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Velociraptor: The Feathered Villain Of The Jurassic World

Steven Spielberg's 1993 film Jurassic Park popularized the Velociraptor dinosaur. According to the film and its sequels, this animal was a vicious, human-sized creature. It possessed a leathery hide and heightened intelligence. It may attack prey in groups. It would then disembowel it with one sickle-shaped talon strike to each foot. Hollywood typically portrays the Velociraptor in this way.

The real Velociraptor differed significantly from the movie version. Paleontologists believe Velociraptors share more similarities with birds than reptiles, which may be the most significant difference. It is believed to have been completely covered in feathers! At first glance, a Velociraptor in its natural habitat may appear to be a predatory bird without wings.

Velociraptors are a fascinating animal for young-earth creationists.Did it actually have feathers? How does it relate to our early perceptions of distinctly created organisms? Is it possible that Velociraptor was related to birds, given its bird-like characteristics?


Meet the REAL Velociraptor

Velociraptor mongoliensis, meaning "swift thief from Mongolia," is a dromaeosaur ("raptor") genus. This two-legged creature, like other theropods ("meat-eating" dinosaurs), had sharp teeth in its skull and dagger-like claws protruding from its hands when the Velociraptor skull is studied. It had a long tail at the back, wrapped in a mass of stiff tendons. This resulted in a solid, bony rod that was only mobile at its base.

It would have made it easier for the Velociraptor to run or walk with perfect balance. Research on the anatomy of its inner ears demonstrates that this dinosaur was incredibly nimble. We need to be clear about one very important aspect of this dinosaur: the real Velociraptor was much smaller than the one in the movies.

The Velociraptor possessed all the necessary equipment to be a swift and proficient predator. It stood out from other dromaeosaurs with its low, narrow skull and upturned snout, which made it ideal for snatching up small, swift prey. It possessed excellent senses of smell, hearing, and sight. Its sclerotic (eye) rings resembled those of contemporary birds and reptiles, suggesting that it was a nocturnal animal that conducted the majority of its hunting at night.

Velociraptors possessed enlarged sickle-shaped talons on each foot, similar to other dromaeosaurs. It measured about two inches in length, which is comparable to the bald eagle's size. Contrary to popular assumption, the shape of this talon was inappropriate for severing the prey's body.

More likely, velociraptors used it mainly to secure small prey. Like the modern red-legged seriema, a predatory bird, it held its prey in place while using its jaws to pull off bite-sized chunks.

But Did It Have Feathers?

There is strong evidence that velociraptors and their relatives were feathered. Scientists discovered a Velociraptor's forearm bone with a number of regularly spaced bumps in 2007. They are all roughly four millimeters apart and match those found in contemporary birds. These feather attachment points are referred to as quill knobs. Feathers form wings along the arms and down the tail of Zhenyuanlong, a closely related species that was described in 2015. Given that it was roughly the same size as the Velociraptor, we could speculate as to what it might have looked like in real life.

Not every member of the "raptor" family, the dromaeosaurs, has been discovered to have feathers, either directly or indirectly. Nevertheless, the few specimens of preserved body covering that scientists have discovered thus far only demonstrate the presence of feathers on dromaeosaurs. Despite having all of their feathers, some smaller dromaeosaur species have small scales on the bottoms of their feet, much like modern birds. However, none have been discovered entirely covered in scales.

Until new information emerges to the contrary, we conclude that the most likely conclusion is that all dromaeosaurs had feathers. This is the kind of reasoning we might apply if we discover bird fossils. Since all birds have feathers, including those found in the fossil record and those found today, we should presume that any fossilized bird we find that lacks a preserved body covering also has feathers.

How Did Velociraptor Use Its Feathers?

Even with feathers, the Velociraptor was unable to take flight. It couldn't fly because its arms were far too short for its body size. Then why were there feathers on it at all? Even though paleontologists cannot say for sure, they can draw some conclusions from studying birds, which are modern animals with feathers. It's likely that velociraptors controlled their movement with their feathers when they leaped, climbed, or changed course while running. It might have done what other non-avian dinosaurs and contemporary birds are known to do, which is to use their feathers to protect their eggs.

A novel concept that has been proposed recently is Raptor Prey Restraint (RPR). According to this theory, the Velociraptor may have needed its wings to maintain balance while it pinned down smaller prey. These days, raptors such as eagles and hawks do this.


A thorough comprehension of the Velociraptor dinosaur and its fossilized remains demonstrates that the animal's representations in motion pictures, such as Jurassic Park, are inaccurate. Even so, the Velociraptor was an amazing animal all by itself. The study of the Velociraptor fossil has shown us that it was far more dynamic than we had previously thought. It made paleontologists more aware of how much some dinosaurs resembled birds. The things that God has made are full of examples of his creative genius. Another amazing example, in all its feathered glory, is the Velociraptor.

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