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Re: Velocirapor or Size

On Fri, 7 Nov 1997, Gigi Babcock or Ralph Miller III wrote:


> On 11-6-97, Ronald Orenstein <ornstn@inforamp.net> wrote:

> >On both these points: I believe that one of the reasons Spielberg made his
> >"Velociraptors" larger than life was so that some of the footage could be
> done with >actors in body suits.  Utahraptor was indeed discovered after JP
> started filming.

> On 11-6-97, Charles W. Johnson <cwj2@eskimo.com> wrote:

> >As far as I am aware, Spielberg's primary reason for increasing the size
> of the >Velociraptors was to make them scarier.


> As
> for Michael Crichton's intentions: (dinosaur consultant) John R.Horner has
> stated that Stephen and Sylvia Czerkas' life size running _Deinonychus_
> sculptures were the inspiration for the "Velociraptors" in the novel,
> _Jurassic Park_.  So it seems that the author had _Deinonychus_ in mind.

Indeed. Early in the book, I noticed that he made the Velociraptors 6 feet
tall, which is obviously closer to Deinonychus dimensions than
Velociraptor. I think the idea that he based this on GSP's proposal that
_D._ might actually be grouped in _V._ has some merit: in fact, in the
book, Dr. Grant actually claims that _D._ was considered part of _V._.

First he places _D. antirrhopus_ in _V._:

'Ellie said, "But the animal we just saw, the velociraptor--you said it
was a _mongoliensis_?"

"From the location of the amber," Wu said. "It is from China."

"Interesting," Grant said, "I was just digging up an infant _antirrhopus_.
Are there any full-grown raptors here?"'

(p. 114, _Jurassic Park_)

And shortly thereafter:

'"What do you know about _Velociraptor_?" Grant asked Tim. He was just
making conversation.

"It's a small carnivore that hunted in packs, like _Deinonychus_," Tim

"That's right," Grant said, "although _Deinonychus_ is now considered one
of the velociraptors. [...]"'

(p. 115, _Jurassic Park_)

> As for the credibility of the animals and situations in both films, I agree
> that it would have been nice for Spielberg and his writers to have
> concocted less egregious plotholes (TSFW) and more accuracy in the
> depictions and actions of the animals (people included).  But as John
> Horner has said (serving, I suppose, as a paid but reluctant apologist for
> the films), they're as close as we have yet gotten to seeing real, live
> dinosaurs.  The fact that we choose to discuss these films at all is, I
> think, a testament not only to the way these films have captured the
> imaginations (and cash) of the public, but also the point that the
> depictions of the dinosaurs were not as far off base (according to the
> modern paradigm) as previous feature film dinosaurs.  I mean, the
> filmmmakers are still blowing it, but we're not talking Godzilla.

This is very true, and in fact I am rather sorry I did not express
the sentiment personally. Whatever the flaws in _Jurassic Park_, it
is _MUCH_ more accurate than previous Hollywood attempts (See: the
many B movies, such as the remake of _The Lost World_, which featured
dressed-up and blown-up iguanas as "dinosaurs.")

[Charles W. Johnson <cwj2@eskimo.com> - http://www.eskimo.com/~cwj2]
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