Deinonychus vs Velociraptor: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: May 19, 2022
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When most people imagine the Velociraptor, they imagine a group of very “clever” dinosaurs that stand about 6ft tall and hunt in packs, taking on deadly, fictional enemies. The truth is less exciting, as the feathered dinosaur was not that size or a pack hunter, according to research. However, another dinosaur called the Deinonychus was closer to the movie depiction. Today, let’s take a look at the Deinonychus vs Velociraptor. We’ll show you which dinosaur wins a fight against the other and how they’re different.

Comparing a Deinonychus and a Velociraptor

Deinonychus had the size advantage.
DeinonychusVelociraptor
SizeWeight: 161lbs-220lbs
Height: 2.9ft at the hip, 3.5ft overall
Length: 11ft
Weight: 20lbs-33lbs, perhaps up to 50lbs
Height: 1.5-2.5ft tall overall
Length: 4.5ft-6.5ft
Speed and Movement Type– 6 mph walking speed
– Running speed unknown, perhaps as high as 20 mph
– 10-24 mph
– Bipedal striding
Defenses– Size
– Speed
– Speed
– Agility
Offensive Capabilities– Would leap at prey and slash them with their 5-inch claws, pin them, and bite them
– Powerful bite that was roughly as strong as a crocodilian of the same size
– May have used a saw-biting motion to finish off prey
– Used its tail and feathered arms to stay balanced while killing prey
– 3-inch claw on the second toe of each foot
– A swift, agile attacker that could stay balanced using its tail while attacking prey with its feet
– 28 teeth serrated on the back edge
– Attacked by leaping at and pinning prey, finishing them shortly after
Predatory Behavior– Solo hunters
– Opportunistic feeders
– May have killed other Deinonychuses while scavenging – May have ambushed prey when possible
Hunted alone rather than in packs as portrayed in the films
– Attempted to cut its prey’s neck
– Nocturnal hunter

What Are Key Differences Between a Deinonychus and a Velociraptor?

The major differences between Deinonychus and Velociraptor lie in their size and pack habits. Deinonychus was a dromaeosaurid theropod that may have hunted in packs or incidentally with others that weighed about 161lbs and stood 3.5ft tall. Velociraptor was a dromaeosaurid theropod that hunted alone, weighed up to 50lbs, and stood about 2.5ft tall.

These unique qualities help figure out which of these creatures is best poised to win a battle. However, we must truly plumb the depths of their differences to discover who would win a fight.  

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What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Deinonychus and a Velociraptor?

velociraptor vs indominus rex

Velociraptor was a small dinosaur with extra-large claws and a feathery body.

©kamomeen/Shutterstock.com

When we look at dinosaur fights, we can usually determine which reptile would win the fight by looking at a handful of traits. In this case, we need to pay attention to elements of size, attack methods, and defenses. We’ll explain each creature’s strengths and assign advantages for each factor.

Without further ado, let’s see which of these two dinosaurs is the toughest!

Deinonychus vs Velociraptor: Size

Deinonychus was larger than Velociraptor. The Deinonychus was a medium-sized dinosaur that weighed about 161lbs to 220lbs, stood 3.5ft tall, and measured about 11ft long including its tail.

The Velociraptor was a small dinosaur that weighed between 33lbs and 50lbs, stood about 2.5ft tall, and measured 6.5ft in length including a long tail.

Deinonychus had the size advantage.

Deinonychus vs Velociraptor: Speed and Movement

Velociraptor was faster than Deinonychus. A Velociraptor could run at speeds between 10 and 24 mph. The Deinonychus had a larger body, but its legs were probably built for power rather than speed. Thus, it’s believed that they walked at 6 mph, but they might have run up to 20 mph over short distances.

Velociraptors probably had the speed advantage.

Deinonychus vs Velociraptor: Defenses

The Deinonychus was a medium-sized dinosaur that could use its size and threatening posture to scare off some creatures. However, Velociraptor had speed and agility to keep it safe in the presence of larger creatures.

The Deinonychus and Velociraptor tie in their defenses since neither of them is particularly effective.

Deinonychus vs Velociraptor: Offensive Capabilities

Both the Deinonychus and the Velociraptor were dromaeosaurid theropods that were similar in the ways they attacked. However, their size differences and strength led to unique offensive powers.

The Deinonychus would leap at its prey and inflict damage with its powerful kicks that would slash with 5-inch, sickle-shaped claws. The ferociousness of this attack, combined with the Deinonychus’s weight, would help them pin their prey on the ground and finish them with powerful bites.

After all, this dinosaur had a bite that may have been as strong as an alligator of a similar size. Moreover, the Deinonychus would also use its “hand” claws to hold and inflict further damage on prey.

The Velociraptor attacked similarly, but it would use its feet to kill its prey in most cases. They used their tails to help them balance while they kicked and slashed their prey. Also, Velociraptors could use their “hands” to help them keep prey in place while attacking. They would then tear into the prey with their serrated teeth.

Both creatures had powerful offensive capabilities, so this section is a tie.  

Deinonychus vs Velociraptor: Predatory Behavior

The Velociraptor was a carnivore, but it did not hunt like the dinosaurs in the movies. Instead, it was a solo hunter that would hunt its prey at night. The dinosaur would pursue its prey and leap at it, crashing into it and aiming a kick at the neck in an attempt to tear its main arteries.

The Deinonychus was a solo hunter that used opportunistic predation or ambush predation. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that Deinonychuses attacked in groups, but they may have been attracted to the same prey.

Studies indicate that Deinonychuses attacked each other when scavenging prey. Thus, we don’t know if they hunted together or merely tried to take advantage of the prey, drawing other dinosaurs for dinner.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Deinonychus and a Velociraptor?

Deinonychus

Deinonychus was too large and powerful for Velociraptor to overcome.

©Elenarts/Shutterstock.com

A Deinonychus would win a fight against a Velociraptor. Although size doesn’t win every fight, such as when a Velociraptor faces a Protoceratops, it’s a very concerning factor in this fight. The two dinosaurs are remarkably similar in terms of their approach to attacks as well as their predation style.

So, what happens when a larger, stronger version of an animal attacks the smaller version?  In this case, the Deinonychus would attack the smaller Velociraptor, most likely using its long limbs to land a deep, deadly claw strike that tears into the Velociraptor. Meanwhile, it would avoid most of the significant attacks from the Velociraptor.

Then, the Deinonychus would finish the fight with a powerful bite. The Velociraptor may have tried to counter, but it has a tough path to victory in this fight.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © kamomeen/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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