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Jurassic Park - VELOCIRAPTOR

VELOCIRAPTOR (Illustration) American History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Archeological Wonders Geography Social Studies STEM World History Film

Mark Stevenson created this image of a pack of Velociraptors attacking a Camarasaurus dinosaur. In this scenario, the smaller carnivore (meat-eating) raptor has a larger brain than the herbivore (plant-eating) Camarasaurus. Paleontologists believe that Velociraptors hunted in packs, thereby enabling them to “take on” much-larger creatures. Copyright, Mark Stevenson, all rights reserved. Image provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with Stevenson’s art work. Click on the image for a better view.

 

One of Jurassic Park’s stars is the Velociraptor (or "raptor" in its shortened version).

What kind of dinosaur was this creature whose Latin name means "Speedy raider" and whose family name, Deinonychosauria, means "Sickle-Clawed Killer?"

First "discovered" in Mongolia, by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1924, the raptor was actually quite small. It was also agile and vicious, capable of inflicting serious damage with its "switchblade" (or "sickle") claw.

When the raptor’s skull was found in Mongolia, it was lying next to the skull of a Protoceratops - its likely prey. With its fearsome claw, the Velociraptor had lived up to its family name.

Since they may have hunted in packs, raptors could have killed much larger animals. Paleontologists, however, do not believe Velociraptors inflicted the type of damage depicted in Jurassic Park.

On the other hand, a 1991 dinosaur discovery in Utah bolsters the belief that certain raptors (although not the Velociraptor) were large predators. With its lethal claw, Utahraptor (variously translated "Utah Raider" or "Utah Robber") appears to have been a much more ominous creature than even the stars of Jurassic Park.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Apr 17, 2018


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