Velociraptor attacking an early ancestor of the birds


Velociraptors were made famous in the film 'Jurassic Park', though they were a little less impressive in reality, standing not much taller than domestic turkeys. A famous fossil has one locked in battle with a Protoceratops. The predatory Velociraptor had pinned down its plant-eating victim, but both appear to have been overcome, perhaps by a sudden sandstorm. Fossils also show that Velociraptor had large feathers on its forelimbs, perhaps used for display.

Scientific name: Velociraptor

Rank: Genus

Common names:

swift seizer

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Velociraptor size

An illustration showing Velociraptor's size relative to humans.

A comparison of Velociraptor's size in relation to humans.


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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

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Cretaceous period Cretaceous period
The Cretaceous ended with the most famous mass extinction in history - the one that killed the dinosaurs. Prior to that, it was a warm period with no ice caps at the poles.

BBC News about Velociraptors

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