Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dinosaur of the Month- Velociraptor mongoliensis

Dinosaur Name: Velociraptor mongoliensis
Order, Suborder, Family: Sauropsida, Dinosauria, Dromaeosauridae
Name Means: "swift predator," which refers to its ability to run after prey
Time Period: ate Cretaceous, 84-80 million years ago
Location: China, Mongolia, former Soviet Union

Length: up to 46 feet

Velociraptor mongoliensis was a feathered dinosaur due to a  forelimb fossil discovered in Mongolia  that showed quill knobs like those found in many modern birds.

The plumage of feahters may have been used for mating or to help regulate body temperature.The feathers might also have helped females protect their eggs.



 Velociraptor had hollow bones, tended nests of eggs, and probably behaved in similar ways as birds.
Despite their birdlike plumage these dinosaurs were not fliers.

What's interesting about this dinosaur is that it is prehaps the one of the more intelligent dinosaurs becasue of it large brain size in comparision to body size. Also this dinosaur walked upridht on two legs and reached speeds of 24 miles per hour.

"When they caught up to prey, these predators likely brought them down quickly with a long, 3.5-inch (9-centimeter) retractable claw on each foot and a mouth full of sharp teeth. Velociraptor is known to have preyed on herbivores such as Protoceratops. One famous fossil immortalized the two species locked in an ancient duel to the death." from' In 1971, a Velociraptor skeleton was found in a death struggle with a Protoceratops. Both skeletons were found intact.

The Velociraptor lived in a desert-like environment that had some streams, trees, and shrubs.Found in the Gobi Desert which is located in Mongolia and northern China.

As pack hunters, the Velociraptor may have had some social structure within their pack similar to other animal species that hunt in packs.

Like all dinosaurs, baby Velociraptors hatched from eggs. Fossilized skulls indicate that young Velociraptors had proportionally shorter snouts and bigger eyes than the adults. This indicates that the babies were fed and looked after by the adults for some period after hatching. (Contrast this to baby alligators, which look like tiny adults when they hatch, and receive no parental care.)

IF you want a good long detailed read about this dinosaur go to

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