornitholestes and Bambiraptor were briefly considered as species of Velociraptor in the past).
Classifications: Theropoda, Tetanurae, Coelurosauria, Dienonychosauria (velociraptors are dromaeosaurs, which are now grouped as being under dienonychosauria).
Time period: Campanian stage (Late Cretaceous).
Named by: Henry F. Osborn in 1924.
Velociraptor is one of the most well known dinosaurs, up there with Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, it’s one of those dinosaurs that any one can name on sight.
Even though Velociraptor is smaller than Dromaeosaurus, people often confuse the two for one another; besides height, there were no real differences between the two. Don’t let my words fool you, Velociraptors weren’t big but they weren’t exactly chicken-sized either, think of them as being the same size as a large dog; 6 feet long and around half your height.
Not that small size would detract from their lethality, downsizing them means that they’d probably live in larger packs than previously thought, which suddenly makes me think of piranhas… except, on land, and really fast.
Lastly, there is the feather theory. It is now commonly believed by palaeontologists that Velociraptors had feathers. Many fans and film fanatics hate this idea, because apparently having feathers takes away the scare factor.
This was Velociraptor, this has been me, and you’ve been reading Palaeontology Made Easy.
Pictures are from the Jurassic Park Wikia.