14 Myths of the Velociraptor

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jurassic Park III

1 – It’s no surprise that one of the most popular dinosaurs in the world is the Velociraptor. Their rise in popularity was heavily influenced by the way that they were portrayed in the ‘Jurassic Park’ films. While there may be some things about them that the films got right, there are some serious errors in their on screen depictions.

Velociraptor! Modern birds are closest to this species of dinosaur and prey species like eagles, hawks and owls are still commonly called ‘raptors’. Velociraptor, meaning “swift seizer” is a genus of dinosaur that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period. Two species are currently recognized. The fact that the ancestors of Velociraptor were feathered and possibly capable of flight had long suggested to paleontologists that Velociraptor bore feathers as well, since even flightless birds today retain most of their feathers. (Ottawa, Canada, June 2015) shankar s. – https://www.flickr.com/photos/shankaronline/20128517854/

2 – Velociraptors depicted in the Jurassic Park films more closely resembled the Deinonychus. These dinosaurs were more intimidating in nature, resulting in a better image for the onscreen Velociraptor.

3 – The movies depicts them as highly intelligent creatures who have the capacity to even open doorknobs. Unfortunately this is just not true as the smartest dinosaurs of the time were no smarter than a baby kitten.

4 – The movies show them attacking with their teeth and front claws, when in fact they would use their massive three-inch hind claw to attack their prey and let them bleed out while they wait from a safe distance.

5 – The name Velociraptor comes from the latin words “velox” (swift) and raptor (thief). The movies do depict the dinos as fast moving predators so at least they stayed true to the meaning of the name.

6 – Velociraptors were not around during the Jurassic period, but instead during the end of the Cretaceous period. The ‘Jurassic Park’ movies have confused people about this important fact since the original release.

Cretaceous Earth

7 – We are used to seeing them hunt in packs, especially so in the most recent film, yet there is no evidence that they do. This perception stemmed from evidence found that suggested the Deinonychus hunted in packs.

8 – Velociraptor tails contained fused bones that kept the tail straight and in the same position, aiding in balance during running, jumping, and attacking. In the films, you can see them moving their tails fluidly which is not at all how they would have looked.

9 – The movies lead viewers to believe that the Velociraptors originated in the Americas, however, fossil evidence suggest that they originated in central Asia.


10 – Velociraptors were only about 1.6 feet tall at the hip, much shorter than depicted in the movies.

11 – Velociraptors are believed to have been able to run at speeds up to 40 mph which was actually pretty accurate compared to their speeds in the movies.

12 – Unlike the 100-pound version seen in the films, Velociraptors weighed in at about 30 pounds, making them very vulnerable to almost all carnivorous dinosaurs around at the time.

13 – Velociraptors did have feathers. While they did also have tough scaly skin, it wasn’t at all close to what was depicted in the films.

14 – Fun fact: The noises that the velociraptors made in the movies came from recordings of tortoises having sex. How fun.