Velociraptor was a fast-running, two-legged (bipedal) dinosaur. This meat-eater had about 80 very sharp, curved teeth in a long, flat snout; some of the teeth were over an inch (2.5 cm) long. This predator had an s-shaped neck, arms with three-fingered clawed hands, long thin legs, and four-toed clawed feet. Velociraptor's head was about 7 inches (18 cm) long.
Velociraptor may have been able to run up to roughly 40 mph (60 km/hr) for short bursts.
Velociraptor was about 5 to 6 feet long (1.5-2 m), and 3 feet tall (1 m). It may have weighed about 15 to 33 pounds (7 to 15 kg). It had a stiff tail that worked as a counterbalance and let it make very quick turns.
A 3.5 inch (9 cm) long, sickle-like, retractible claw was on the middle toe of each foot. This claw was its main weapon, and could probably kill most of its prey (defenseless plant-eaters like hadrosaurs) easily.
Velociraptor's brain was relatively large in comparison to its body size (this is true for all the Dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, who were the most intelligent dinosaurs).
WHEN VELOCIRAPTOR LIVED
Velociraptor lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 85 - 80 million years ago. Among the contemporaries of Velociraptor were Protoceratops, Gallimimus, Oviraptor, Edmontosaurus, Maiasaura, and Saurolophus.
Velociraptor lived in a hot, dry environment - a desert-like environment that had some streams.
In 1971, fossils of a Velociraptor and a Protoceratops were found together. They died together; the Velociraptor was attacking the Protoceratops with its claws and the armored head of the Protoceratops had apparently pierced the chest of the Velociraptor.
Velociraptor, along with the other Dromaeosaurids, were the smartest dinosaurs, as calculated from their brain:body weight ratio. This made them very deadly predators. Velociraptor may have hunted in packs, perhaps attacking even very large animals.
Velociraptor was a dromaeosaurid, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the highest among the dinosaurs.
Velociraptor was a carnivore, a meat eater. It probably ate just about anything it could slash and tear apart. It may have hunted in packs. It ate Protoceratops (one was found fossilized with Velociraptor in a battle to the death) and probably ate many other plant-eaters, like hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs).
Velociraptor walked on two slender legs; it was certainly among the fastest of the dinosaurs, considering its long legs and light weight. Velociraptor may have been able to run up to roughly 40 mph (60 km/hr) for short bursts. Velociraptor could probably also jump.
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Velociraptor was first found and described by paleontologist H. F. Osborn in Mongolia in 1924. About a dozen Velociraptor fossils have been found, including one who died in a battle to the death with Protoceratops and two hatchling Velociraptor skulls that were found near an oviraptorid nest in Mongolia (they may have been a meal). Fossils have been found in Mongolia, Russia, and China.