Velociraptor mongoliensis ("fast thief"), was an agile and slim theropoddinosaur species from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) with an up-curved skull and big sickle-shaped claws. They are usually known as raptors, a name which can also refer to other dromaeosaurids.
Velociraptors had physically powerful jaws with rows of bladed teeth. These, in combination with huge claws on their forelimbs and sickle-shaped talons on the second toe (the size of these claws could arrive at up to the length of the teeth on extinct saber-toothed cats), gave the animals some imposing weaponry.
In 2005, a BBC documentary, The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs, created an false Velociraptor leg and sickle claw to show the claw's power - when tested on a pork belly, the claw failed to fully penetrate it, representative that the popular notion of Velociraptor using the claw to disembowel its prey (as in the movie Jurassic Park) was false.
Evidence as to how the claw was in fact used is provided by one of the more spectacular specimens of Velociraptor, establish in the Gobi desert in 1971. It is a complete, spoken skeleton clutching the skeleton of a Protoceratops. The penetrating toe claw is close to where the Protoceratops's jugular vein would have been, and the Velociraptor's arm is clutched in the herbivore's jaws. This suggests Velociraptor used its sickle claw for exactitude killing, to pierce its victim's jugular vein or windpipe. The dinosaurs may have been wedged in a sandstorm, or buried as a sand dune fell on top of them. Another understanding is that Velociraptor grabbed the dead carcass of Protoceratops (which seems to be missing a leg) throughout a sandstorm or flash flood.
Velociraptor was first establish and described by paleontologist H. F. Osborn in Mongolia in 1924. About a dozen Velociraptor fossils have been establish, including one who died in a battle to the bereavement with Protoceratops and two baby bird Velociraptor skulls that were establish near an oviraptorid nest in Mongolia (they may have been a meal). Fossils have been establish in Mongolia, Russia, and China.