Velociraptor

Velociraptor (vəlŏsˈĭrăpˌtər) [key] [Gr., = swift robber], swift bipedal carnivorous dinosaur of the late Cretaceous period. It was relatively small, being approximately 6 ft (1.8 m) long. It was similar to Deinonychus in appearance and, like that dinosaur, had a lethal sickle-shaped claw on the second toe of each three-toed foot, which was used for attacking prey. Fossil skeletons have been found in Mongolia. A find of particular interest, discovered in the Gobi desert in 1971, revealed a Velociraptor in the act of attacking another dinosaur, the herbivorous Protoceratops. Velociraptor belongs to the group of saurischian theropods [Gr.,  =  beast feet] that includes Tyrannosaurus , Deinonychus, and living birds.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Velociraptor from Fact Monster:

  • Deinonychus - Deinonychus Deinonychus [Gr.,=terrible claw], swift bipedal carnivorous dinosaur of the early ...
  • Classification of the Dinosaurs - Classification of the Dinosaurs Dinosaurs (“terrible lizards”) belong to a large group ...
  • bird - bird bird, warm-blooded, egg-laying, vertebrate animal having its body covered with feathers and ...
  • CHANGING FACES - No one has ever seen a living dinosaur, so scientists rely on fossil remains to provide clues to how these ancient reptiles looked and behaved when th
  • DEATH AND DISEASE - Few dinosaurs reached old age. These creatures were constantly at risk from the environment and from other animals. Many dinosaur species are known on

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Vertebrate Zoology