Raptor Dinosaur Pictures and Profiles

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Meet the Raptor Dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era

unenlagia
Unenlagia. Wikimedia Commons

Raptors--small- to medium-sized feathered dinosaurs equipped with single, long, curving hind claws on their hind feet--were among the most fearsome predators of the Mesozoic Era. On the following slides, you'll find pictures and detailed profiles of over 25 raptors, ranging from A (Achillobator) to Z (Zhenyuanlong).

02
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Achillobator

achillobator
Achillobator. Matt Martyniuk

Achillobator was named after the hero of Greek myth (its name is actually a combination of Greek and Mongolian, "Achilles warrior"). Not much is known about this central Asian raptor, whose oddly shaped hips set it slightly apart from others of its kind. See an in-depth profile of Achillobator

03
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Adasaurus

adasaurus
Adasaurus. Eduardo Camarga

Name:

Adasaurus (Greek for "Ada lizard"); pronounced AY-dah-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 5 feet long and 50-75 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Tall skull; short claws on hind feet; probable feathers

 

Adasaurus (named after an evil spirit from Mongolian mythology) is one of the more obscure raptors to be unearthed in central Asia, much less well-known than its close contemporary Velociraptor. To judge by its limited fossil remains, Adasaurus had an unusually tall skull for a raptor (which doesn't necessarily mean that it was smarter than others of its kind), and the single, oversized claws on each of its hind feet were positively puny compared to those of Deinonychus or Achillobator. About the size of a large turkey, Adasaurus preyed on the smaller dinosaurs and other animals of late Cretaceous central Asia.

04
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Atrociraptor

atrociraptor
Atrociraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Atrociraptor (Greek for "cruel thief"); pronounced ah-TROSS-ih-rap-tore

Habitat:

Woodlands of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About three feet long and 20 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; short snout with backward-curving teeth

 

It's amazing how a mere name can color our view of a long-extinct dinosaur. For all intents and purposes, Atrociraptor was very similar to Bambiraptor--both were puny, albeit dangerous, raptors with sharp teeth and ripping hind claws--but judging by their names you'd probably want to pet the latter and run away from the former. Whatever the case, Atrociraptor was certainly deadly for its size, as demonstrated by its backward-curving teeth--the only conceivable function of which would have been to tear off jagged chunks of meat (and prevent live prey from escaping).

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Austroraptor

austroraptor
Austroraptor (Wikimedia Commons).

Name:

Austroraptor (Greek for "southern thief"); pronounced AW-stroh-rap-tore

Habitat:

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 16 feet long and 500 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; narrow snout; short arms

 

As with all types of dinosaurs, paleontologists are unearthing new raptors all the time. One of the latest to join the flock is Austroraptor, which was "diagnosed" in 2008 based on a skeleton dug up in Argentina (hence the "austro," meaning "south," in its name). To date, Austroraptor is the largest raptor yet discovered in South America, measuring a full 16 feet from head to tail and probably weighing in the neighborhood of 500 pounds--proportions that would have given its North American cousin, Deinonychus, a run for its money, but would have made it no match for the nearly one-ton Utahraptor that lived tens of millions of years earlier.

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Balaur

balaur
Balaur. Sergey Krasovskiy

Name:

Balaur (Romanian for "dragon"); pronounced BAH-lore

Habitat:

Woodlands of eastern Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About three feet long and 25 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Muscular build; double claws on hind feet

 

Its full name, Balaur bondoc, makes it sound like the supervillain from a James Bond movie, but if anything this dinosaur was even more interesting: an island-dwelling, late Cretaceous raptor with a host of weird anatomical features. First, unlike other raptors, Balaur sported two oversized, curved claws on each of its hind feet, rather than one; and second, this predator cut an unusually squat, muscular profile, very unlike its lithe, speedy cousins like Velociraptor and Deinonychus. In fact, Balaur possessed such a low center of gravity that it may have been capable of tackling much larger dinosaurs (especially if it hunted in packs).

Why did Balaur occupy a position so far outside the raptor norm? Well, it seems that this dinosaur was restricted to an island environment, which can produce some strange evolutionary results--witness the "dwarf" titanosaur Magyarosaurus, which only weighed a ton or so, and the comparably shrimpy duck-billed dinosaur Telmatosaurus. Clearly, Balour's anatomical traits were an adaptation to the limited flora and fauna of its island habitat, and this dinosaur evolved in its strange direction thanks to millions of years of isolation.

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Bambiraptor

bambiraptor
Bambiraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Its warm, fuzzy name invokes images of gentle, furry forest creatures, but the fact is Bambiraptor was as vicious as a pit bull--and its fossil has yielded valuable clues about the evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds. See an in-depth profile of Bambiraptor

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Buitreraptor

buitreraptor
Buitreraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Buitreraptor (combination Spanish/Greek for "vulture thief"); pronounced BWEE-tray-rap-tore

Habitat:

Plains of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (90 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About four feet long and 25 pounds

Diet:

Small animals

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long, narrow snout; smooth teeth; probably feathers

 

Only the third raptor ever to be discovered in South America, Buiteraptor was on the small side, and the lack of serrations on its teeth indicate that it fed on much smaller animals, rather than ripping into the flesh of its fellow dinosaurs. As with other raptors, paleontologists have reconstructed Buitreraptor as covered with feathers, connoting its close evolutionary relationship to modern birds. (By the way, this dinosaur's odd name stems from the fact that it was unearthed, in 2005, in the La Buitrera area of Patagonia--and since Buitrera is Spanish for "vulture," the moniker seemed appropriate!)

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Changyuraptor

changyuraptor
Changyuraptor. S. Abramowicz

Name

Changyuraptor (Greek for "Changyu thief"); pronounced CHANG-yoo-rap-tore

Habitat

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (125 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About three feet long and 10 pounds

Diet

Small animals

Distinguishing Characteristics

Four wings; long feathers

 

As is often the case when a brand-new dinosaur is discovered, there has been a lot of speculation about Changyuraptor, not all of which is warranted. Specifically, the media have been touting the hypothesis that this raptor--a relative of the much smaller, and also four-winged, Microraptor--was capable of powered flight. While it's true that the tail feathers of Changyuraptor were a foot long, and may have served some navigational function, it may also be the case that they were strictly ornamental and only evolved as a sexually selected characteristic.

Another clue that Changyuraptor's aerial bona-fides are being overstated is that this raptor was fairly large, about three feet from head to tail, which would render it much less airworthy than Microraptor (after all, modern turkeys have feathers, too!). At the very least, though, Changyuraptor should shed new light on the process by which the featherd dinosaurs of the early Cretaceous period learned to fly.

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Cryptovolans

cryptovolans
Cryptovolans. Arizona Museum of Natural History

Name:

Cryptovolans (Greek for "hidden flyer"); pronounced CRIP-toe-VO-lanz

Habitat:

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (130-120 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About three feet long and 5-10 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long tail; feathers on front and hind limbs

 

True to the "crypto" in its name, Cryptovolans has occasioned its share of disputes among paleontologists, who aren't quite sure how to classify this early Cretaceous feathered dinosaur. Some experts believe that Cryptovolans is actually a "junior synonym" of the better known Microraptor, a four-winged raptor that made a big splash in paleontology circles a couple of years ago, while others maintain that it deserves its own genus, mainly because of its longer-than-Microraptor tail. Adding to the mystery, one scientist insists that Cryptovolans not only merits its own genus, but was more evolved toward the bird end of the dinosaur-bird spectrum than even Archaeopteryx--and thus should be considered a prehistoric bird rather than a feathered dinosaur!

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Dakotaraptor

dakotaraptor
Dakotaraptor. Emily Willoughby

The late Cretaceous Dakotaraptor is only the second raptor ever to be discovered in the Hell Creek formation; the type fossil of this dinosaur bears unmistakable "quill knobs" on its front limbs, meaning it almost certainly possessed winged forearms. See an in-depth profile of Dakotaraptor

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Deinonychus

deinonychus
Deinonychus. Emily Willoughby

The "Velociraptors" in Jurassic Park were actually modeled after Deinonychus, a fierce, man-sized raptor distinguished by the huge claws on its back feet and its grasping hands--and that wasn't nearly as smart as it has been depicted in the movies. See 10 Facts About Deinonychus

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Dromaeosauroides

dromaeosauroides
Dromaeosauroides. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Dromaeosauroides (Greek for "like Dromaeosaurus"); pronounced DROE-may-oh-SORE-oy-deez

Habitat

Woodlands of northern Europe

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (140 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About 10 feet long and 200 pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Large head; curved claws on hind feet; probably feathers

 

The name Dromaeosauroides is quite a mouthful, and has probably rendered this meat-eater less well-known to the public than it rightfully should be. Not only is this the only dinosaur ever to be discovered in Denmark (a couple of fossilized teeth recovered from the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm), but it's also one of the earliest identified raptors, dating to the early Cretaceous period, 140 million years ago. As you may have guessed, the 200-pound Dromaeosauroides was named in reference to the better-known Dromaeosaurus ("running lizard"), which was much smaller and lived tens of millions of years later.

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Dromaeosaurus

dromaeosaurus
Dromaeosaurus. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Dromaeosaurus (Greek for "running lizard"); pronounced DRO-may-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Plains of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About six feet long and 25 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; powerful jaws and teeth; probably feathers

 

Dromaeosaurus is the eponymous genus of dromaeosaurs, the smallish, speedy, bipedal, probably feather-covered dinosaurs better known to the general public as raptors. Still, this dinosaur differed from more famous raptors like Velociraptor in some important respects: the skull, jaws and teeth of Dromaeosaurus were relatively robust, for instance, a very tyrannosaur-like trait for such a small animal. Despite its standing among paleontologists, Dromaeosaurus (Greek for "running lizard") isn't very well represented in the fossil record; all we know of this raptor amounts to a few scattered bones unearthed in Canada in the early 20th century, mostly under the supervision of the buccaneering fossil-hunter Barnum Brown.

Analysis of its fossils reveals that Dromaeosaurus was a more formidable dinosaur than Velociraptor: its bite may have been three times as powerful (in terms of pounds per square inch) and it preferred to disembowel its prey with its toothy snout, rather than the single, oversized claws on each of its hind feet. The recent discovery of a closely related raptor, Dakotaraptor, lends added weight to this "teeth first" theory; like Dromaeosaurus, this dinosaur's hind claws were relatively inflexible, and wouldn't have been of much use in close-quarters combat.

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Graciliraptor

graciliraptor
Graciliraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Graciliraptor (Greek for "graceful thief"); pronounced grah-SILL-ih-rap-tore

Habitat

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (125 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About three feet long and a few pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Small size; feathers; large, single claws on hind feet

 

Discovered in China's famous Liaoning fossil beds--the final resting place of a huge variety of small, feathered dinosaurs from the early Cretaceous period--Graciliraptor is one of the earliest and smallest raptors yet identified, measuring only about three feet long and weighing a couple of pounds soaking wet. In fact, paleontologists speculate that Graciliraptor occupied a position close to the "last common ancestor" of raptors, troodontids (feathered dinosaurs closely related to Troodon), and the first true birds of the Mesozoic Era, which probably evolved around this time. Though it's unclear whether it was similarly equipped, Graciliraptor also seems to have been closely related to the famous, four-winged Microraptor, which arrived on the scene a few million years later.

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Linheraptor

linheraptor
Linheraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Linheraptor (Greek for "Linhe hunter"); pronounced LIN-heh-rap-tore

Habitat:

Plains of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (85-75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About six feet long and 25 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long legs and tail; bipedal posture; probably feathers

 

The amazingly well-preserved fossil of Linheraptor was discovered during an expedition to the Linhe region of Mongolia in 2008, and two years of preparation have revealed a sleek, probably feathered raptor that prowled the plains and woodlands of late Cretaceous central Asia in search of food. Comparisons to another Mongolian dromaeosaur, Velociraptor, are inevitable, but one of the authors of the paper announcing Linheraptor says it's best compared to the equally obscure Tsaagan (yet another, similar raptor, Mahakala, has been found in these same fossil beds).

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Luanchuanraptor

luanchuanraptor
Luanchuanraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Luanchuanraptor (Greek for "Luanchuan thief"); pronounced loo-WAN-chwan-rap-tore

Habitat:

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 3-4 feet long and 5-10 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; bipedal posture; probably feathers

 

As obscure as it is, the tiny, probably feathered Luanchuanraptor occupies an important place in the dinosaur record books: it was the first Asian raptor to be discovered in eastern rather than northeastern China (most dromaeosaurs from this part of the world, like Velociraptor, lived further west, in modern-day Mongolia). Other than that, Luanchuanraptor seems to have been a fairly typical "dino-bird" for its time and place, possibly hunting in packs to overwhelm the bigger dinosaurs that counted as its prey. Like other feathered dinosaurs, Luanchuanraptor occupied an intermediate branch on the tree of bird evolution.

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Microraptor

microraptor
Microraptor. Getty Images

Microraptor fits uneasily into the raptor family tree. This tiny dinosaur had wings on both its front and back limbs, but it probably wasn't capable of powered flight: rather, paleontologists picture it gliding (like a flying squirrel) from tree to tree. See 10 Facts About Microraptor

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Neuquenraptor

neuquenraptor
Neuquenraptor. Julio Lacerda

Name

Neuquenraptor (Greek for "Neuquen thief"); pronounced NOY-kwen-rap-tore

Habitat

Woodlands of South America

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (90 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About six feet long and 50 pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Large size; bipedal posture; feathers

 

If only the paleontologists who discovered it had gotten their act together, Neuquenraptor might stand today as the first identified raptor from South America. Unfortunately, this feathered dinosaur's thunder wound up being stolen by Unenlagia, which was discovered in Argentina a few months later but, thanks to a canny bit of analytical work, named first. Today, the weight of the evidence is that Neuquenraptor was actually a species (or specimen) of Unenlagia, characterized by its unusually large size and its propensity for flapping its arms (but not actually flying).

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Nuthetes

nuthetes
Nuthetes (Wikimedia Commons).

Name

Nuthetes (Greek for "monitor"); pronounced noo-THEH-teez

Habitat

Woodlands of western Europe

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (145-140 million years ago)

Size

About six feet long and 100 pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Small size; bipedal posture; possibly feathers

 

As problematic genera go, Nuthetes has proven a tough nut to crack. It took over a decade after its discovery (in the mid-19th century) for this dinosaur to be classified as a theropod, the question being exactly what kind of theropod: was Nuthetes a close relative of Proceratosaurus, an ancient forebear of Tyrannosaurus Rex, or a Velociraptor-like dromaeosaur ("raptor" to you and me)? The problem with this last category (which has only reluctantly been accepted by paleontologists) is that Nuthetes dates to the early Cretaceous period, over 140 million years ago, which would make it the earliest raptor in the fossil record. The jury, pending further fossil discoveries, is still out.

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Pamparaptor

pamparaptor
Pamparaptor. Eloy Manzanero

Name

Pamparaptor (Greek for "Pampas thief"); pronounced PAM-pah-rap-tore

Habitat

Plains of South America

Historical Period

Late Cretaceous (90-85 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About two feet long and a few pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Small size; bipedal posture; feathers

 

Argentina's Neuquen province, in Patagonia, has proven to be a rich source of dinosaur fossils dating to the late Cretaceous period. Originally diagnosed as a juvenile of another South American raptor, Neuquenraptor, Pamparaptor was elevated to genus status on the basis of a well-preserved hind foot (sporting the single, curved, elevated claw characteristic of all raptors). As dromaeosaurs go, the feathered Pamparaptor was on the tiny end of the scale, only measuring about two feet from head to tail and weighing a few pounds soaking wet.

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Pyroraptor

pyroraptor
Pyroraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Pyroraptor (Greek for "fire thief"); pronounced PIE-roe-rap-tore

Habitat:

Plains of western Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 8 feet long and 100-150 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large, sickle-shaped claws on feet; probably feathers

 

As you may have guessed from the last part of its name, Pyroraptor belongs to the same family of theropods as Velociraptor and Microraptor: the raptors, which were distinguished by their speed, viciousness, single-clawed hind feet and (in most cases) feathers. Pyroraptor ("fire thief") didn't earn its name because it actually stole fire, or even breathed fire, in addition to the usual array of raptor weapons: the more prosaic explanation is that the only known fossil of this dinosaur was discovered in 2000, in southern France, after a forest fire.

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Rahonavis

rahonavis
Rahonavis. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Rahonavis (Greek for "cloud bird"); pronounced RAH-hoe-NAY-viss

Habitat:

Woodlands of Madagascar

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About one foot long and one pound

Diet:

Probably insects

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; feathers; single curved claw on each foot

 

Rahonavis is one of those creatures that triggers enduring feuds among paleontologists. When it was first discovered (an incomplete skeleton unearthed in Madagascar in 1995), researchers assumed it was a type of bird, but further study showed certain traits common to dromaeosaurs (better known to the general public as raptors). Like such undisputed raptors as Velociraptor and Deinonychus, Rahonavis had a single huge claw on each hind foot, as well as other raptor-like features.

What is the current thinking about Rahonavis? Most scientists agree that raptors counted among the early ancestors of birds, meaning that Rahonavis might be a "missing link" between these two families. The trouble is, it wouldn't be the only such missing link; dinosaurs may have made the evolutionary transition to flight multiple times, and only one of these lineages went on to spawn modern birds.

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Saurornitholestes

saurornitholestes
Saurornitholestes. Emily Willoughby

Name:

Saurornitholestes (Greek for "lizard-bird thief"); pronounced sore-OR-nith-oh-LESS-tease

Habitat:

Plains of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About five feet long and 30 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Sharp teeth; large claws on feet; probably feathers

 

If only Saurornitholestes had been given a manageable name, it might be as popular as its more famous cousin, Velociraptor. Both these dinosaurs were excellent examples of late Cretaceous dromaeosaurs (better known to the general public as raptors), with their slight, agile builds, sharp teeth, relatively large brains, big-clawed hind feet, and (probably) feathers. Tantalizingly, paleontologists have discovered a wing bone of the huge pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus with a Saurornitholestes tooth embedded inside it. Since it's unlikely that a 30-pound raptor could have taken down a 200-pound pterosaur all by itself, this can be taken as evidence that either a) Saurornitholestes hunted in packs or b) more likely, a lucky Saurornitholestes happened upon an already-dead Quetzalcoatlus and took a bite out of the carcass.

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Shanag

sinornithosaurus
Shanag. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Shanag (after the Buddhist "Cham Dance"); pronounced SHAH-nag

Habitat

Plains of central Asia

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (130 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About three feet long and 10-15 pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Small size; feathers; bipedal posture

 

During the early Cretaceous period, 130 million years ago, it was difficult to distinguish one small, feathered dinosaur from the next--the boundaries separating raptors from "troodontids" from plain-vanilla, bird-like theropods were still in flux. As far as paleontologists can tell, Shanag was an early raptor closely related to the contemporary, four-winged Microraptor, but also shared some characteristics with the line of feathered dinosaurs that went on to spawn the late Cretaceous Troodon. Since all we know of Shanag consists of a partial jaw, further fossil discoveries should help determine its exact place on the dinosaur evolutionary tree.

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Unenlagia

unenlagia
Unenlagia. Sergey Krasovskiy

Name:

Unenlagia (Mapuche for "half-bird"); pronounced OO-nen-LAH-gee-ah

Habitat:

Plains of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (90 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About six feet long and 50 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; flapping arms; probably feathers

 

Although it was unmistakably a dromaeosaur (what ordinary folks call a raptor), Unenlagia has raised some puzzling issues for evolutionary biologists. This feathered dinosaur was distinguished by its very limber shoulder girdle, which gave its arms a broader range of motion than comparable raptors--so it's only a short step to imagining that Unenlagia actually flapped its feathered arms, which might well have resembled wings.

The puzzlement pertains to the fact that Unenlagia was clearly too big, about six feet long and 50 pounds, to take to the air (by way of comparison, flying pterosaurs with comparable wingspans weighed much less). This raises the prickly question: could Unenlagia have spawned a (now-extinct) line of flying, feathered descendants similar to modern birds, or was it a flightless relative of the first, genuine birds that preceded it by tens of millions of years?

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Utahraptor

utahraptor
Utahraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Utahraptor was by far the biggest raptor that ever lived, which raises a serious conundrum: this dinosaur lived tens of millions of years before its more famous descendants (like Deinonychus and Velociraptor), during the middle Cretaceous period! See 10 Facts About Utahraptor

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Variraptor

variraptor
Variraptor. Wikimedia Commons

Name:

Variraptor (Greek for "Var River thief"); pronounced VAH-ree-rap-tore

Habitat:

Woodlands of western Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (85-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About seven feet long and 100-200 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long arms; long, lightly built skull with numerous teeth

 

Despite its impressive name, the French Variraptor occupies a place on the second tier of the raptor family, since not everyone accepts that this dinosaur's scattered fossil remains add up to a convincing genus (and it's not even clear exactly when this dromaeosaur lived). As it has been reconstructed, Variraptor was slightly smaller than the North American Deinonychus, with a proportionately lighter head and longer arms. There's also some speculation that (unlike most raptors) Variraptor may have been a scavenger rather than an active hunter, though the case for that would certainly be bolstered by more convincing fossil remains.

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Velociraptor

velociraptor
Velociraptor (Wikimedia Commons).

Velociraptor wasn't a particularly big dinosaur, though it did have a mean disposition. This feathered raptor was about the size of a large chicken, and there's no evidence that it was anywhere near as smart as it has been depicted in the movies. See 10 Facts About Velociraptor

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Zhenyuanlong

zhenyuanlong
Zhenyuanlong. Wikimedia Commons

Name

Zhenyuanlong (Chinese for "Zhenyuan's dragon"); pronounced zhen-yan-LONG

Habitat

Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period

Early Cretaceous (125 million years ago)

Size and Weight

About five feet long and 20 pounds

Diet

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics

Relatively large size; short arms; primitive feathers

 

There's something about Chinese bonebeds that lend themselves to spectacularly preserved fossil specimens. The latest example is Zhenyuanlong, announced to the world in 2015 and represented by a nearly complete skeleton (lacking only the hind part of the tail) complete with the fossil imprint of wispy feathers. Zhenyuanlong was fairly large for an early Cretaceous raptor (about five feet long, which places it in the same weight class as the much later Velociraptor), but it was hobbled by a relatively short arm-to-body ratio and it was almost certainly unable to fly. The paleontologist who discovered it (no doubt seeking press coverage) has called it the "fluffy feathered poodle from hell."

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Strauss, Bob. "Raptor Dinosaur Pictures and Profiles." ThoughtCo, Mar. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/raptor-dinosaur-pictures-and-profiles-4047613. Strauss, Bob. (2017, March 19). Raptor Dinosaur Pictures and Profiles. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/raptor-dinosaur-pictures-and-profiles-4047613 Strauss, Bob. "Raptor Dinosaur Pictures and Profiles." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/raptor-dinosaur-pictures-and-profiles-4047613 (accessed November 18, 2017).