Variraptor (Greek for "Var River thief"); pronounced VAH-ree-rap-tore
Woodlands of western Europe
Late Cretaceous (85-65 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 7 feet long and 100-200 pounds
Long arms; long, lightly built skull with numerous teeth
Despite its impressive name, the French Variraptor occupies a place on the second tier of the raptor family, since not everyone accepts that this dinosaur's scattered fossil remains add up to a convincing genus (and it's not even clear exactly when this dromaeosaur lived). As it has been reconstructed, Variraptor was slightly smaller than the North American Deinonychus, with a proportionately lighter head and longer arms. There's also some speculation that (unlike most raptors) Variraptor may have been a scavenger rather than an active hunter, though the case for that would certainly be bolstered by more convincing fossil remains.