The Second Velociraptor Species – Velociraptor osmolskae

The second Velociraptor species to be scientifically described – V. osmolskae, is very similar to V. mongoliensis.  However, the known fossil material has sufficient autapomorphies to support the erection of a separate species.  It is intriguing that the Djadochta and Bayan Mandahu Formations have yielded a very similar dinosaur fauna.  For example, Velociraptor mongoliensis, Protoceratops andrewsi, and Pinacosaurus grangeri are synonymous with the Djadochta Formation.  In contrast, V. osmolskae is associated with the Bayan Mandahu Formation, and this member of the Velociraptorinae subfamily shared its environment with Protoceratops hellenikorhinus, and Pinacosaurus mephistocephalus.

These differences in the biota associated with each geological formation might be due to some form of natural barrier separating the regions where these two deposits were formed.  Evidence for any substantial barrier that would deter the movement of animals from one area to another has proved elusive.  It might be and indeed, many palaeontologists favour this hypothesis, that the different faunas can be explained by there being a temporal difference between the two formations, i.e. one formation is younger than the other.

Everything Dinosaur’s Scale Drawing of Velociraptor osmolskae

Drawing of Velociraptor osmolskae.

A drawing of Velociraptor osmolskae.  It is estimated that this little “raptor”  measured around 1.8 metres in length (mostly tail), stood approximately 1 metre high and weighed around 15 kilograms.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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