St Aiden’s Homeschool

Footsteps on the Road to Learning

I’m Learning About Dinosaurs Velociraptor
Includes activities on Earth Science & Palaeontology Lesson Plans, Crafts, Activity Sheets & Teacher/Parent Guides/Resources

Gr K-6

Donnette E Davis

Learning About Dinosaurs K-6


Velociraptor means "swift thief". This is a good name because Velociraptor was a small dinosaur that could run fast. Velociraptor was a theropod. The theropods were a group of dinosaurs that walked on two legs. This group of dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds. Velociraptor brains were bigger than most other dinosaurs compared to the size of their bodies. Velociraptor was a smart dinosaur.

What did they look like?
The Velociraptor was just under a meter tall (about three feet), usually about 5-6 feet long from nose to tail, and weighed anywhere from 7-15 kilograms (15-33 pounds). Velociraptor had feathers on its skin, the same as birds do today. These dinosaurs walked on two legs and had two hands with three fingers and sharp claws. Their heads were long and narrow like a crocodile, and had a mouth with 26 or more teeth which was able to close very quickly. On each foot, they had a large dangerous curved toe claw. Velociraptor had a stiff tail that it used for balance. The tail could only flex from side to side, not up and down; this helped the dinosaur run fast and change directions quickly. Velociraptor had two legs which means it was bipedal. Its legs were strong and sturdy and it may have used them to jump. Velociraptors were also very agile.

Donnette E Davis 2009


Learning About Dinosaurs K-6

A Deinonychus fossil replica stands behind a Buitreraptor replica, at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.

What did they eat?
Velociraptor was a carnivore. This means that it ate meat. It slashed or punctured its victims with its very long toe claw. Closely related dinosaurs like Deinonychus and Dromeosaurus hunted in packs and Velociraptor probably did too. Alone a Velociraptor could have killed and eaten animals like lizards, early mammals and small or young dinosaurs. In a pack, Velociraptor may have hunted even larger prey such as Homocephale and even the large hadrosaurs! One meal that was definitely on a Velociraptor’s menu was Protoceratops. Protoceratops was a plant-eating dinosaur that was a relative of Triceratops, but had no horns and was the size of a pig. Scientists have found a fossil of Velociraptor locked in a fight with a Protoceratops. The animals killed each other during the fight and a sand dune collapsed on top of them. In a group, Velociraptor could have quickly and quietly circled around an animal that was alone to trap it. Velociraptor hunted by separating a victim from the herd. They killed their prey by piercing its vital organs with their claws or teeth. Velociraptor would stalk up on their prey and pounce on it then it will slash through its prey with its claws and then eat it.

When did they live?
Velociraptors lived during the Late Cretaceous period, about 80 - 85 million years ago. This was only 15 million years before the dinosaurs became extinct. The world was much hotter than it is today, and there were no polar ice caps. There were small mammals and birds living at the same time as Velociraptor. There were flowering plants and many insects similar to the ones we see today.

Where did they live?
Velociraptor lived in Asia. Fossils have been fond in Russia, China and Mongolia. They lived in a place that was hot and covered by sand dunes. There were streams of water close to where some fossils have been found. They may have lived near
Donnette E Davis 2009


Learning About Dinosaurs K-6

the water and preyed on animals that came to drink. Some predators do this today.

How were they discovered?
The first Velociraptor was discovered by Paleontologist Henry Osborn in Mongolia in 1924. A Paleontologist is a scientist that studies dinosaurs. The first fossils found were a skull with jaws and some toes with a claw. The skull was found next to a Protoceratops skull. Palaeontologists have found 12 different examples of the animal so far.

Velociraptors and "Jurassic Park"
In a popular film called Jurassic Park, Velociraptor did not look like it would have in real life. The movie's Velociraptors were twice as tall as they really were, they were scaly instead of feathered and their tails were too flexible. The Velociraptors in Jurassic Park look more like a Dromeosaur (Raptor) called Deinonychus, which was Velociraptor's much bigger cousin. But don't let that fool you, these little creatures could kill you.

What do we still need to learn?

• • •

How did they use their long claw when hunting? Did they slash or stab with it? It is likely they slashed at large blood vessels, given the position of the velociraptor found fossilized while attacking a protoceratops. Did they really hunt in packs? All the fossils found have been alone. Did they live in packs or did they live alone? How much did they eat each day?

A Velociraptor and Protoceratops fossilized in a fight to the death.

Donnette E Davis 2009


Learning About Dinosaurs K-6

In your own words answer the following questions in as much detail as you possibly can. For younger learners it would be beneficial for the parent/educator to make notes based on the child’s answers.

What did they look like? (Their size, how they walked, some interesting facts about their different parts, etc) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

What did they eat? (Plant-eaters, omnivorous, or carnivorous, or more?) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

When did they live? (Not all species of dinosaurs were alive during the K-T event. There were several development periods for different dinosaur species and some were likely "ancestors" of other dinosaurs found in later periods.) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Donnette E Davis 2009


Learning About Dinosaurs K-6

Where did they live? (Ocean, shallow seas, jungle, grasslands, etc.) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

How were they discovered? (Discussions about where the fossils were found and perhaps even names and information about the discoverer.) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

What do we need to learn? (To demonstrate that science is still evolving and that we don't know all of the answers.) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Donnette E Davis 2009


Learning About Dinosaurs K-6

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U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, Helping Your Child Learn Science, Washington, D.C., 2005. AND All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details). Donnette E Davis © 2009 St Aiden’s Homeschool, South Africa & The Child Development Spot P O Box 13720 Cascades 3202 KwaZulu-Natal Republic of South Africa

Donnette E Davis 2009