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Jurassic Park Legacy - Fact or Flub Issue 6
Issue 6, Trilogy Raptors
We, as fans, can remember the first time we heard the name "Velociraptor," and the stroke of fear it launched through our bodies as we heard the pack rip a live cow to minced meat. Throughout the films, Raptors have remained one of the largest stars and launched many debates over their appearance. The biggest debate of all has been over the look of the Jurassic Park 3 raptors compared to the other films. In Jurassic Park, we see a seemingly simplistic velociraptor, nearly completely dark brown and with no noticeable ridge on its nose.

In The Lost World, we are presented, again, with raptors that look almost identical to the raptors from JP, except in color.

Then, in Jurassic Park 3, after hearing the previews that the raptors have "evolved," we see them and they look strikingly different, not only in color, but in the males having quills and both sex's having a more prominent nose ridge. Both additions were based on new fossil evidence of actual dromaeosaurs but would seemingly contradict the film version of raptors.


The problem that must be overcome is this: Sorna was the point of production for the animals as early as the late 70's to middle 80's. The animals seen on Nublar are not the first animals bred and are not the first version of the species made. Looking at Sorna, since all the animals that live on the island are all the animals ever created-including versions that are less accurate like the JP3 pterosaurs-we can then compare the JP/TLW raptors to the JP3 raptors and realize that the differences can be explain as another example of this.

We know that the raptors in JP are very dangerous, so much so they had to remove them from their actual paddock and place them in a small enclosure. Comparing the JP raptors to the JP3 raptors, we also see that the new ones are extremely intelligent to the point of where they actually mimic actual raptors-at least the actual raptors that Alan was studying in the field.

We now know that the raptors in JP3 were meant to represent the 'actual raptor.' Looking to JP/TLW, we are then presented with the question, 'Why are they different?' The answer is actually answered by Alan Grant himself in JP3: "These are theme park monsters, nothing more, nothing less." The animals on Sorna were bred originally to be their actual selves: bred to perfection. The problem is the animals are sometimes far too dangerous to be used in a park setting. To ensure that the animals can be placed in the park setting, the animals are genetically altered by Wu and his team and bred to be 'theme park compatible.'

The animals seen in JP are the theme park compatible version. The ones that had yet to be moved to Nublar bred on Sorna and created the version seen in TLW. In JP3, the version seen lives in a different portion of the island and is quite possibly the first version of the raptors created. Then, when Sorna was evacuated, and the animals released to mature in the wild, the raptors split into separate clans and staked out territory in different areas of the island.

Also worth noting is the fact that the raptors had just recently laid eggs. This means that breeding season had just finished. Many bird species change plumage during the breeding season in order to impress mates or to hide in the foliage better. The raptors seen in JP3 are seen in their most "impressive state."

Any other raptors seen from now on will quite possibly be the same version, but not be the same colors because of this fact. It is then very reasonable for the films to show different looking raptors, but still fit in the cannon. JP and TLW had the same version, JP3 had an earlier version, and any version seen from now on is candidate to be the same version from JP3 or a new version completely-depending on the discrepancy of the look.


Nick (S/F)
Vivian (S/F)
Zara Young (S/F)
Charlie (S/F)
Blue (S/F)

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