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. Velociraptor was no bigger than a wolf and with its feathers it bore a very bird-like appearance. It had a long claw ("terrible claw") on the second toe of both feet, 8 cm (3 in) long, which was probably used as a weapon. Velociraptor was the first dromaeosaurid 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 term "Velociraptor" is applied to 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". This is why the Velociraptor in the Jurassic Park films are so large.
Velociraptor are one of the main antagonists in all Jurassic Park media. However, these creatures are different from the real-life Velociraptor as they follow the Gregory S. Paul taxonomy explained above. In the novels, the animals are misclassified as Achillobator giganticus, judging by the size and location of the amber samples, and in the films, the animals are classified as "Velociraptor antirrhopus" in accordance to Gregory S. Paul taxonomy. The raptors, however, heavily differ from their real life counterparts in physiology and appearance, including a lack of feathers, pronated hands, and general mismatched proportions. This is possibly due to genetic mutations of unknown origin that differ the animals from their fossil record counterparts.
Velociraptor is one of the most popular dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise. They have a major role in all three movies and The Game. Velociraptor is the first dinosaur seen in Jurassic Park. The first scene features a raptor being transported into the paddock. They are often seen hunting in packs and as being highly intelligent.
They appear in almost all games. Below is a list of notable games featuring them:
- Velociraptor is featured in the arcade version of Jurassic Park. The player will encounter Velociraptor in Area One, Three, and Four. They will try to attack you, but are very easy to kill.
- The raptors in Chaos Island: The Lost World are fast and deadly. They can kill many enemies in packs, but they are easily killed.
- In the NES game Jurassic Park, raptors are the only dinosaurs that don't walk through doorways. They slow down when they start to corner you.
- The raptor is a playable character in the SEGA game Jurassic Park.
- In Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues, the raptor is an enemy. They will often leap at the player. Killing them will not decrease dinosaur stock amount.
- In Jurassic Park Dinosaur Battles. they are small, quick, and agile fighters; reliable against herbivores and small predators.
- Raptors are enemies in a building in Jurassic Park Interactive.
- In Jurassic Park: Trespasser, the raptors are a constant threat, appearing in all levels.
- Velociraptor is an enemy in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Game Boy game).
- Velociraptor is an enemy in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (SEGA Genesis Game).
- Male and female Velociraptor can be encountered in all levels of the arcade game The Lost World: Jurassic Park. There are also green-colored "Alpha Raptors" which can call others to them and can only be killed if shot in the head. Once it is killed, the summoned Raptors will flee from the area.
- In Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender, male raptors are encountered on all levels.
- In Jurassic Park III: Island Attack, the player is confronted by a raptor.
- In Jurassic Park III: Park Builder, raptors, both the male and female version from Jurassic Park III, can be created. Ironically, so, too, can Deinonychus. However, they are two meters long in the game, making them Velociraptor mongoliensis. However, the Deinonychus do not resemble the raptors from the third movie, although they do look like the Raptors from the first two films.
- Velociraptor can be encountered in the arcade game Jurassic Park III.
- Raptors are an enemy in Jurassic Park III: Danger Zone!.
- Velociraptor is the fourth dinosaur the player encounters in Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor.
- Velociraptor is featured in Jurassic Park: Explorer.
- The raptors were planned to appear in Jurassic Park: Survival.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park PSX
In the Lost World: Jurassic Park video game, Velociraptor is a playable character. They appear as they do in the novels. The information screen of this level shows that these raptors are two meters long; which shows that they belong to the mongoliensis species. However judging by size and information (coutresy by JP Legacy), they apparently are known as V. giganticus which is Achillobator. The raptor must escape an abandoned InGen facility into a forest were a forest fire rages, while facing numerous dinosaurs and hunters. However, their physical appearance still resembles the Deinonychus, which also appears in the game.
The raptors appeared near the end of Jurassic Park: River Adventure, where they are shown to have recently escaped, and are now tearing up the area. During Universal's Annual Halloween Horror Nights which took place at Islands of Adventure for the first time in 2002, the Jurassic Park island became JP: Extinction, and of course, with all the dinosaurs unleashed out of their paddocks, there were several scare-actors dressed up as raptors, hiding in the bushes, waiting to scare the unsuspecting tourists.
- Although largely based on Deinonychus antirrhopus, they were more similar in size to Achillobator giganticus.
- The Internet meme "Philosoraptor", is a satirical representation of the Velociraptor and their implied intelligence.
- The Velociraptor in the Dangerous Games adapted feathers.
- Kelly, Oscar, Muldoon (Novel), and Dr.Grant (Novel) are the only characters in the whole franchise who succeeded in killing a Velociraptor (besides characters in shooting games).