Velociraptor

Velociraptor (/vɪˈlɒsɪræptər/; meaning "swift seizer" in Latin)[1] is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period.[2] Two species are currently recognized, although others have been assigned in the past. The type species is V. mongoliensis; fossils of this species have been discovered in Mongolia. A second species, V. osmolskae, was named in 2008 for skull material from Inner Mongolia, China.

Smaller than other dromaeosaurids like Deinonychus and Achillobator, Velociraptor nevertheless shared many of the same anatomical features. It was a bipedal, feathered carnivore with a long tail and an enlarged sickle-shaped claw on each hindfoot, which is thought to have been used to tackle and disembowel prey. Velociraptor can be distinguished from other dromaeosaurids by its long and low skull, with an upturned snout.

Velociraptor (commonly shortened to "raptor") is one of the dinosaur genera most familiar to the general public due to its prominent role in the Jurassic Park motion picture series. In real life, however, Velociraptor was roughly the size of a turkey, considerably smaller than the approximately 2 m (7 ft) tall and 80 kg (180 lb) reptiles seen in the films (which were based on members of the related genus Deinonychus). Today, Velociraptor is well known to paleontologists, with over a dozen described fossil skeletons, the most of any dromaeosaurid. One particularly famous specimen preserves a Velociraptor locked in combat with a Protoceratops.

Velociraptor
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 75–71 Ma
Velociraptor Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Mounted V. mongoliensis cast at Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Dromaeosauridae
Subfamily: Velociraptorinae
Genus: Velociraptor
Osborn, 1924
Type species
Velociraptor mongoliensis
Osborn, 1924
Species
  • V. mongoliensis Osborn, 1924
  • V. osmolskae Godefroit et al., 2008

Description

Vraptor-scale
V. mongoliensis compared in size to a human

Velociraptor was a mid-sized dromaeosaurid, with adults measuring up to 2.07 m (6.8 ft) long, 0.5 m (1.6 ft) high at the hip, and weighing up to 15 kg (33 lb), though there is a higher estimate of 19.7 kg (43 lb).[3][4] The skull, which grew up to 25 cm (9.8 in) long, was uniquely up-curved, concave on the upper surface and convex on the lower. The jaws were lined with 26–28 widely spaced teeth on each side, each more strongly serrated on the back edge than the front.[1][5]

Velociraptor, like other dromaeosaurids, had a large manus ('hand') with three strongly curved claws, which were similar in construction and flexibility to the wing bones of modern birds. The second digit was the longest of the three digits present, while the first was shortest. The structure of the carpal (wrist) bones prevented pronation of the wrist and forced the 'hands' to be held with the palmar surface facing inwards (medially), not downwards.[6] The first digit of the foot, as in other theropods, was a small dewclaw. However, whereas most theropods had feet with three digits contacting the ground, dromaeosaurids like Velociraptor walked on only their third and fourth digits. The second digit, for which Velociraptor is most famous, was highly modified and held retracted off the ground. It bore a relatively large, sickle-shaped claw, typical of dromaeosaurid and troodontid dinosaurs. This enlarged claw, which could grow to over 6.5 cm (2.6 in) long around its outer edge,[7] was most likely a predatory device used to tear into or restrain struggling prey.[7][8]

Velociraptor
Skeletal restoration of V. mongoliensis

As in other dromaeosaurs, Velociraptor tails had long bony projections (prezygapophyses) on the upper surfaces of the vertebrae, as well as ossified tendons underneath. The prezygapophyses began on the tenth tail (caudal) vertebra and extended forward to brace four to ten additional vertebrae, depending on position in the tail. These were once thought to fully stiffen the tail, forcing the entire tail to act as a single rod-like unit. However, at least one specimen has preserved a series of intact tail vertebrae curved sideways into an S-shape, suggesting that there was considerably more horizontal flexibility than once thought.[7][9]

In 2007, paleontologists reported the discovery of quill knobs on a well-preserved Velociraptor mongoliensis forearm from Mongolia, confirming the presence of feathers in this species.[10]

Feathers

Fossils of dromaeosaurids more primitive than Velociraptor are known to have had feathers covering their bodies and fully developed feathered wings.[11] The fact that the ancestors of Velociraptor were feathered and possibly capable of flight had long suggested to paleontologists that Velociraptor bore feathers as well, since even flightless birds today retain most of their feathers. In September 2007, researchers found quill knobs on the forearm of a Velociraptor found in Mongolia.[10] These bumps on bird wing bones show where feathers anchor, and their presence on Velociraptor indicate it too had feathers. According to paleontologist Alan Turner,

Velociraptor Restoration
V. mongoliensis, showing large wing feathers as evidenced by the discovery of quill knobs

A lack of quill knobs does not necessarily mean that a dinosaur did not have feathers. Finding quill knobs on Velociraptor, though, means that it definitely had feathers. This is something we'd long suspected, but no one had been able to prove.[12]

Co-author Mark Norell, Curator-in-Charge of fossil reptiles, amphibians and birds at the American Museum of Natural History, also weighed in on the discovery, saying:

The more that we learn about these animals the more we find that there is basically no difference between birds and their closely related dinosaur ancestors like velociraptor. Both have wishbones, brooded their nests, possess hollow bones, and were covered in feathers. If animals like velociraptor were alive today our first impression would be that they were just very unusual looking birds.[12]

According to Turner and co-authors Norell and Peter Makovicky, quill knobs are not found in all prehistoric birds, and their absence does not mean that an animal was not feathered – flamingos, for example, have no quill knobs. However, their presence confirms that Velociraptor bore modern-style wing feathers, with a rachis and vane formed by barbs. The forearm specimen on which the quill knobs were found (specimen number IGM 100/981) represents an animal 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) in length and 15 kilograms (33 pounds) in weight. Based on the spacing of the six preserved knobs in this specimen, the authors suggested that Velociraptor bore 14 secondaries (wing feathers stemming from the forearm), compared with 12 or more in Archaeopteryx, 18 in Microraptor, and 10 in Rahonavis. This type of variation in the number of wing feathers between closely related species, the authors asserted, is to be expected, given similar variation among modern birds.[10]

Turner and colleagues interpreted the presence of feathers on Velociraptor as evidence against the idea that the larger, flightless maniraptorans lost their feathers secondarily due to larger body size. Furthermore, they noted that quill knobs are almost never found in flightless bird species today, and that their presence in Velociraptor (presumed to have been flightless due to its relatively large size and short forelimbs) is evidence that the ancestors of dromaeosaurids could fly, making Velociraptor and other large members of this family secondarily flightless, though it is possible the large wing feathers inferred in the ancestors of Velociraptor had a purpose other than flight. The feathers of the flightless Velociraptor may have been used for display, for covering their nests while brooding, or for added speed and thrust when running up inclined slopes.[10]

History of discovery

Velociraptor mongoliensis AMNH 6515
The type skull of V. mongoliensis on display at the American Museum of Natural History

During an American Museum of Natural History expedition to the Outer Mongolian Gobi Desert, on 11 August 1923 Peter Kaisen recovered the first Velociraptor fossil known to science: a crushed but complete skull, associated with one of the raptorial second toe claws (AMNH 6515).[1] In 1924, museum president Henry Fairfield Osborn designated the skull and claw (which he assumed to come from the hand) as the type specimen of his new genus, Velociraptor. This name is derived from the Latin words velox ('swift') and raptor ('robber' or 'plunderer') and refers to the animal's cursorial nature and carnivorous diet. Osborn named the type species V. mongoliensis after its country of origin.[1] Earlier that year, Osborn had mentioned the animal in a popular press article, under the name "Ovoraptor djadochtari" (not to be confused with the similarly named Oviraptor).[13] However, because the name "Ovoraptor" was not published in a scientific journal or accompanied by a formal description, it is considered a nomen nudum ('naked name'), and the name Velociraptor retains priority.

While North American teams were shut out of communist Mongolia during the Cold War, expeditions by Soviet and Polish scientists, in collaboration with Mongolian colleagues, recovered several more specimens of Velociraptor. The most famous is part of the famous "Fighting Dinosaurs" specimen (GIN 100/25), discovered by a Polish-Mongolian team in 1971. This fossil preserves a single Velociraptor in the midst of battle against a lone Protoceratops.[9][14][15] This specimen is considered a national treasure of Mongolia, although in 2000 it was loaned to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for a temporary exhibition.[16]

Velociraptor specimen IGM
Specimen IGM 100/982

Between 1988 and 1990, a joint Chinese-Canadian team discovered Velociraptor remains in northern China.[17] American scientists returned to Mongolia in 1990, and a joint Mongolian-American expedition to the Gobi, led by the American Museum of Natural History and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, turned up several well-preserved skeletons.[7][18] One such specimen, IGM 100/980, was nicknamed "Ichabodcraniosaurus" by Norell's team because the fairly complete specimen was found without its skull (an allusion to the Washington Irving character Ichabod Crane).[19] This specimen may belong to Velociraptor mongoliensis, but Norell and Makovicky concluded that it was not complete enough to say for sure, and it awaits a formal description.[7]

Maxillae and a lacrimal (the main tooth-bearing bones of the upper jaw, and the bone that forms the anterior margin of the eye socket, respectively) recovered in 1999 by the Sino-Belgian Dinosaur Expeditions were found to pertain to Velociraptor, but not to the type species V. mongoliensis. Pascal Godefroit and colleagues named these bones V. osmolskae (for Polish paleontologist Halszka Osmólska) in 2008.[2]

Classification

Velociraptor skeleton
V. mongoliensis cast, Museum of Natural Sciences, Brussels

Velociraptor is a member of the group Eudromaeosauria, a derived sub-group of the larger family Dromaeosauridae. It is often placed within its own "subfamily", Velociraptorinae. In phylogenetic taxonomy, Velociraptorinae is usually defined as "all dromaeosaurs more closely related to Velociraptor than to Dromaeosaurus." However, dromaeosaurid classification is highly variable. Originally, the subfamily Velociraptorinae was erected solely to contain Velociraptor.[9] Other analyses have often included other genera, usually Deinonychus and Saurornitholestes,[20] and more recently Tsaagan.[21] However, several studies published during the 2010s, including expanded versions of the analyses that found support for Velociraptorinae, have failed to resolve it as a distinct group, but rather have suggested it is a paraphyletic grade which gave rise to the Dromaeosaurinae.[22][23]

In the past, other dromaeosaurid species, including Deinonychus antirrhopus and Saurornitholestes langstoni, have sometimes been classified in the genus Velociraptor. Since Velociraptor was the first to be named, these species were renamed Velociraptor antirrhopus and V. langstoni.[3] However, the only currently recognized species of Velociraptor are V. mongoliensis[5][6][24] and V. osmolskae.[2]

Dromaeosaurs
Size of Velociraptor (2) compared with other dromaeosaurs
Velociraptor osmolenskkae-mongoliensis skull
Maxillae of V. osmolskae and V. mongoliesis compared
Velociraptor mongoliensis type skull and jaws
Diagram of the V. mongoliensis type skull and the associated claw from 1924

When first described in 1924, Velociraptor was placed in the family Megalosauridae, as was the case with most carnivorous dinosaurs at the time (Megalosauridae, like Megalosaurus, functioned as a sort of 'wastebin' taxon, where many unrelated species were grouped together).[1] As dinosaur discoveries multiplied, Velociraptor was later recognized as a dromaeosaurid. All dromaeosaurids have also been referred to the family Archaeopterygidae by at least one author (which would, in effect, make Velociraptor a flightless bird).[6]

The cladogram below follows a 2015 analysis by paleontologists Robert DePalma, David Burnham, Larry Martin, Peter Larson, and Robert Bakker, using updated data from the Theropod Working Group.[23]

Dromaeosauridae

Unenlagiinae Austroraptor Restoration (flipped)

Microraptoria Fred Wierum Microraptor

Bambiraptor

Tianyuraptor

Adasaurus

Tsaagan

Eudromaeosauria

Saurornitholestes

Velociraptor Fred Wierum Velociraptor

Dromaeosaurinae

Deinonychus Deinonychus ewilloughby (flipped)

Atrociraptor Atrociraptor (flipped)

Achillobator Achillobator by durbed (flipped)

Utahraptor Utahraptor Restoration (flipped)

Dakotaraptor Dakotaraptor wiki (white background)

Dromaeosaurus Fred Wierum Dromaeosaurus

Paleobiology

Predatory behavior

Fighting dinosaurs (1)
The "Fighting Dinosaurs" specimen of V. mongoliensis and Protoceratops andrewsi

The "Fighting Dinosaurs" specimen, found in 1971, preserves a Velociraptor mongoliensis and Protoceratops andrewsi in combat and provides direct evidence of predatory behavior. When originally reported, it was hypothesized that the two animals drowned.[15] However, as the animals were preserved in ancient sand dune deposits, it is now thought that the animals were buried in sand, either from a collapsing dune or in a sandstorm. Burial must have been extremely fast, judging from the lifelike poses in which the animals were preserved. Parts of the Protoceratops are missing, which has been seen as evidence of scavenging by other animals.[25] Comparisons between the scleral rings of Velociraptor, Protoceratops, and modern birds and reptiles indicates that Velociraptor may have been nocturnal, while Protoceratops may have been cathemeral, active throughout the day during short intervals, suggesting that the fight may have occurred at twilight or during low-light conditions.[26]

The distinctive claw, on the second digit of dromaeosaurids, has traditionally been depicted as a slashing weapon; its assumed use being to cut and disembowel prey.[27] In the "Fighting Dinosaurs" specimen, the Velociraptor lies underneath, with one of its sickle claws apparently embedded in the throat of its prey, while the beak of Protoceratops is clamped down upon the right forelimb of its attacker. This suggests Velociraptor may have used its sickle claw to pierce vital organs of the throat, such as the jugular vein, carotid artery, or trachea (windpipe), rather than slashing the abdomen. The inside edge of the claw was rounded and not unusually sharp, which may have precluded any sort of cutting or slashing action, although only the bony core of the claw is preserved. The thick abdominal wall of skin and muscle of large prey species would have been difficult to slash without a specialized cutting surface.[25] The slashing hypothesis was tested during a 2005 BBC documentary, The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs. The producers of the program created an artificial Velociraptor leg with a sickle claw and used a pork belly to simulate the dinosaur's prey. Though the sickle claw did penetrate the abdominal wall, it was unable to tear it open, indicating that the claw was not used to disembowel prey.[28]

Velociraptor restraining an oviraptorosaur by durbed
V. mongoliensis restraining an oviraptorosaur with its sickle claws

Remains of Deinonychus, a closely related dromaeosaurid, have commonly been found in aggregations of several individuals. Deinonychus has also been found in association with a large herbivore, Tenontosaurus, which has been seen as evidence of cooperative hunting.[29][30] The only solid evidence for social behavior among dromaeosaurids comes from a Chinese trackway of fossil footprints, which shows six individuals of a large species moving as a group, though no evidence of cooperative hunting was found.[31] Although many isolated fossils of Velociraptor have been found in Mongolia, none were closely associated with any other individuals.[24] Therefore, while Velociraptor is commonly depicted as a pack hunter, as in Jurassic Park, there is only limited fossil evidence to support this theory for dromaeosaurids in general, and none specific to Velociraptor itself. The pack hunting theory was based on a discovery of several specimens of Deinonychus found around the remains of a Tenontosaurus. No other group of dromaeosaurids has been found in close association.[32]

Velociraptor Fighting Dinosaur
Skull of the V. mongoliensis "Fighting Dinosaurs" specimen

In 2011, Denver Fowler and colleagues suggested a new method by which dromaeosaurs like Velociraptor and similar dromaeosaurs may have captured and restrained prey. This model, known as the "raptor prey restraint" (RPR) model of predation, proposes that dromaeosaurs killed their prey in a manner very similar to extant accipitrid birds of prey: by leaping onto their quarry, pinning it under their body weight, and gripping it tightly with the large, sickle-shaped claws. These researchers proposed that, like accipitrids, the dromaeosaur would then begin to feed on the animal while it was still alive and prey death eventually came from blood loss and organ failure. This proposal is based primarily on comparisons between the morphology and proportions of the feet and legs of dromaeosaurs to several groups of extant birds of prey with known predatory behaviors. Fowler found that the feet and legs of dromaeosaurs most closely resemble those of eagles and hawks, especially in terms of having an enlarged second claw and a similar range of grasping motion. The short metatarsus and foot strength, however, would have been more similar to that of owls. The RPR method of predation would be consistent with other aspects of Velociraptor's anatomy, such as their unusual jaw and arm morphology. The arms, which could exert a lot of force but were likely covered in long feathers, may have been used as flapping stabilizers for balance while atop a struggling prey animal, along with the stiff counterbalancing tail. The jaws, thought by Fowler and colleagues to be comparatively weak, would have been useful for row saw motion bites like the modern day Komodo dragon, which also has a weak bite, to finish off its prey if the kicks weren't powerful enough. These predatory adaptations working together may also have implications for the origin of flapping in paravians.[8]

Scavenging behavior

In 2010, Hone and colleagues published a paper on their 2008 discovery of shed teeth of what they believed to be a Velociraptor near a tooth-marked jaw bone of what they believed to be a Protoceratops in the Bayan Mandahu Formation.[33] The authors concluded that the find represented "late-stage carcass consumption by Velociraptor" as the predator would have eaten other parts of a freshly killed Protoceratops before biting in the jaw area.[33][34] The evidence was seen as supporting the inference from the "Fighting Dinosaurs" fossil that Protoceratops was part of the diet of Velociraptor.[33] In 2012, Hone and colleagues published a paper that described a Velociraptor specimen with a long bone of an azhdarchid pterosaur in its gut. This was interpreted as showing scavenging behaviour.[35]

Metabolism

Velociraptor was warm-blooded to some degree, as it required a significant amount of energy to hunt. Modern animals that possess feathery or furry coats, like Velociraptor did, tend to be warm-blooded, since these coverings function as insulation. However, bone growth rates in dromaeosaurids and some early birds suggest a more moderate metabolism, compared with most modern warm-blooded mammals and birds. The kiwi is similar to dromaeosaurids in anatomy, feather type, bone structure and even the narrow anatomy of the nasal passages (usually a key indicator of metabolism). The kiwi is a highly active, if specialized, flightless bird, with a stable body temperature and a fairly low resting metabolic rate, making it a good model for the metabolism of primitive birds and dromaeosaurids.[6]

Pathology

One Velociraptor mongoliensis skull bears two parallel rows of small punctures that match the spacing and size of Velociraptor teeth. Scientists believe that the wound was likely inflicted by another Velociraptor during a fight. Further, because the fossil bone shows no sign of healing near the bite wounds, the injury probably killed it.[36] Another specimen, found with the bones of an azhdarchid pterosaur within its stomach cavity, was carrying or recovering from an injury sustained to its ribs. From evidence on the pterosaur bones, which were devoid of pitting or deformations from digestion, the Velociraptor died shortly after, possibly from the earlier injury.[37]

Paleoecology

Velociraptor mongoliensis
V. mongoliensis in environment

All known specimens of Velociraptor mongoliensis were discovered in the Djadochta Formation (also spelled Djadokhta), in the Mongolian province of Ömnögovi. Species of Velociraptor have also been reported from the slightly younger Barun Goyot Formation of Mongolia,[38] though these are indeterminate and may belong to a related genus instead.[39] These geologic formations are estimated to date back to the Campanian stage (between 83 and 70 million years ago[40]) of the Late Cretaceous Epoch.[41]

V. mongoliensis has been found at many of the most famous and prolific Djadochta localities. The type specimen was discovered at the Flaming Cliffs site (also known as Bayn Dzak and Shabarakh Usu),[1] while the "Fighting Dinosaurs" were found at the Tugrig locality (also known as Tugrugeen Shireh).[15] The well-known Barun Goyot localities of Khulsan and Khermeen Tsav have also produced remains which may belong to Velociraptor or a related genus.[42] Teeth and partial remains attributed to juvenile V. mongoliensis have also been reported from the Bayan Mandahu Formation, a prolific site in Inner Mongolia, China that is contemporaneous with the Djadochta Formation.[17] However, these fossils had not been prepared or studied as of 2008.[2] A partial adult skull from the Bayan Mandahu Formation has been assigned to a distinct species, Velociraptor osmolskae.[2]

VELOCIRAPTOR wiki
Undescribed V. mongoliensis skull

All of the fossil sites that have yielded Velociraptor remains preserve an arid environment with fields of sand dunes and only intermittent streams, although the younger Barun Goyot environment seems to have been slightly wetter than the older Djadochta.[41] The posture of some complete fossils, as well as the mode of preservation most show within structureless sandstone deposits, may show that a number of specimens were buried alive during sandstorm events common to the three environments.[2]

Many of the same genera were present across these formations, though they varied at the species level. For example, the Djadochta was inhabited by Velociraptor mongoliensis, Protoceratops andrewsi, and Pinacosaurus grangeri, while the Bayan Mandahu was home to Velociraptor osmolskae, Protoceratops hellenikorhinus, and Pinacosaurus mephistocephalus. These differences in species composition may be due a natural barrier separating the two formations, which are relatively close to each other geographically.[2] However, given the lack of any known barrier which would cause the specific faunal compositions found in these areas, it is more likely that those differences indicate a slight time difference.[39]

Other dinosaurs known from the same locality as V. mongoliensis include the troodontid Saurornithoides mongoliensis, the oviraptorid Oviraptor philoceratops, and the dromaeosaurid Mahakala omnogovae. V. osmolskae lived alongside the ceratopsian species Magnirostris dodsoni, as well as the oviraptorid Machairasaurus leptonychus and the dromaeosaurid Linheraptor exquisitus.[39]

In popular culture

Velociraptor v. Protoceratops
2003 restoration by Raúl Martín showing a featherless Velociraptor battling Protoceratops. The creature continues to be rendered in this outdated way in many popular images.

Velociraptor are well known for their role as vicious and cunning killers thanks to their portrayal in the 1990 novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and its 1993 film adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg. The "raptors" portrayed in Jurassic Park were actually modeled after the closely related dromaeosaurid Deinonychus. Paleontologists in both the novel and film excavate a skeleton in Montana, far from the central Asian range of Velociraptor but characteristic of the Deinonychus range. A character in Crichton's novel also states that "Deinonychus is now considered one of the velociraptors", which suggests that Crichton used the controversial taxonomy proposed by Gregory S. Paul, even though the "raptors" in the novel are at another point referred to as V. mongoliensis.[43] Crichton met with the discoverer of Deinonychus, John Ostrom, several times at Yale University to discuss details of the animal's possible range of behaviors and appearance. Crichton at one point apologetically told Ostrom that he had decided to use the name Velociraptor in place of Deinonychus because the former name was "more dramatic". According to Ostrom, Crichton stated that the Velociraptor of the novel was based on Deinonychus in almost every detail, and that only the name had been changed.[44] The Jurassic Park filmmakers also requested all of Ostrom's published papers on Deinonychus during production.[44] They portrayed the animals with the size, proportions, and snout shape of Deinonychus rather than Velociraptor.[45][46]

Production on Jurassic Park began before the discovery of the large dromaeosaurid Utahraptor was made public in 1991, but as Jody Duncan wrote about this discovery: "Later, after we had designed and built the Raptor, there was a discovery of a Raptor skeleton in Utah, which they labeled 'super-slasher'. They had uncovered the largest Velociraptor to date - and it measured five-and-a-half-feet tall, just like ours. So we designed it, we built it, and then they discovered it. That still boggles my mind."[45] Spielberg was particularly pleased with the discovery of the Utahraptor because of the boost it gave to the velociraptors in his film. Spielberg's name was briefly considered for naming of the new dinosaur.[47] In reality, Velociraptor, like many other maniraptoran theropods, was covered in feathers.[10]

See also

References

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  12. ^ a b American Museum of Natural History. "Velociraptor had feathers." ScienceDaily 2007-09-20. Accessed 2010-08-20.
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External links

Balaur bondoc

Balaur bondoc is a species of theropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, in what is now Romania. It is the type species of the monotypic genus Balaur, after the balaur (Romanian pronunciation: [baˈla.ur]), a dragon of Romanian folklore. The specific name bondoc means "stocky", so Balaur bondoc means "stocky dragon" in Romanian. This name refers to the greater musculature that Balaur had compared to its relatives. The genus, which was first described by scientists in August 2010, is known from two partial skeletons (including the type specimen).

Fossils of Balaur were found in a part of Cretaceous Romania called Hațeg Island. Hațeg Island is commonly referred to as the "Island of the Dwarf Dinosaurs", and was part of the European archipelago of the Tethys Sea approximately 70 million years ago, when world sea levels were higher and much of Europe was tropical or sub-tropical. Early studies of the fossils placed the animal among the group of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs that includes Velociraptor, which was similar in size. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses have since placed Balaur among basal avialans, the group that includes modern birds. Unlike other early paravians, Balaur had not just one but two large, retractable, sickle-shaped claws on each foot, and its limbs were proportionally shorter and heavier than those of its relatives. As with other dinosaurs from Hațeg, such as Magyarosaurus, a dwarf sauropod, its strange features have been argued to show the effects of its island habitat on its evolution.

Bambiraptor

Bambiraptor is a Late Cretaceous, 72-million-year-old, bird-like dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur described by scientists at the University of Kansas, Yale University, and the University of New Orleans.

The holotype fossil is less than one meter long, although this specimen appears to be a juvenile, and it is possible that Bambiraptor is really just a juvenile Saurornitholestes. Because of its small size, it was named Bambiraptor feinbergi, after the familiar Disney movie character, the name literally translates to "Bambi thief" and the surname of the wealthy family who bought and lent the specimen to the new Graves Museum of Natural History in Florida.

Deinonychus

Deinonychus ( dy-NON-i-kəs; from Greek: δεινός deinós, 'terrible' and ὄνυξ ónux, genitive ὄνυχος ónuchos 'claw') is a genus of carnivorous dromaeosaurid coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur with one described species, Deinonychus antirrhopus. This species, which could grow up to 3.4 metres (11 ft) long, lived during the early Cretaceous Period, about 115–108 million years ago (from the mid-Aptian to early Albian stages). Fossils have been recovered from the U.S. states of Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, in rocks of the Cloverly Formation, Cedar Mountain Formation and Antlers Formation, though teeth that may belong to Deinonychus have been found much farther east in Maryland.

Paleontologist John Ostrom's study of Deinonychus in the late 1960s revolutionized the way scientists thought about dinosaurs, leading to the "dinosaur renaissance" and igniting the debate on whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded. Before this, the popular conception of dinosaurs had been one of plodding, reptilian giants. Ostrom noted the small body, sleek, horizontal posture, ratite-like spine, and especially the enlarged raptorial claws on the feet, which suggested an active, agile predator."Terrible claw" refers to the unusually large, sickle-shaped talon on the second toe of each hind foot. The fossil YPM 5205 preserves a large, strongly curved ungual. In life, archosaurs have a horny sheath over this bone, which extends the length. Ostrom looked at crocodile and bird claws and reconstructed the claw for YPM 5205 as over 120 millimetres (4.7 in) long. The species name antirrhopus means "counter balance", which refers to Ostrom's idea about the function of the tail. As in other dromaeosaurids, the tail vertebrae have a series of ossified tendons and super-elongated bone processes. These features seemed to make the tail into a stiff counterbalance, but a fossil of the very closely related Velociraptor mongoliensis (IGM 100/986) has an articulated tail skeleton that is curved laterally in a long S-shape. This suggests that, in life, the tail could bend to the sides with a high degree of flexibility. In both the Cloverly and Antlers formations, Deinonychus remains have been found closely associated with those of the ornithopod Tenontosaurus. Teeth discovered associated with Tenontosaurus specimens imply they were hunted, or at least scavenged upon, by Deinonychus.

Dromaeosauridae

Dromaeosauridae is a family of feathered theropod dinosaurs. They were generally small- to medium-sized feathered carnivores that flourished in the Cretaceous Period. The name Dromaeosauridae means 'running lizards', from Greek δρομεῦς (dromeus) meaning 'runner' and σαῦρος (sauros) meaning 'lizard'. In informal usage they are often called raptors (after Velociraptor), a term popularized by the film Jurassic Park; a few types include the term "raptor" directly in their name and have come to emphasize their bird-like appearance and speculated bird-like behavior.

Dromaeosaurid fossils have been found across the globe in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Antarctica, with fossilized teeth giving credence to the possibility that they inhabited Australia as well. They first appeared in the mid-Jurassic Period (late Bathonian stage, about 167 million years ago) and survived until the end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian stage, 66 ma), existing until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The presence of dromaeosaurids as early as the Middle Jurassic has been suggested by the discovery of isolated fossil teeth, though no dromaeosaurid body fossils have been found from this period.

Eudromaeosauria

Eudromaeosauria ("true dromaeosaurs") is a subgroup of terrestrial dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs. They were relatively large-bodied, feathered hypercarnivores (with diets consisting almost entirely of other terrestrial vertebrates) that flourished in the Cretaceous Period.

Eudromaeosaur fossils are known almost exclusively from the northern hemisphere. They first appeared in the early Cretaceous Period (early Aptian stage, about 124 million years ago) and survived until the end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian stage, 66 Ma). The earliest known definitive eudromaeosaur is the dromaeosaurine Utahraptor ostrommaysorum, from the Cedar Mountain Formation, dated to 124 million years ago. However, the earlier (143-million-year-old) fossils such as those of Nuthetes destructor and several indeterminate teeth dating to the Kimmeridgian stage may represent eudromaeosaurs.

Hennessey Performance Engineering

Hennessey Performance Engineering is an American tuning house specializing in modifying sports and super cars from several brands like Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Chevrolet, Dodge, Cadillac, Lotus, Jeep, Ford, GMC, Lincoln and Lexus. Established in 1991 by John Hennessey, their main facility is located 45 minutes west of Houston, Texas. This firm focuses on mechanical component modification for creating high-powered cars. Besides performance automobiles, they also tune sport utility vehicles such as Ford Raptors and Jeep Cherokees. They also work on luxury cars like Bentleys and muscle cars like the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

Kasabian

Kasabian ( kə-SAY-bee-ən) are an English rock band formed in Leicester in 1997. The band's original members were vocalist Tom Meighan, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Pizzorno, guitarist Chris Karloff, and bassist Chris Edwards. The band's line-up was completed by drummer Ian Matthews in 2004 after a string of session drummers. Karloff left the band in 2006 and founded a new band called Black Onassis. Jay Mehler joined as touring lead guitarist in 2006. Mehler left the band for Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye in 2013, to be replaced by Tim Carter. In 2010 and 2014, Kasabian won the Q Awards for "Best Act in the World Today", while they were also named "Best Live Act" at the 2014 Q Awards and the 2007 and 2018 NME Awards. The band's music is often described as "indie rock", but Pizzorno has said he "hates indie bands" and does not feel Kasabian fit into that category.Kasabian have released six studio albums – Kasabian (2004), Empire (2006), West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009), Velociraptor! (2011), 48:13 (2014), and For Crying Out Loud (2017). The band's music has been described as a mix between The Stone Roses and Primal Scream with the swagger of Oasis. Their music has won them several awards and recognition in the media, including a Brit Award in 2010 for Best British Group, and their live performances have received praise, the most notable of which was their appearance as headliners at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival.

List of songs recorded by Kasabian

This is a comprehensive list of songs by English rock band Kasabian. Since forming in 1999, the band have released six studio albums, two live albums and two extended plays (EPs). This list does not contain live versions or remixes released by the band.

Man of Simple Pleasures

"Man of Simple Pleasures" is a song by English rock band Kasabian from the band's fourth studio album, Velociraptor! (2011). It was released as the fourth and final single from the record on 7 May 2012.

Off-Road Velociraptor Safari

Off-Road Velociraptor Safari is a free downloadable vehicle combat video game released on January 29, 2008 by Flashbang Studios. The game requires the Unity plug-in to run, and can be downloaded from the developers' website. Players assume the role of a Velociraptor wearing a pith helmet and monocle, driving a jeep with a spiked flail attached, and must accrue as many points as possible in a four-minute period by performing stunts and running down other Velociraptor. Each time a Velociraptor is struck, the game's speed is reduced to slow motion and its catapulted body becomes the focus of the in-game camera. The game operates a global highscore, after each game the player is given a rank for that day and a separate rank compared to the highest ever scores, along with a breakdown of the bonuses they were awarded during play.

The game was developed over a period of eight weeks by a small team of developers, using the Unity game engine. The idea was originally drawn onto a whiteboard, after the drawing remained in the developer's office for a few days it was decided that it would be the next project undertaken by the team. Off-Road Velociraptor Safari received positive reviews from gaming websites for its macabre humor and gameplay, though it was noted that the game had not been fully optimized on release, causing the game to run slowly on less modern machines.

A sequel (working title "Off-Road Velociraptor Safari HD") was in development, but the project was put to rest in 2010.

Re-Wired (song)

"Re-Wired" is the second single from Kasabian's fourth album, Velociraptor!. First released digitally, the single has also been released as a limited 10 inch vinyl on 20 November 2011. Only 1,000 copies were made and were quickly sold out in 3 days through pre-orders.

A part of the song was used at half time in live Premier League football matches on Sky Sports during the 2011/2012 season, when a small round up of incidents during the match was played before a commercial break.

Saurornitholestes

Saurornitholestes ("lizard-bird thief") is a genus of carnivorous dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous of Alberta, Montana, New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Two species have been named: Saurornitholestes langstoni in 1978 and Saurornitholestes sullivani in 2015. Saurornitholestes was a small bipedal meat-eating dinosaur, equipped with a sickle-claw on the foot.

Sinraptor

Sinraptor is a genus of metriacanthosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic. The name Sinraptor comes from the Latin prefix "Sino", meaning Chinese, and "Raptor" meaning robber. The specific name dongi honours Dong Zhiming. Despite its name, Sinraptor is not related to dromaeosaurids (often nicknamed "raptors") like Velociraptor. Instead, it was a carnosaur distantly related to Allosaurus. Sinraptor and its close relatives were among the earliest members of the Jurassic carnosaurian radiation. Sinraptor still remains the best-known member of the family Metriacanthosauridae, with some older sources even using the name "Sinraptoridae" for the family.

The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs

The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs is a two-part BBC documentary, presented by Bill Oddie, in which a group of scientists test out the strength of dinosaur weaponry using biomechanics. The first episode determines the winner of a battle between Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, and the second compares the strength of an ankylosaur and Velociraptor. The programmes were broadcast on BBC 1 in August and September 2005. In the US, The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs was known as Dinosaur Face-Off.

Tsaagan

Tsaagan (meaning "white") is a genus of carnivorous dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Djadokhta Formation of the late Cretaceous of Mongolia.

The fossil of Tsagaan was discovered in 1996 and first identified as a specimen of Velociraptor. After a CAT-scan in May 1998 it was concluded that it represented a new genus. In December 2006 its type species was named and described by Mark Norell, James Clark, Alan Turner, Peter Makovicky, Rinchen Barsbold and Timothy Rowe. The species name, Tsaagan mangas, should be read as a whole with the generic name qualifying the specific epithet, and is derived from the Mongolian words for "white monster" (цагаан мангас), although with an accidental misspelling of the word Tsagaan.

The holotype specimen, IGM 100/1015, was found near Xanadu in Ömnögovi Province in layers of the Djadokhta Formation dating to the Campanian, about 75 million years ago. It consists of a well-preserved skull and series of ten neck vertebrae as well as a damaged left shoulder girdle. It is the only specimen found of Tsaagan and belonged to an adult individual.Tsaagan was a medium-sized dromaeosaurid. In 2010 Gregory S. Paul estimated its length at 2 metres (6.6 ft), its weight at 15 kilograms (33 lb). The skull in general appearance resembles that of Velociraptor but differs from it in many details. It is more robust and smooth on top; unique derived traits, autapomorphies, include long paroccipital processes and basipterygoids at the back of the skull and a jugal touching the squamosal.

Velociraptor!

Velociraptor! is the fourth studio album by English rock band Kasabian, released on 16 September 2011. The album has been described as expanding upon the neo-psychedelic feel of their previous album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum with a stronger emphasis on experimental song structures and instrumentation. It was released to critical acclaim and became their third UK number-one album, its lead single "Days Are Forgotten", first released in Belgium on 12 August, and in the United Kingdom on 9 September 2011 - debuted at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart. Their song was featured in EA Sports game, FIFA 12 with "Switchblade Smiles".

Velociraptorinae

Velociraptorinae is a subfamily of the theropod group Dromaeosauridae. The earliest velociraptorines are probably Nuthetes from the United Kingdom, and possibly Deinonychus from North America. However, several indeterminate velociraptorines have also been discovered, dating to the Kimmeridgian stage, in the Late Jurassic Period. These fossils were discovered in the Langenberg quarry, Oker near Goslar, Germany.In 2007 paleontologists studied front limb bones of Velociraptor and discovered small bumps on the surface, known as quill knobs. The same feature is present in some bird bones, and represents the attachment point for strong secondary wing feathers. This finding provided the first direct evidence that velociraptorines, like all other maniraptorans, had feathers.While most velociraptorines were generally small animals, at least one species may have achieved gigantic sizes comparable to those found among the dromaeosaurines. So far, this unnamed giant velociraptorine is known only from isolated teeth found on the Isle of Wight, England. The teeth belong to an animal the size of dromaeosaurines of the genus Utahraptor, but they appear to belong to a velociraptorine, judging by the shape of the teeth and the anatomy of their serrations.

Western Digital Raptor

The Western Digital Raptor (often marketed as WD Raptor or VelociRaptor) is a series of high performance hard disk drives produced by Western Digital first marketed in 2003. The drive occupies a niche in the enthusiast, workstation and small-server market. Traditionally, the majority of servers used hard drives featuring a SCSI interface because of their advantages in both performance and reliability over consumer-level ATA drives.

Although pitched as an “enterprise-class drive”, it won favour with the PC gaming and enthusiast community because the drive was capable of speeds usually found only on more expensive SCSI drives. Adopting the SATA interface meant that it could be used easily on all modern motherboards with no separate host adapter card. Also, integration was made easier still by the inclusion of a standard 4-pin Molex power connector in addition to the standard SATA power port.

Despite having been in production since early 2003, there was no direct competition in the same market for many years.

In 2006, Western Digital acknowledged the primary consumer of its Raptor brand drives by releasing a revision of its 150 GB drive. In keeping with the PC case modding trend of stylizing, the drive was given a Perspex window to match the internals of computer cases. This allows the user to see the drive's inner workings while it is in operation.

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