“Everyone knows I have a soft spot for this dinosaur, the Velociraptor. And they get a bad rap, as far as I’m concerned. But if you imprint early enough, you can make real connections with them. Other than Claire, raptors are the most intelligent partners I’ve ever had… and like her, they could kill me in the blink of an eye. That’s a joke.”
— Owen Grady
Velociraptor, in real life, was a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period which inhabited what is now the Mongolia-China border with other unique dinosaurs. Velociraptor was no bigger than a wolf and with its feathers it bore a very bird-like appearance that would make it all the more different from the films, being more akin to a flightless hawk. It had a long claw (“terrible claw”) on the second toe of both feet, 8 centimeters (3 inches) long, which was probably used as a weapon, plunging into the flesh of victims and causing deep wounds. Velociraptor was the first dromaeosaurid to be discovered (1923) and is still the most well known to paleontologists, with over a dozen recovered fossil skeletons – the most of any other member of its family. Since its appearance in the first film, it has become a symbol of Jurassic Park and has appeared in all the films and games.
In the Jurassic Park universe, the “Velociraptor” is after the genus of another dromaeosaurid dinosaur known as Deinonychus. The films, like the novels, followed the unusual taxonomy created by Gregory S. Paul, who believed that Deinonychus, as well as a few other species of dromaeosaurids, could be classified under the genus “Velociraptor”. As for the large size of the raptors, the novel raptors were sized up for an unknown reason by author Michael Crichton while the movie raptors were made larger per Steven Spielberg’s request to him being unimpressed by the size of Deinonychus.
0.5 meter (1.5 feet)
2 meters (6 feet)
7-13 kg (15-30 pounds)