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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
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

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If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

V


VALDORAPTOR

(pronounced VAHL-doh-RAP-tor) Valdoraptor is a theropod dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period, about 120 million years ago. Fossils of this bipedal meat-eater were found in England. Only some metatarsals (bones from the upper part of the foot) have been found. This dinosaur was very roughly 16 feet (5 m) long. Valdoraptor was named by Olshevsky in 1991. The type species is V. oweni (named by Lydekker in 1889; this dinosaur was originally called Megalosaurus).


VARANOPSEIDAE

The Varanopseidae were the earliest pelycosaurs, appearing during the late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) period. This extinct order of early synapsids were a dead-end in the mammalian lineage and include the small, common insectivore Mesenosaurus (Late Permian period, 260 million years ago). These carnivores were primarily terrestrial and were mostly under 5 ft (1.5 m) long. Varanopseid fossils have been found in North America. The Varanopseidae were closely related to the family Ophiacodontidae (e.g., Varanosaurus). Classification: Order Pelycosauria: Suborder Eupelycosauria.


VARANOSAURUS

(pronounced vahr-AN-oh-SAWR-us) Varanosaurus was a mammal-like reptile (not a dinosaur). This pelycosaur looked like a modern-day monitor lizard. Varanosaurus grew to be about 5 ft (1.5 m) long. It was an amniote that walked on four sprawling (five-toed) legs, had a long tail, a deep, narrow skull, and a long jaw with many small, sharp, curved, flattened teeth. It probably ate fish. This extinct, early synapsid was a dead-end in the mammalian lineage, closely related to Ophiacodon, and also Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus. Varanosaurus lived during the early Permian period in what is now Texas and Oklahoma, USA. Classification: Order Pelycosauria: Suborder Eupelycosauria: Family Ophiacodontidae: Genus Varanosaurus.

VARIRAPTOR

(pronounced vahr-ee-RAP-tor) Variraptor is a newly-discovered theropod dinosaur from France. This bipedal meat-eater lived during the late Cretaceous period. It was about 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 m) long and weighed roughly 100 pounds (50 kg).


VASCULAR PLANT

A vascular plant has specialized pipelines that carry water and nutrients around the plant. Club mosses, ferns, horestails, gymnosperms, and flowering plants are vascular plants.

VELOCIPES

(pronounced ve-LOSS-eh-pes) Velocipes (meaniing "speedy foot") was a meat-eating dinosaur (a theropod) from the late Triassic period, roughly 228 - 223 million years ago. The type species is V. guerichi. A partial leg bone was found in Germany. Velocipes was named by paleontologist von Huene in 1932. This is doubtful genus due to insufficient fossil material.


VELOCIRAPTOR

(pronounced va-LOSS-ah-RAP-tor) Velociraptor was a small, fast, meat-eating dromaeosaurid dinosaur from the Cretaceous period.

VENDIAN PERIOD

The Vendian or Ediacaran period was a geologic time period that lasted from 650 to 544 million years ago. The Vendian is when the earliest-known animals evolved. Vendian biota (Ediacara fauna), included soft-bodied multi-cellular animals, like sponges and worms. During the Vendian, the continents had merged into a single supercontinent called Rodinia. The Vendian ended in a mass extinction.

VENENOSAURUS

Venenosaurus (meaning "poison lizard") was a plant-eating dinosaur (a titanosaurid sauropod) from the early Cretaceous period. Fossils of this huge, long-necked, long-tailed dinosaur were found in the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah, USA. Venenosaurus was named by paleontologists Tidwell, Carpenter, and Meyer in 2001; the type species is V. dicrocei.

VERTEBRA

The spine is made up of many vertebrae. The largest ever found were neck vertebrae that belonged to the long-necked dinosaur Seismosaurus; they are over 6 feet (1.8 m) long.


VERTEBRATE

Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone. The backbone consists of ring-like bones (vertebrae) that protect the soft spinal cord. Vertebrates evolved during the Cambrian period, over 500 million years ago. The first vertebrates were jawless, toothless fish (agnathans). Other vertebrates include the amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Classification: Kingdom Metazoa, Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata.

VICKERS-RICH, PATRICIA

Dr. Patricia Vickers-Rich is an Australian geoloogist, paleontologist and author. Vickers-Rich has unearthed many important finds in Victoria, Australia, Alaska, USA, and Patagonia, South America. She co-named (with her husband T. H. Rich) the dinosaurs Leaellynasaura (1989) and Timimus(1994) (both named for his children), Atlascopcosaurus (1989), Qantassaurus (1999), Tehuelchesaurus (1999, also with Gimenez, Candúneo, Puerta, and Vacca), the important early Australian mammal Ausktribosphenos, and others.

VIDE

Vide is Latin for "see."

VIERAELLA

Vieraella herbsti is the earliest-known true frog. It lived during the Early Jurassic period, about 188-213 million years ago. Vieraella was about 1 inch (3 cm) long. It was very similar to modern-day frogs, including its long, powerful hind legs, very short backbone, a fork-shaped hip girdle, and latticework skull. Fossils of Vieraella have been found in Argentina, South America. Order Anura.

VIVIPAROUS

Viviparous animals are born live and do not hatch from eggs. People are viviparous.

VOLCANO

When a volcano erupts, it spews out lava and gases from deep inside the Earth. The Cretaceous period was a time of high volcanic activity.
VON HUENE, FRIEDRICH
Friedrich von Huene (1875-1969) was a German paleontologist who named: Altispinax (1922), Avipes (1932), Antarctosaurus (1929), Betasuchus (1932), Cetiosauriscus (1927), Coeluroides (1932), Compsosucus (1932), the family Dicraeosauridae (1956), Dolichosuchus (1932), Dryptosauroides (1932), Erectopus (1922), Fulgurotherium (1932), the family Halticosauridae (1956), Halticosaurus (1908), Iliosuchus (1932), Indocuchus (1933), Jubbulpuria (1932), Laevisuchus (1932), the family Lambeosauridae (1948), Laplatasaurus (1927), Loricosaurus (1929), Magyarosaurus (1932), the family Melanorosauridae (1929), Ornithomimoides (1932), the family Podokesauridae (1914), the infraorder Prosauropoda (1920), Proceratosaurus (1926), the family Procompsognathidae (1929), Rapator (1932), Saltopus (1910), the suborder Sauropodomorpha (1932), Sellosaurus (1908), Thecocoelurus (1923), Velocipes (1932), and Walgettosuchus (1932).
VON MEYER, HERMANN
Hermann von Meyer was a German paleontologist who named and described Archaeopteryx; (1861), Rhamphorhynchus (1847), Plateosaurus (1837), and Stenopelix (1857).
Vulcanodon

VULCANODON

(pronounced vul-KAN-uh-don) Vulcanodon (meaning "Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, tooth" because fossilized teeth [probably not belonging to Vulcanodon] were found in volcanic material) was a very early sauropod dinosaur (a Vulcanodontid) about 20 feet (6.5 m) long. It lived during the early Jurassic period, roughly 208 to 201 million years ago. It was a long-necked, long-tailed plant-eater with a small head, thick legs, and a bulky body. It had nail-like claws on its feet and an enlarged claw on each big toe. Its front legs were relatively long. A partial fossil has been found in Mashonaland North, Zimbabwe, Africa. Vulcanodon was named by Raath in 1972. The fossil footprints called Deuterosauropodopus from Lesotho, South Africa may belong to Vulcanodon. The type species is V. karibaensis.

ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
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

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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