Thanks to a proactive dino fan, National Velociraptor Awareness Day is celebrated on April 18 every year by those who choose to acknowledge it. Modern research has revealed that these carnivorous, cold-blooded killers were actually covered in feathers and from the bird family. A terrifyingly smart and beautiful piece of the earth’s ancient history, they’ve clawed their way into today’s pop culture — and will continue to wreck havoc way into the future.
National Velociraptor Awareness Day - History
Michael Crichton publishes Jurassic Park Novel
Velociraptors became well known thanks to their portrayal in Michael Crichton's novel which was later adapted into the Jurassic Park movie series.
11 August 1923
The First Velociraptor Fossil Found
Peter Kaisen recovered the first Velociraptor fossil: a crushed but complete skull, and one of the second toe claws.
This is around the time that Velociraptors inhabited the earth.
National Velociraptor Awareness Day Activities
1. Host a Jurassic Park Movie Marathon
What better way to celebrate these ancient, killer birds than by spending an afternoon — an evening — watching all four Jurassic Park movies. Make sure to invite someone who's never experienced the "lost world."
2. Learn About Raptors
For teachers or parents with kids, give an art/history lesson with a list of historical facts about raptors and have the kids draw and paste feathers on their own raptor illustrations.
3. Take Dinosaur Field Trip
Many museums, like the National History Museums, have dinosaur exhibits. Plan a trip to check out real fossils and the land of dinosaurs that still exist.
Why We Love National Velociraptor Awareness Day
A. We're Still Finding Them
Velociraptors are said to have lived around 70 million years ago, but we're always uncovering new remains. Velociraptor fossils have mostly been found in Mongolia and Chin, but the search continues throughout the world.
B. Jurassic Park Put Them on the Map
Velociraptors - AKA Raptors - play a big role in all of the Jurassic Park movies. They are portrayed as flock dwelling, cunningly smart villains and they play their role well. Thanks to the movies, these dinosaurs are practically celebrities.
C. Velociraptors Are Absolutely Terrifying
According to archaeologists and scientists, raptors were only about 2 feet tall, 6 feet long and weighed about 40 pounds. Even with a small frame and covered in feathers, these flightless birds are horrifying. They were carnivores and had long, retractable claws as well as 26–28 teeth for killing and consuming prey.