Most of the facts about the Velociraptor are now well known. This is due to the discovery of several fossils. It lived during the Cretaceous period and became extinct 70 to 80 million years ago. Like the other dinosaurs it likely perished when a comet / asteroid struck the Earth at the time.
The creature was approximately 3 feet high. Its head measured some 7 inches. With its tail it measured about 6 ft long. It weighed between 15 to 33 lbs. It was a biped and had over eighty teeth. Each one measured an inch long and were extremely sharp.
The head was supported by a curved neck. There were three large claws on the three fingers.
Characteristics of a Predator
The facts about the Velociraptor indicate that it was a carnivore. Aside from the teeth and claws, it had well developed legs. What this suggested was that it could run up to 40 miles per hour. All these elements were indicative of a predator.
Another telling clue was its hard tail. It was very long and helped the creature attain good balance. This meant that when chasing prey, it could grab its victim and make a twist without falling down. It also meant it could swoop down easily to catch the prey.
Although it had large claws, its toe was the killer weapon. It was made of a single sharp nail. Studying the facts about the Velociraptor, it showed that the nail could kill a dinosaur with a solitary hit. Add this with its speed and it became an efficient killing machine.
Another thing worth noting is that its brain was bigger than most of the dinosaurs in the period. Unlike other carnivores, it was able to use cunning when going after its prey. This gave it the advantage despite being relatively smaller than other dinosaurs.
The creature lived in arid places. Nevertheless there is evidence that there were some rivers around it. Its choice of residence was not accidental. Plenty of dinosaurs came to rivers and streams to drink. It made for easy access to potential victims.
The facts about the Velociraptor discovery are clear. The first fossil remains to be recovered was a skull. It was found in the Gobi Desert in 1922. Other discoveries were made two years later in 1924 by Henry Osborn. It was Osborn who gave the species its name. The name itself means “swift robber” (velox is Latin for swift; raptor in Latin means thief). Over a dozen fossil remains have been unearthed.
The creatures have been depicted in numerous films and on TV. However, they are not entirely accurate. Those shown in movies are larger than the real thing. Film depictions often do not show them with bird like feathers, when in fact they were covered with it. Studies have indicated that there is a very close link between these predators and birds.
As more facts about the Velociraptor come to light, these inaccuracies may soon be corrected. What seems certain is that people will continue to be enthralled by it as discoveries are made.