A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Appendix

Valdosaurus
Taxon: Ornithopoda
Name means: “Wealden lizard”
Pronounced: VAL-doh-SAWR-us
Length: 10 ft (3 m)
Time: Early Cretaceous, 144 – 113 mya
Place: England, Romania, possibly Niger

This poorly-known small dinosaur is believed to have been a hypsilophodontid. If so, Valdosaurus would have been a nimble, large-eyed plant-eater with long running legs and deft fingers. Valdosaurus was named in 1977.


Variraptor
Taxon: Theropoda Maniraptora Dromaeosauridae
Name means: “Var plunderer”
Pronounced: VAHR-ih-RAP-tor
Length: 6.5 – 10 ft (2 – 3 m)
Time: Late Cretaceous, c. 71 mya
Place: France

This sickle-clawed predator, a relative of Deinonychus and Velociraptor, was named after the Var River of southern France in 1998. A clever, agile hunter like the other maniraptors, Variraptor was probably well-equipped to take down larger prey.


Vectisaurus
Name means: “Isle of Wight lizard”
Pronounced: VEK-ti-SAWR-us

This dinosaur is now known to be IGUANODON.


Velociraptor
Taxon: Theropoda Dromaeosauridae
Name means: “swift robber”
Pronounced: ve-LOS-ih-RAP-tor
Length: 6.5 ft (2 m)
Time: Late Cretaceous, 85 – 80 mya
Place: Mongolia, China, possibly Russia

This “sickle-clawed” dromaeosaurid was made famous in the movie “Jurassic Park.” Unlike its giant silver screen counterpart, the real Velociraptor was a small, lightly-built predator with a long, low snout and large eyes. Like all dromaeosaurids, Velociraptor had a relatively large brain, long, flexible arms, dexterous fingers tipped with sharp grasping talons, and a tail stiffened by rigid, rod-like tendons, providing balance for leaping and delivering deadly slashing kicks to its prey. These kicks were made all the more devastating by the large, extendable talon on the second toe of each foot. The famed “Fighting Dinosaurs” specimen of Mongolia indicates that Velociraptor hunted the small ceratopsian Protoceratops, although that particular Velociraptor did not survive the deadly battle. This genus was named in 1924.


Velocisaurus
Taxon: Theropoda Velocisauridae
Name means: “swift lizard”
Pronounced: ve-LOS-ih-SAWR-us
Length: 3 – 5 ft (1 – 1.5 m)
Time: Late Cretaceous, 73 – 65 mya
Place: Argentina

The leg and foot bones of this small, lightly-built theropod suggest that it was a very fast runner, well-equipped for chasing down small prey such as Cretaceous mammals, lizards and insects. Velocisaurus was named in 1991.


Volkheimeria
Taxon: Sauropoda ?Brachiosauridae
Name means: “for Volkheimer”
Pronounced: VOLK-hye-MEER-ee-uh
Length: 29.5 ft (9 m)
Time: Middle Jurassic, 169 – 163 mya
Place: Argentina

Thus primitive long-necked sauropod was named for Argentine geologist and paleontologist Wolfgang Volkheimer in 1979. Volkheimeria is generally considered to be a member of the high-necked, slope-backed brachiosaurids.


Vulcanodon
Taxon: Sauropoda Vulcanodontidae
Name means: “volcano tooth”
Pronounced: vul-KAN-o-don
Length: 21 ft (6.5 m)
Time: Early Jurassic, 208 – 201 mya
Place: Zimbabwe

Known from a partial skeleton but missing a skull to study, the long-necked plant-eater Vulcanodon was originally classified as an advanced prosauropod. It is now generally considered by paleontologists to have been one of the earliest, most primitive and prosauropod-like members of the four-legged sauropod dinosaurs. The teeth for which Vulcanodon was named in 1972 were discovered in volcanic rock and actually came from a predatory dinosaur which may have been scavenging the plant-eater’s remains.


VELOCIRAPTOR (full page Velocirpator pack in attack, slashing at prey)