Ornitholestes was a small theropod dinosaur that lived in the Late Jurassic Period in North America. The single existing specimen of Ornitholestes was found in Bone Cabin Quarry in Wyoming in 1900 and described by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1903. It consists of an almost complete skeleton and a complete, but compressed skull. It is on display in New York at the American Museum of Natural History.
An oftenly-portrayed inaccuracy in media is that it has a horn on the tip of its snout, which has been disproven.
Campers find the corpse of a large reptile on the beach of Rojas. Martin "Marty" Guitierrez invites Richard Levine to identify the creature. The corpse is destroyed by soldiers shortly after the scientists arrive. Levine identifies the creature as an Ornitholestes.
Levine manages to save a skin sample from the creature. The sample is sent to Ian Malcolm. Elizabeth Gelman analyzes the sample and shows the results to Malcolm. The skin has a structure comparable with pelicans; although it doesn't have feathers. It also has a 2 cm square green plastic radio tag.
Elizabeth Gelman also notes that the skin contains a density of chromatophores, or pigment-bearing cells. The chromatophores could open and close, meaning that this animal could change color like a chameleon.