Meet the Velociraptor: Fun Facts and Cool Pictures

Written by Julian Hawking


The author sets out to set straight the facts about velociraptors made famous in the Jurassic Park movie, which are in many ways misleading. They were not huge animals, probably the size of a large chicken; they were appear to have been solitary animals, and they were warm blooded, not cold blooded like the large dinosaurs roaming the earth at that time.

The velociraptor’s name means swift seizer and it flourished in the Cretaceous period about 75 million years ago, shortly before the dinosaurs were wiped from the earth by some disaster, probably a meteor. It probably did not live in the United States but in a hot, arid climate like central Asia because no skeletons have been found in the U.S. Their bones are hollow like that of a bird They probably had feathers, not the scales of cold blooded reptiles. The animal probably stood only two or three feet tall and weighed about 30 pounds similar to the size of a human toddler. Characteristics that the movie presented accurately include the over-sized back feet claws and the serious teeth. The velociraptor had a large brain compared to most dinosaurs and fairly sophisticated sight, hearing and smelling. They probably foraged and hunted for food and had a lifespan of about twenty years. With their long back tails, velociraptors probably had a good sense of balance and could jump very well.

So are we surprised that Hollywood actually modeled the dinosaur in the movie on the larger deinonychus, but changed the name to velociraptor because it had a better ring to it? Children and adults who are into dinosaurs now have the real scoop. I read the kindle version on an HD Fire, but the photos could not be fully appreciated. Print versions show better detail. Recommended for ages eight and up.

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