Thanks to the Jurassic Park movies, the Velociraptor is among the most popular and well-known of all dinosaurs, right up there with T-Rex. But is everything we know about this dinosaur correct? Let’s find out.
- Velociraptor is usually portrayed without feathers, but scientists believe that it most definitely did have feathers. Although the feathers rotted long ago, fossils have been found with quill knobs, little bumps where feathers would have been attached. Closely related species have been discovered with preserved feathers.
- Velociraptor was a fast and efficient hunter, but it probably didn’t run in packs of vicious, bloodthirsty animals. Most of the time, it probably hunted for small prey or even scavenged dead animals.
- Velociraptor lived in the Late Cretaceous—80 to 71 million years ago—in a harsh desert climate. Its environment was hot during the day and cold at night. Water and food were scarce.
- This birdlike animal was 6 feet in length and had big eye sockets. Scientists believe it probably had good night vision and hunted mostly at dawn and dusk when temperatures were cool and other animals were active.
- This dinosaur had sharp, serrated teeth for slicing meat and three long fingers. A retractable crescent-shaped claw on the second toe was used for holding down prey.
Questions and Answers
Question: Velociraptor couldn’t fly so what’s up with the feathers?
Answer: The feathers were probably for warmth since the desert environment got very cold at night. They also helped this dinosaur keep its eggs warm.
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