A favorite dinosaur for many children, velociraptors are one of the most recognizable of the terrible lizards. However, the image many people have of velociraptors of a scaled and cold-blooded predator is not totally accurate. With advancements in paleontology and further discoveries of fossils, scientists now have a better understanding of velociraptors than they did when Jurassic Park was filmed.
While they were meat-eaters, the velociraptor has been shown in films as an intelligent apex predator, capable of outsmarting humans. Yet modern discoveries allow us to understand this dinosaur better than these fictional representations.
Called Dinosaurs by the early Victorian era scientists who found the fossilized bones, people once thought they were lizards. Dinosaur means “terrible lizard” but while they are related to modern reptiles they were not lizards. There were many different sorts of dinosaurs, from those the size of a chicken to giants the size of a house.
Dinosaurs were on earth for 179 million years, in comparison humans evolved in Africa only 2 million years ago. So dinosaurs had time to evolve and spread across the world. Velociraptors were around in the later Cretaceous period from 75 to 71 million years ago. They had died out long before the rest of the dinosaurs were killed off by the meteor impact 65 million years ago.
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