Yes, unfortunately the Velociraptor mongoliensis is more like a very aggressive roadrunner than a man-eating murder machine. But those aren’t the ‘raptors from the movies.

The “velociraptors” of Jurassic Park fame are actually Deinonychus, a (slightly) taller, equally roadrunnerish combination of tail and sickle-shaped toe claw. D-nikes (I made that name up) were not huge, but that claw could easily split you open like a bag of spaghetti. 

There’s no real confirmation that they were “clever girls” or hunted in packs, and the insistence of JP’s directors on not adding feathers to these almost-certainly feathered death-chickens is kind of like a claw-toed slap in the face to paleontology.

Just like the great T. rex (which we talked about last week), our image of these dinos changes with new science, and will continue to change. Our fiction needs to change with them.

(Dino images via Colin Douglas Howell on Wikipedia)

Death-chickens! Thoughts on Horner’s ideas about taking a regular chicken and turning it in to a real death chicken?

For those who haven’t yet seen: Building a dino from a chicken

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