There were big dinosaurs and there were small dinosaurs. There were the meat-eating and plant-eating dinosaurs. There were the slow and fast dinosaurs. There was the dinosaur that combines small, fast, meat-eating and vicious characteristics. They were the velociraptors.
Velociraptors pronounced as vuh-LOSS-ih-raptors came from Greek words meaning “speedy thief.” Their estimated existence was 80-85 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period. They roamed the woodlands of Asia. Their estimated length was between 5-6 feet or 1.5-2m. Their height was 3 feet or 1 15 to 33 pounds or 7-15 kilograms. Their diet includes small mammals and plant eating dinosaurs. They fed on large plant eating dinosaurs by stalking them from behind.
Velociraptors famously known as the raptors had low tapered head. Their skulls grew 25cm or 9.8 inch long. It was uniquely up curved concave on the upper surface and convex on the lower. They were also bipedal or it can stand up and walk with two feet. Scientists believed that raptors may have balanced its powerful tail as it swings it hind feet forward. This tail can slice into the side of larger, plant-eating dinosaurs. Their stiffened tail and enlarged sickle-shaped claw on each hindfoot were used to kill preys.
Their jaws were lined with 26 to 28 widely spaced teeth on each side. Then each moved serrated on the back edge than the front. This could be an adaptation that improved their ability to catch and hold fast moving preys.
They were considered warm-blooded creatures because it requires a significant amount of energy to hunt.
One more distinct physical characteristic of the raptors were their feathers. They had short forelimbs that can make lift-off impossible. It’s maybe evolutionary remnants of ancient ancestor’s flight giving wings. Raptors became famous because of the Jurassic Park movies, but there were anatomical inaccuracies in the films. The size was increased to make it scary and they had no feathers.
Their fossils were found by Henry Osbon who also named them. They were found in Mongolia, Russia and China. They year they were discovered was 1924. They roamed freely in the Asian terrain. Some fossils were found in the Gobi desert. There were dozens of velociraptor fossils including one died in a battle to death with Protoceratops.
Raptors were not only agile and fierce hunters. They were also considered as one among the intelligent dinosaurs and famous as well. Dinosaurs were considered to be among the most interesting animals.