WARNING: This article covers the "Velociraptor" as it appears in the films
5'6" - 6 ft tall
4-4.572 (13-15ft) according to Jurassic World
300 pounds (136 kilograms) (JurassicWorld.com info)
Movie canon appearances
Velociraptor is the 3 to 4 meter (10–13 foot) long, 2 meter (6 foot) high dromaeosaurid theropod carnivore that appears in all Jurassic Park films and film-based media. The Raptors are the main antagonists of the first film and the secondary antagonists of the second and third films. In the fourth film, they become anti-heroes as they assist their trainer, Owen Grady, in defeating the vicious Indominus rex.
Velociraptors are highly intelligent pack hunters. They could run 40-60 mph at full sprint, so they could outrun most dinosaurs. They have a primitive level of vocalization which enables them to direct attacks and call for help. They are also able to set traps.
In reality, there is no real paleontologist that recognizes this animal. Although it is called Velociraptor, it also shows characteristics of other dromaeosaurs, like Deinonychus and Utahraptor. A raptor in real life that vaguely resembles the dinosaurs in the film is the newly discovered Achillobator, a close Mongolian cousin to Utahraptor. However, a raptor that belongs to Velociraptorinae, the same subfamily as Velociraptor, was discovered in Isle of Wight, England, estimating it to reach a size that rivals Utahraptor. In 2013 another discovery had paid close homage to Jurassic Park's Velociraptor, with the North American velociraptorian, Acheroraptor which also has a vague distinction to the dinosaurs in the film. Interestingly and by coincidence no less the Acheroraptor was found in the state of Montana, the same place where the film's Velociraptor was found.
Portrayal and Abilities Edit
Size and ClassificationEdit
At the time that Michael Crichton wrote the first novel (late 1980's), The bones of Achillobator (a large species of dromaeosaurid) had recently been discovered, but were given little attention and simply labeled as "a possible large species of Velociraptor", and thus, Crichton associated it as such. This is specified when Dr. Wu states that the raptors are a Mongolian species. At the time the film was being made, Utahraptor was discovered, and Stan Winston joked that he created it before paleontologists discovered it.
According to the official Jurassic World website, the park's raptors are originated from Mongolia, and measure up to 5 m long, making the InGen's animal closer to Achillobator than anything else. Strangely enough, the skull in the skeleton box do not belongs to the Achilles hero, but rather to the 2 m long velociraptor.
Raptors did not always get along, and were sometimes very anti-social towards each other. We see this in Jurassic Park when the Raptors snap at each other when they enter the kitchen, and then again in The Lost World when Sarah makes her escape. Given that they are pack animals, this could just be their way of reinforcing the group pecking order.
Many other dromaeosaurids may have hunted in packs, often ranging in large numbers. The most well known evidence of this is the fossilized remains of a group of Deinonychus eating an adult Tenontosaurus. Dr. Alan Grant's theory is that if you were to stand still in front of a raptor, the raptor would just look back, as if in a standoff. Then the attack would come, not from the front, but from the flanks by other Raptors you wouldn't even know were there. The raptors would typically pounce on their prey and slash at the stomach with the retractable claws. Raptors play on human emotion and set traps, using a human as bait as shown when they used Udesky as bait to kill Amanda Kirby. Another reference of an advanced attack method was employed from a lone male Velociraptor included: trailing the humans without them knowing and entering another way into the lab and remaining perfectly still, playing on an illusion, while waiting for one of the humans to get too close and using their curiosity of the tanks to get the better of them. It's also possible that raptors employed eye contact to distract human prey.
Their stamina is monumental, never showing any fatigue while pursuing prey. They've been shown to be able to chase prey for extreme distances and still be able to engage in extended combat at the end of a chase. The Big One in the original movie is shown to have great physical durable, as she is kicked to the floor by Grant a few hits, but she was still able to immediately leap to her feet and attack again.
As Blue have shown to be able to run long distance for hunting down the I. rex, she was able to chase humans and cars showing off her stamina for her kind. She was able to take this to a further extreme in Jurassic World, as she takes a direct hit from the Indominus rex's claws to the wall and survives almost unharmed to engage in the fight with being tossed to the side few times as well.
In Jurassic Park, Alan Grant queries the Velociraptors' intelligence, mentioning the size of the brain cavity in their skulls. Robert Muldoon responds that, in his assessment, a Velociraptors‘ intelligence is the equivalent of modern primates and they are capable of creating advanced strategies and problem-solving. Other things they're capable of are opening doors, digging, etc. They are the only species of dinosaur shown adapting their behavior to counter the capabilities of the tool-using humans. As shown if they couldn't get through the gate door they will climb over it instead.
In the third movie they were shown to have a large enough brain capacity to set traps for humans, leaving an injured human stranded for the others to help, whereupon they were ambushed.
A single raptor was able to pretend that it was encased in formaldehyde, attacking once a human came near enough.
Communication and SkillsEdit
Similar to modern-day birds, Velociraptors communicate with one another through vocal calls, although the raptors of the first two movies are not shown to communicate much in comparison to the raptors in Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World.
In Jurassic Park, there is a small amount of verbal communication, while stalking Muldoon in the form of squawking, and a raptor calls for her hunting partner upon entering the kitchen and later in Jurassic Park: The Game another raptor calls for backup while facing Oscar in a single fight. There is no verbal communication heard in The Lost World while stalking the hunters in the long grass or attacking Malcolm, Sarah, and Kelly in the workers village (suggesting they must have used eye contact like chimpanzees). However, there is a lot of verbal communication in Jurassic Park III when the raptors on Isla Sorna are seen "talking" to each other in what could be depicted as Velociraptor "language".
In Jurassic World, they are shown to be trained by their handler named Owen from hatchlings. It is shown that their high intellect allows Owen to teach them communication skills via vocal commands and hand signals. The Indominus rex also uses her Velociraptor DNA to communicate with them.
The Velociraptors were genetically recreated by Henry Wu using DNA trapped in fossilized mosquitoes. They were bred at the laboratory on Isla Sorna. All the Raptors were engineered as female to prevent unauthorized breeding.
In 1986, InGen successfully clones their first Velociraptor, which was the first dinosaur they ever made on Isla Sorna.
Laura Sorkin noted in her journal that the Velociraptors are three times as large as they should be. Sorkin blames this on the use of frog DNA. She writes (keep in mind, Achillobator's bones had been discovered and labeled as a species of Velociraptor, but not given its own name):
I've given Dr Wu meaningful looks when the subject has come up, but he doesn't seem to make the connection between his frog DNA hack and the discrepancy.
The raptors were grown and fed on Site B and the original batch of eight raptors were transported to Isla Nublar, presumably at eight months of age.
It is unknown where the Velociraptor Paddock was located in the park. The largest and most intelligent raptor in the group, The Big One, soon became the leader of the pack. She killed five raptors of the pack, but spared the lives of only two; solidifying her role as leader of the pack.
InGen fed the raptors living cows; initially, park employees would bring the food to the Raptor Paddock. However, the raptors started to attack the fences when the feeders came. Soon-after, the animals began attacking the fences to look for weak spots. Therefore, it was deemed unsafe for them to remain in the enclosure. The raptors had to be captured and individually transported to the maximum-security Animal Containment Unit, where cranes would now deliver their meals.
Muldoon remained cautious around the creatures, with InGen considering their high intelligence and nasty disposition to be a security hazard.
- "They should all be destroyed."
- —Robert Muldoon(src)
A large group of engineers and security, headed by Robert Muldoon, loaded The Big One into the Containment Unit. Once the cage was locked onto the Unit, Jophery had to open the cages gate by hand. The Big One damaged the locking mechanism and the cage got loose. Jophery died in the process when the raptor attempted to drag him into the cage and mauls him.
Sorkin's journal tells that, after this incident, John Hammond brought a new batch of raptors to Isla Nublar. The new raptors were kept in the Southern Quarantine pens. Sorkin was very upset by this action. She wrote: "(Hammond) will never learn to respect what we have created and stop trying to create a spectacle!"
The incident has upset the investors of InGen. They demand that (among others) Dr. Alan Grant, a famous paleontologist, inspects the park. Alan Grant had just discovered a "Velociraptor" at his dig site in Montana. In reality, Velociraptor lived in Asia, not America. A kid called it a "6-foot Turkey".
Grant and the rest of the endorsement team watched how a new batch of raptors hatched in the laboratory. They also saw how the raptors were fed in the Containment Unit.
During Nedry's insurrection, the Raptor pen was, initially, left unharmed, but the power to the fence inevitably gave out when the mainframe was reset by Arnold. The raptors then managed to bite their way out and patrolled the area to the electric bunker. Arnold eventually came through to turn the power back on, only to be killed and eaten inside the bunker by one of the Raptors, leaving only one of his arms. Ellie Sattler and Muldoon eventually came through the same way in an attempt to finish Arnold's work, walking into a trap set by two of the raptors. Fortunately, Muldoon saw through the raptor's ruse and held a gun on one of them while Ellie ran ahead into the bunker. Muldoon then attempted to hunt the raptor in the bush, but he underestimated the creature's intelligence and was ambushed by the alpha female, who had been using the other Raptor as bait and Muldoon was killed. Meanwhile, Ellie managed to turn the power back on to the park, only to be attacked from behind by the third raptor. Fortunately, she managed to escape with only a foot injury.
Some time after, the three raptors migrated to the visitor's center, where the alpha female and one other followed the scent of the kids, Lex and Tim, into the kitchen. After a brief hunt around the kitchen, the alpha managed to find Lex, only to attack a metal cabinet that showed her reflection and hit the cabinet. The second raptor then chased Tim into the freezer but slipped on the ice, as Tim escaped and locked the door behind him. The alpha, however, managed to regain consciousness and followed the children, along with Alan and Ellie to the computer room. After a brief struggle, Lex managed to fix the locks and shut the door on the raptor. However, it broke through the glass, which forced them to climb into the vents.
The third raptor broke free from the electric bunker and chased them to the front of the visitor's center, where it jumped on the sauropod skeleton, causing it to collapse as they climbed onto it. The humans attempted to escape but are cornered by the alpha Raptor. The third raptor then took its opportunity and lunged for the humans, but is then seized out of the air by Rexy the Tyrannosaurus rex. While the others escaped, the Big One jumped on the rex's neck, only to slide into its jaws and be tossed violently into a decorative Tyrannosaurus rex model skeleton, presumably being killed by the impact.
Velociraptors appeared in Jurassic Park: The Game. Their models for the game are based off their appearance in the first Jurassic Park. They first appear is in the last scenario of Episode 2, and serve as the main enemy throughout Episode 3.
InGen shipped a new pack of five raptors, lead by the Scarred Raptor Leader, from Isla Sorna to replace the deceased ones, but had to be transferred to the quarantine pens as they were too dangerous to be kept in the standard holding pens. They, along with the Troodon, were kept under close watch by Laura Sorkin and her assistant, David Banks.
They later escaped and stalked the personnel left behind on the island and a mercenary team hired by InGen. One of the raptors was killed by Rexy the T. rex. The new leader killed Oscar Morales, a member of the mercenary team who scarred her and killed another raptor in a face-to-face encounter earlier. The remaining subordinates then chased the remaining survivors until they caught the scent of a Troodon nest in the room the survivors took refuge in and then fled. Though a napalm bombing was planned to eradicate the dinosaurs on the island, it was probably never carried out, as Rexy is still seen in Jurassic World. So, either Rexy somehow survived the napalm bombings, or it was never carried out.
- "Velociraptor. Carnivore. Pack hunter. About two meters tall. Long snout. Binocular vision. Strong dexterous forearms and killing claws on both feet."
- —Dr. Robert Burke(src)
Taking place on Isla Sorna, the second film introduces male Velociraptors to the series. A glitch in their genetic code has allowed some of them to be born male, allowing the animals to breed. The male raptors appeared with orange skin, tiger-like stripes, and yellow eyes. On the island, the freed raptors are seen as having focused their feeding grounds closer to the center of the island, with at least one pack claiming their territory in the area around the InGen Village, including the facility itself. This makes it especially dangerous for anyone attempting to contact the outside world, as the facility is, supposedly, the only site on the island with the necessary equipment. Due to the fact that the raptors weren't taught by older raptors how to behave in an early age, they have no real social structure and seem to prefer to hunt by themselves. Even in the tall grass scene they really don't attack in a group. This could be reference to the novel The Lost World, where the Velociraptors have little to no social structure at all.
Four years after the Incident at Jurassic Park, two groups of people; a small research team hired by John Hammond, and an enormous strike force hired by Peter Ludlow become stranded on the island when attacks by the local animals destroy most of their equipment. Despite Ludlow's warnings, the team embarks towards the central facility. However, after an attack by a pair of local Tyrannosaurus, the team becomes unorganized and separated, and, upon nearing the facility, come across a field of tall grass that happens to be home to a pack of Velociraptors, who promptly ambush the team, killing a fairly large number of men, including Ajay Sidhu.
Whether it is because they had eaten their fill or simply did not catch them in time, the raptors do not attack Hammond's team when they come through the grass, and Nick manages to make it into the facility and call for help. But when Malcolm, Sarah, and Kelly enter the facility to find him, they are set upon by three raptors. While Ian distracts one, the other two chase Sarah and Kelly inside the facility. Eventually, Ian evades the raptor and runs into the facility and is cornered by one of the animals, but Kelly uses her gymnastic abilities to knock the raptor out of the window, where it is impaled by a spike and dies. As the Malcolms escape, Sarah tries to get out through the window, but is followed by the second raptor and cornered by the third below. However, she manages to knock the raptor off the roof, causing it to fall on the third, provoking a violent fight between the two. She then joins up with the Malcolms and Nick and together they escape the island on a chopper.
In the third film, the raptors were much more birdlike, with males having feather quills on the back of their heads, barring the females. They were also brightly colored and the males had small, red eyes, whereas the females have yellow eyes, with a round pupil in both sexes. In the film, the Velociraptors work together as a highly-communicable pack as there is no brutality in their social structure. At the start of the film, before Grant attends to the island, Billy creates a model Velociraptor "resonation chamber", a bony structure that enables complex communication.
The reasons for these changes in the look and behavior of these Raptors is explained by Jack Horner in the bonus feature The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III:
- "Science continues to progress and every year we discover new things. And now we have pretty good skulls of Velociraptor and we know that it looks different. So the skull has actually been changed to fit what we know about the animal. And we also recently have found evidence that Velociraptors had feathers. So we incorporated that in the new look of the Velociraptor. I really have been working through the whole process to get as many accurate things into the movie as possible. I've done a lot of CAT scan work on dinosaur skulls so we know that some dinosaurs actually could vocalize. So we've gotten some of that research into this movie."
- —Jack Horner([[|src]])
Because this sudden chance of appearance of the Raptors violates the continuity of the series, many Jurassic Park fans have tried to create an explanation of this change. In most of these theories, the raptors from the first two movies and the raptors in the third movies are treated as two different genetic versions. These are also considered the most vocally social Velociraptors in the whole series.
In the genetics admissions lab, a male is seen hiding its head behind one of the incubator machines. As Amanda Kirby takes a closer look, its eye moves and it lunges out from behind the glass. It tries to bite Amanda, but is too big to fit through the machines. In itself, this implies that JPIII-raptors are very understanding of human emotions of "curiosity". The raptor finds another way and chases the survivors, eventually trapping them in a maze of dinosaur cages. Billy Brennan and Amanda trap the raptor in one of the cages and it lets out a screeching, birdlike call. Dr. Alan Grant is amazed by it calling for help. Eventually, the raptor gets out and calls to its packmates. In the jungle, other raptors hear the one from the building and answer back. During the stampede of Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus, two males are seen running at speeds up to 50-60 mph. In the jungle, a female stabs its retractable claw in Udesky's back and the pack uses him as bait to lure Billy, Amanda, and Paul Kirby. The Raptors again make another play on human emotions when it comes to compassion. When the trap fails, a male Raptor kills Udesky by snapping his neck.
Meanwhile, after being split from the others, Dr. Grant sees the alpha female and male "talking" to each other. He wonders what they are saying, or what they are looking for. Then he is cornered by three males and the alpha female. As the pack was closing in on him, Eric Kirby throws gas grenades, which drive the raptors away.
Some of them (many of the males and the lead female) reappear near the end of the film, wanting their eggs that Billy took earlier, which is the explanation for their earlier attack and new behavior. They surround the survivors as they get down on their knees. The alpha female walks slowly up to Amanda and sniffs around her, thinking she stole the eggs. Dr. Grant opens Billy's backpack and hands both eggs to Amanda who places them in the sand gently. Grant then takes out the resonating chamber Billy gave him and blows through it to confuse the Raptors. He then imitates their cry for help. One of the males attempts to attack him, but is stopped and reminded by the alpha female to get back into rank. She then hears helicopters coming and caws each male a command. While they take off into the jungle, the alpha male stays with her. The female picks up the first egg and the male picks up the second. They then catch up with the pack. It is thought that the Velociraptors in the first and second films were not good parents, but Jurassic Park III proves that the Raptors follow the group to get their eggs back.
Velociraptor is set to return for the fourth film as one of the many dinosaurs residing in Jurassic World.These raptors seem to play a more protagonist role than their predecessors and were hatched and trained by their trainer, Owen since. Owen taught them over 40 commands. Always on the hunt, they were not yet trained for public display, only being 73% trained. Each one of them has their own unique distinctions and behavior and are all named: Blue, Delta, Echo, and Charlie. The colors of the raptors also were different with each raptor. Blue had a dark bluish-grey skin with a dark blue line going horizontally starting from her eye orbit down to the tip of her tail. Charlie had a dark green skin and had black stripes on her back down to her tail. Echo had a brown color with dark blue striping as well as having dark blue around her eyes. Delta had a teal color, with no stripes on her back or tail.
There was supposed to be a program for the Velociraptors called "I.B.R.I.S.", along with a fifth Velociraptor, whose name was Subject V-2 that was female who was "rejected" due to her aggressive and unpredictable behaviors. She was brown like The Big One with a blue stripe very similar to Blue.Leon, a newly hired Jurassic World employee who had fallen into her pack's paddock while trying to capture a pig that had escaped its holding pen, but were thwarted by their trainer in time to save Leon's life. During their pursuit of Indominus rex, the raptors began to attack humans as the Indominus rex is part raptor and became the alpha. The raptors tried to the eat the humans in the van. Sometime later, Delta suddenly appeared unexpectedly before Owen, Claire, and the boys. They are forced to flee after the raptor killed Vic Hoskins, who failed at trying to calm her down by copying Owen's hand gesture. After killing Hoskins, Delta continued her pursuit of Owen, Claire and the boys before being distracted by a hologram of a Dilophosaurus that was activated by Gray, but continued her pursuit after realizing it wasn't real. Soon it turned out Blue herded the humans into a trap. Just as they trapped the humans, the Indominus walked into view. The raptors, however, turned on the Indominus as Owen takes off the video camera from Blue's head, realizing that the hybrid was merely using them. All the raptors but Blue were overpowered. Later, Blue regained consciousness and rejoined the fight, lunging at the hybrid and allowing Rexy, Jurassic World's T. rex who had joined the battle in her absence, to get back on her feet after she was pushed to the ground by the Indominus rex. Blue helped Rexy attack the I. rex. Suddenly, the Mosasaurus dragged the I. rex into the bottom of the lagoon. After the fight, Rexy decides to spare Blue, most likely due to the already extensive injuries caused by Indominus. Blue then turned towards Owen, chirping at him momentarily before disappearing into the night.
- During early production of Jurassic Park, the Velociraptors' design featured tiger-like stripes as part of their coloration. This idea was ultimately set aside and used for the raptors featured in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
- In Jurassic Park: The Game, one of the Velociraptors has an unusual scar on her face. The scar comes from Oscar while using his knife in an attempt to kill the Velociraptor.
- When Gerry and Jess Harding enter the Visitor Center in the same game, a Velociraptor foot was shown on the floor. It was possibly from the Big One since it was near the T. rex model skeleton.
- Out of all the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise, the Velociraptors have caused the most human deaths, even more than T. rex. Conversely, no human character in the Jurassic Park franchise has been injured by a Velociraptor; victims were only killed in the movies.
- Kelly, Oscar, and an unseen InGen Security Trooper are the only human characters in the Jurassic Park franchise who managed to successfully kill a Velociraptor.
- In Jurassic Park III, the raptors running away from the gas grenades Eric threw around Dr. Grant marks the first time the raptors were actually scared of something.
- Oscar is the only character in the Jurassic Park franchise that a Velociraptor ran away from. This is the second time the raptors were scared and ran away, though these were the nublarensis species (JP and TLW raptors) which are shown to be more fearless than the sornaensis species (JPIII raptors) which Eric drove off while saving Grant. However, the fact that the Raptors later returned for vengeance contradicts that they were actually afraid of Oscar and implies that they somehow caught a scent of the Troodon in a distance which the humans (minus Oscar) didn't until they took refuge in the room where they discovered the nest. This would later be the third time the raptors were scared of something.
- Throughout the Jurassic Park franchise, Velociraptor is one of the few dinosaurs to have a large number of roles, serving as the first film's main antagonist, the second film's secondary antagonists, the third film's deuteragonists and up to Jurassic World as the film's antiheroes, as they were somewhat friendly under Owen's training, but briefly become antagonists when the Indominus rex was temporarily their new alpha, but they redeemed themselves when Blue, Echo and Delta rebonded with Owen and tried to stop the Indominus.
- Velociraptors seem to possess a degree of emotion for each other. This is shown when the Big One attempted to avenge her packmate after Rexy killed it, the Scarred Raptor Leader successfully avenged one of her packmates after Oscar killed it, Blue attempted to avenge Charlie after one of the InGen Troopers killed her, and when Delta and Echo tried to kill the Indominus rex after it seemingly killed Blue and vice-versa when Blue seemingly survived and, with aid from Rexy, successfully avenged Delta and Echo.
- ↑ InGen Field Journal, page 9.
- ↑ InGen Field Journal, page 7.
- ↑ JPEncyclopedia, Velociraptor "antirrhopus". See this article for the most popular explanation.
- ↑ http://www.jurassicworld.com/park-map/raptor-paddock/
- ↑ http://www.jurassicworld.com/dinosaurs/velociraptor/
- ↑ http://www.jurassicworld.com/park-map/raptor-paddock/
|Jurassic Park Dinosaurs|
|Brachiosaurus • Dilophosaurus • Gallimimus • Parasaurolophus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|Jurassic Park: The Game Dinosaurs|
|Compsognathus • Dilophosaurus • Herrerasaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Troodon • Triceratops • Tylosaurus • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|The Lost World: Jurassic Park Dinosaurs|
|Compsognathus • Edmontosaurus • Gallimimus • Mamenchisaurus • Pachycephalosaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Stegosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|Jurassic Park III Dinosaurs|
|Ankylosaurus • Brachiosaurus • Ceratosaurus • Compsognathus • Corythosaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Spinosaurus • Stegosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|Jurassic World Dinosaurs|
|Ankylosaurus • Apatosaurus • Dimorphodon • Gallimimus • Indominus rex • Mosasaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Stegosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|