Velociraptor lived about 80 million years ago. It was one of the most intelligent dinosaurs we know about. We know this from the large space in its skull for a brain. It was not a very large creature. It was only about the size of a sheep. It grew to be about five feet long and three feet tall. Its head was only about seven inches long. It probably weighed about 25 pounds. Velociraptor was a bipedal dinosaur, meaning that it walked on two legs. Its legs were long and thin. It was small and light. It didn’t have any spikes or armor to weigh it down, so it was one of the fastest dinosaurs that ever lived. It could run as fast as 40 miles per hour for a short time.
It was probably also a good jumper. Velociraptor had a stiff tail that helped to balance it as it ran. When it swung its tail from left to right, it could make very sharp turns. It could probably even turn in midair. Velociraptor was a dangerous predator, meaning that it hunted other animals for food. Its neck was long and shaped like an “S”, so it could strike at its prey like a snake. This meat-eater had about 80 very sharp, curved teeth and powerful jaws. Some of its teeth were over an inch long. It had small three-fingered hands with sharp claws. It also had sharp claws on the four toes of its feet. It often used the sharp claws to slash at the animals it hunted.
Velociraptors probably ate many different creatures for food, including dinosaurs that were much larger than themselves. Velociraptor most likely hunted in groups, especially if it were hunting very large prey. It mainly ate plant-eating dinosaurs, such as the hadrosaurs, or duck-billed dinosaurs. Velociraptor lived in hot, dry places. The best place for this dinosaur to live was a desert with freshwater streams. The first Velociraptor fossil was found in Mongolia. Since then, many more skeletons have been found. Velociraptor fossils have also been found in Russia and China. One of the most interesting things that paleontologists found was a fossilized skeleton of a Velociraptor together with that of a Protoceratops. From the way the bones were arranged, paleontologists believe that these two dinosaurs both died at the same time in a fierce battle.