Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

The skull of Velociraptor (Theropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia

Rinchen Barsbold and Halszka Osmólska

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 44 (2), 1999: 189-219

The well preserved material of the Late Cretaceous dromaeosaurid, Velociraptor mongoliensis, has allowed us to supplement earlier descriptions of the skull in this species. The skull of V. mongoliensis is similar to that of Deinonychus antirrhopus, but differs from the latter by: (1) laterally convex supratemporal arcade resulting in short, rounded supratemporal fenestra; (2) depressed nasal; (3) longer maxillary process of premaxilla; (4) lack of separate prefrontal, and (5) convex ventral border of the dentary. These differences, especially that in the structure of the temporal region, support generic distinction of Deinonychus and Velociraptor. Skulls of other dromaeosaurids are compared.

Key words: Dinosauria, Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae, Velociraptor, skull, mandible, Late Cretaceous, Gobi Desert, Mongolia.

Rinchen Barsbold [barsgeodin@magicnet.mn], Institute of Geology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Enkh Taivani Gudamji, Ulan Bator 210351, Mongolia. Halszka Osmólska [osm@twarda.pan.pl], Instytut Paleobiologii PAN, ul. Twarda 51/55, PL-00-818 Warszawa, Poland.