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Velociraptor Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Velociraptors were a kind of dinosaur that lived millions of years ago. This lesson will teach you about these dinosaurs, what they looked like, what they ate, what kind of habitat they liked, and some other neat facts about them.

What Were Velociraptors?

Imagine being able to ride in a time machine. You go back really far in time to when dinosaurs walked the Earth. You step out carefully so you don't become a snack. You spot a lake and nearby the water there is a dinosaur. It's not very big, but it is covered in feathers. It sees you, too, and starts running toward you! You decide it's time to jump in the time machine and come back home, which is a good thing because you're being chased by a hungry velociraptor!

Velociraptors were small dinosaurs that had feathers and lived about 80 million years ago during the Cretaceous (pronounced kruh-TAY-shus) period.

Velociraptor skeleton with sharp teeth and big claws
Velociraptor skeleton with sharp teeth and big claws

Velociraptors could grow to be about 6 feet long, weighed an average of 45 pounds, but were only about 2 feet tall. That's about the same height as a standard poodle and much shorter than your mom or dad.

Velociraptors walked on 2 legs the way you do and could run almost 40 miles an hour for short distances. That's just a little slower than a greyhound running at full speed, but much faster than you can run.

What did Velociraptors Look Like?

Just like the birds we see today, scientists believe velociraptors had feathers! Scientists think this because they found quill knobs, or bumps, on velociraptor bones where feathers could have been attached. And just like birds, they had hollow, light-weight bones and laid eggs in nests.

Artist illustration of a velociraptor with feathers
Artist illustration of a velociraptor with feathers

Although they had a lot in common with birds, velociraptors couldn't fly. But since they were fast runners and probably good jumpers, catching a snack wasn't too hard for them.

Velociraptors used their long tails to balance while running and jumping, the way you stick your arms out when you're walking on a balance beam on the playground.

What did Velociraptors Eat?

Velociraptors were carnivores and were built for eating meat. They had about 60 sharp teeth that were like pointy knives and special 4-inch curved claws that they used like a fork to stab and slash their food.

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