When I was five years old, dinosaurs were my life. I’d spend every afternoon in the marshy part of our garden playing with the little toy beasties that my mom had so kindly bought for me. It was epic. I got to know them all so well that once a competitive friend of my dad tried to compete against me for the know-it-all award in the dino space. But I took him down – quicker than Allosaurus would bring down a sauropod!
The problem was that playing dinos with my friends was not something I enjoyed. They’d let dinos from the Jurassic period mingle with those from the Cretaceous. Srsly. One friend was known to bring plastic deer and bears and throw them into the mix. Come on dude!
A very favourite dinosaur of mine is Velocirator. Bring back into mental visual the scared Americans running around inside the kitchen on the Amber island whilst the pack of Velociraptors are tap-tapping their big claws on the stainless steel surfaces, salivating at the thought of human hors d’oeuvres.
So some interesting info on this vicious little critter that you might not have been aware of, but were not entirely portrayed correctly by the movie, Jurassic Park. Velocirator was about the size of a large turkey and weighed about 10-13 kilograms. Paleontologists believe that Velocirator sported feathers, although they were not used for flying. The only geographical region that Velociraptor populated was central Asia, specifically Mongolia – it didn’t come anywhere close to living in the US. There is no evidence that suggested these creatures hunted in packs, either. The movie most probably took some creative genius from the pack hunting and bigger sized Deinonychus and applied this liberally to the speedy little chap, able to run at 35km/h.
Interestingly, the bone structure and remains found of this dino suggest that it was warm blooded. Unlike a crocodile that would lie and wait for it’s prey, Velociraptor would run after it’s prey, and then slash and jab its curved, 10cm claws on its hind feet until the victim bled to death. Killer!
So say for instance you were tied to a bunk bed (I guess some of us are lucky like that) and a velociraptor popped in to say goodnight. Take this test to see how long you’d last. I’d be a snack in just over a minute.