National Velociraptor Awareness Day

National Velociraptor Awareness Day is observed next on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 (194 days from today).

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Director Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" turned raptors into legitimate Hollywood superstars in the early 90s. National Velociraptor Awareness Day on April 18th is considered as a reason to honor this creature that roamed the Earth 70 million years ago.

Whether they're roaming the Earth or just a magic movie, Velociraptors continues to capture the imagination every April 18.

History of National Velociraptor Awareness Day

Here's a fact we often overlook: raptors, unlike the ones in the movies, don't grow more than seven feet tall. They are about 6.5 feet long and less than 2 feet tall at the hip (but they do have some creepy hips.) They also have feathers and wings. In fact, they resembled turkey dinosaurs. However, the filmmakers are still working on something.

That's because production on "Jurassic Park" began before the 1991 discovery of the so-called Utahraptor skeleton, 5.5 feet tall, the largest at the time. A film designer said that we designed it, we built it, and then they discovered it. That still confuses me.

People believed that Velociraptors had roamed around the Earth from 85.8 million to 70.6 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous. The name 'velociraptor' was given to this dinosaur in 1924 by then president of the American Museum of Natural History, Henry Fairfield Osborn. The name is derived from Latin: 'velox,' meaning 'quick,' and 'raptor' meaning 'plunderer'. Earlier that same year, this dinosaur was called Ovoraptor Djadochtari in a paper but the name was never mentioned in a scientific journal article, so Velociraptor became the accepted name.

The Velociraptor featured in the "Jurassic Park" movies resembles the Tyrannosaurus rex, but the Hollywood description doesn't match the actual creature in shape and size. In the movies, Velociraptor was scaly and reptilian, while paleontologists discovered feathers and feathery knobs on the fossilized arm of a Velociraptor found in Mongolia in AD. 2007. In 2008, researchers found a fossil protoceratops with grooves matching that of raptor teeth, as well as two teeth belonged to either a speed animal or another dromaeosaurid.

In 2012, a large bone fragment of a dinosaur was also discovered in the intestines of a speed animal, suggesting that speed animals sometimes ate dinosaurs. There are two species of velociraptor: V. mongoliensis and V. osmolskae. The latter was only identified in 2008.

Some truths about Velociraptor

  • Velociraptors don't have reptile skin

Instead, Velociraptors have feathers, due to their quills.

  • A big chicken

Contrary to how they are portrayed in Hollywood, the velocity is the size of a huge chicken.

  • Velociraptors don't hunt in packs

All speed hunters are lone hunters.

  • Velociraptors are not fast

Although velociraptor is 'speed thief' in the Greek, they were not as fast as other dinosaurs.

  • Curved Weapons!

The Velociraptors' greatest weapons are the curved claws on their paws, which are used to stab, slash, and knock down attackers or prey.

How to celebrate National Velociraptor Awareness Day

  • Organize a movie marathon

What better way to celebrate these ancient killer birds than by spending a night watching all four of the "Jurassic Park" movies? How about making sure to invite some friends who have not experienced 'The Lost World'?

  • Meet the Flintstones

Two model citizens of Bedrock, named Fred and Wilma Flintstone, own a pet raptor named Dino. Would you mind to be a guide to introduce your children about this cute raptor through the magic of a 1960s cartoon for National Velociraptor Awareness Day?

  • Go to a museum

Try the Natural History Museum in New York City or La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Arrange time and take a trip to enjoy some true fossils and the land of dinosaurs that still exist.

Observed

National Velociraptor Awareness Day has been observed annually on April 18th.

Dates

Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Monday, April 18th, 2022

Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

Friday, April 18th, 2025

Also on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

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