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Raptors and size (Disney, WWD, JP)



I think the "problem" with the too big raptors is a bit of
red herring.

Yes the raptors in Jurassic Park were bigger than we have
and were really Deinonychus  and still too big for that
genus, but we all know reptiles show excellent size
variation within genera and it is certainly conceivable that
a larger species of Velociraptor existed, and the potential
for a very large one in organisms that grow throughout their
lives is quite possible. I see no reason for fiction - as
opposed to documentary - to feel they have to stay exactly
with the known. We've all noticed that movies only show the
taxa we know and no others which has always surprised me.  I
know why and I also know why it is a bit more inconvenient
for paleontologists if this is done in fiction, but still,
fiction is fiction. I see no reason why the new Disney
animated film needs be grilled for this. Walking with
Dinosaurs maybe, since it is more approximating a
documentary, but let's let film be film and enjoy the merits
that are there. I'm hoping to be blown away by the animation
and hope to enjoy the movie elements and, if it helps
generate even more interest in dinos, that's great.

Lengths in Crocodylus species range significantly, as they
do for monitors, so let's stop worrying about things that
aren't worth it. Now mixing faunal elements can be a bit
more problematic ...

by the way, when my mom - who never met a nature
documentary she didn't enjoy - saw WWD she said is was very
nice but that the meat eaters mostly  looked all the same
and were a bit boring. Something those of us who study
ornithischians have been saying for years...


Ralph Chapman




Ralph E. Chapman
Applied Morphometrics Laboratory
National Museum of Natural history
ADP, EG-15  NHB, 10th & Constitution, NW
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560-0136
(202) 786-2293, Fax: (202) 357-4122
Chapman.Ralph@nmnh.si.edu