Wildlife Wow! Velociraptor
Recent research suggests that Velociraptor mongoliensis was a feathered dinosaur. A forelimb fossil discovered in Mongolia showed quill knobs like those found in many modern birds. The dinosaur's plumage may have been used for mating displays, similar to how modern birds use their colorful feathers, or to help regulate body temperature. The feathers might also have helped females protect their eggs.
Like birds, Velociraptor had hollow bones and tended nests of eggs. Despite their feathers these dinosaurs were not fliers. Their short forelimbs made liftoff impossible.
Velociraptor was probably one of the more intelligent dinosaurs, because it had a large brain proportionate to its body size. Moving upright on two legs, it may have been able to reach speeds of 24 miles an hour (39 kilometers an hour). When they caught up to prey, these predators likely brought them down quickly with a long, 3.5-inch (9-centimeter) retractable claw on each foot and a mouth full of sharp teeth.