|Scientific name :||Velociraptor|
|Time period :||Late Cretaceous|
|Primary diet :||Carnivore|
|In the series|
|Fatalities caused :||Two Protoceratops|
|Appearances :||Survival Tactics|
Velociraptor ("Swift Thief") is a genus of dromaeosaurid dinosaur that lived during the late cretaceous period about 75 million years ago, it live in a desert area in Mongolia and lived in China.
Velociraptor was a mid-sized dromaeosaurid, with adults measuring up to 2.07 m (6.8 ft) long, 0.5 m (1.6 ft) high at the hip, and weighing up to 15 kg (33 lb). The skull, which grew up to 25 cm (10 in) long, was uniquely up-curved, concave on the upper surface and convex on the lower. The jaws were lined with 26–28 widely spaced teeth on each side, each more strongly serrated on the back edge than the front.
Velociraptor, like other dromaeosaurids, had a large manus ('hand') with three strongly curved claws, which were similar in construction and flexibility to the wing bones of modern birds. The second digit was the longest of the three digits present, while the first was shortest. The structure of the carpal (wrist) bones prevented pronation of the wrist and forced the 'hands' to be held with the palmar surface facing inwards (medially), not downwards. The first digit of the foot, as in other theropods, was a small dewclaw. However, whereas most theropods had feet with three digits contacting the ground, dromaeosaurids like Velociraptor walked on only their third and fourth digits. The second digit, for which Velociraptor is most famous, was highly modified and held retracted off the ground. It bore a relatively large, sickle-shaped claw, typical of dromaeosaurid and troodontid dinosaurs. This enlarged claw, which could grow to over 6.5 cm (2.6 in) long around its outer edge, was most likely a predatory device used to tear into or restrain struggling prey.
As in other dromaeosaurs, Velociraptor tails had long bony projections (prezygapophyses) on the upper surfaces of the vertebrae, as well as ossified tendons underneath. The prezygapophyses began on the tenth tail (caudal) vertebra and extended forward to brace four to ten additional vertebrae, depending on position in the tail. These were once thought to fully stiffen the tail, forcing the entire tail to act as a single rod-like unit. However, at least one specimen has preserved a series of intact tail vertebrae curved sideways into an S-shape, suggesting that there was considerably more horizontal flexibility than once thought.
In 2007, paleontologists reported the discovery of quill knobs on a well-preserved Velociraptor mongoliensis forearm from Mongolia, confirming the presence of feathers in this species.
Discovery and Naming
During an American Museum of Natural History expedition to the Outer Mongolian Gobi Desert, on 11 August 1923 Peter Kaisen recovered the first Velociraptor fossil known to science: a crushed but complete skull, associated with one of the raptorial second toe claws (AMNH 6515). In 1924, museum president Henry Fairfield Osborn designated the skull and claw (which he assumed to come from the hand) as the type specimen of his new genus, Velociraptor. This name is derived from the Latin words velox ('swift') and raptor ('robber' or 'plunderer') and refers to the animal's cursorial nature and carnivorous diet. Osborn named the type species V. mongoliensis after its country of origin. Earlier that year, Osborn had mentioned the animal in a popular press article, under the name "Ovoraptor djadochtari" (not to be confused with the similarly named Oviraptor). However, because the name "Ovoraptor" was not published in a scientific journal or accompanied by a formal description, it is considered a nomen nudum ('naked name'), and the name Velociraptor retains priority.
It appeared in the third episode of Dinosaur Revolution where two attacked a young Protoceratops and its parents, after the mom and dad were killed by the raptors, the young tried to escape. They cornerd the little ceratopsian and were about to kill it, but a bull Protoceratops showed up, fought them and chased them away. After a few days, when the little ceratopsian and the bull were taking a walk, they tried to attack them, but a whole herd of Protoceratops showed up, forcing them to retreat.
There are two Velociraptor species, V. mongoliensis and V. osmolskae, the second of which was only identified in 2008.
Paleontologist had discovered pterosaur bones inside of one Velociraptor remains which indicated that Velociraptor had hunted or scavenged.
The wings on the Velociraptors might be to short and the feather count to numerous based of 2007 studies.
Contrary to popular belief, Velociraptor, and other dromaeosaurs, did not have leg bone proportions necessary for moving at high speeds, were likely not especially fast runners.
Velociraptor notable lacks many key features towards hunting most other dinosaurs, instead showing adaptations towards hunting lizards and similarly sized prey. The "Fighting Dinosaurs" fossil, depicting a Velociraptor and Protoceratops locked in combat, was likely either instigated by the Protoceratops, or shows a desperation hunt on the part of the Velociraptor.