General Body Plan

Figure 11: In this picture the bipedal stance of Velociraptor is portrayed.

Velociraptor was a fairly small theropod (about 1.5m in length). It had a bipedal stance which means it stood upright on two legs. Their bodies were balanced directly over the pelvis with vertebral column held nearly horizontally, and the hind legs were held close to the body. Their ability to function effectively may have come down to the design of their tail. They had a flexible tail proximally which was stiff distally. This functioned as a counterbalancing device against the motions of the long arms and grasping hands. Velociraptor was capable of moving at high speeds, probably from 40-60 km/hr at top speed. Velociraptor had fairly hollow bones which lightened the skeleton and increased the strength of the bones to resist bending.