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Use of the term "raptor" for theropod dinosaurs



Darren Tanke wrote:

<<I have observed with growing alarm the improper useage of the term "raptor"
when collectively describing a variety of small carnivorous dinosaurs. This
term is in widespread use in the popular press, movies, books, and now,
after attending Dinofest'96 I see it is being used as a descriptive term in
scientific presentations and ultimately I guess it will appear in their
scientific publications too. Am I the only one who objects to the use of the
term "raptor" for small theropod dinosaurs?>>

"Raptor" when used in reference to dinosaurs is no doubt a contraction of
_Velociraptor_, the name of the dinosaurs featured so prominently in
_Jurassic Park_. The recent proliferation of dinosaur names rooted in -raptor
hasn't helped much, either (guilty myself: _Valdoraptor oweni_, previously
_Megalosaurus oweni_, a Wealden theropod incorrectly referred to the genus
_Megalosaurus_).