Velociraptor “antirrhopus” (L/M)

Velociraptor antirrhopus (popularly called the “raptor”) is a medium-sized, aberrant species of genetically-modified dromaeosaurid dinosaur. Its genus name means “swift thief,” a reference to its quick movement speed and predatory nature. The variety bred by International Genetic Technologies exhibits an abnormally large number of phenotypic anomalies, which Jurassic-Pedia has acknowledged by assigning a new specific epithet, antirrhopus; this translates to “counterbalancing,” a reference to the function of the lengthy tail. Jurassic-Pedia staff intended this specific epithet to reference the similarity in size between InGen’s Velociraptor and the related North American species Deinonychus antirrhopus. American freelance researcher Gregory S. Paul classified Deinonychus as a species of Velociraptor in his 1988 book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, leading to the InGen specimens sometimes being referred to as “Velociraptor antirrhopus sensu Paul.”

Fossil specimens of Velociraptor are known from the late Cretaceous period, 75 to 71 million years ago, and have been found in Mongolia and China.

Velociraptor was first discovered in the Mongolian Gobi Desert on August 11, 1923 by Peter Kaisen; the remains consisted of a crushed skull and one of the 6.5-centimeter (2.6-inch) raptorial claws. The genus was named officially by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1924; he had originally mentioned it as “Ovoraptor djadochtari,” but this name was never formally published, and it was eventually named Velociraptor mongoliensis (meaning “swift thief from Mongolia”). The raptorial claw was originally assumed to belong to the hand, but was eventually discovered to belong to the second toe.

During the Cold War, tensions between the capitalist United States and communist Mongolia prevented American research into the Gobi Desert. However, scientists from the Soviet Union, Poland, and Mongolia itself were able to continue research, discovering more Velociraptor remains. These included the “Fighting Dinosaurs” fossil found in 1971, a dramatic specimen consisting of a Velociraptor and small ceratopsid Protoceratops which had perished while in combat with one another. Between 1998 and 1990, a joint Chinese-Canadian expedition discovered further specimens in the region.

In 1999, the Sino-Belgian Dinosaur Expeditions recovered maxillae (the tooth-bearing bones of the upper jaw) and a lacrimal (a bone located in the front of the eye socket) belonging to Velociraptor from the Inner Mongolia region of China; researchers determined that they did not belong to V. mongoliensis, but to a new species. This species was named Velociraptor osmolskae by Pascal Godefroit and colleagues in 2008, the name honoring recently-deceased Polish paleontologist Halszka Osmólska.

Fossil quill knobs discovered in September 2007 confirm that, as paleontologists had suspected, the Velociraptor would have had a coat of birdlike feathers, possibly for display or insulation. Fossil specimens demonstrate that this species grew to 2.07 meters (6.8 feet) in length, 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) high at the hip, and weighed between 15 kilograms (33 pounds) and 19.7 kilograms (43 pounds).

InGen Velociraptors were first cloned between 1986 and 1993.

Description

InGen’s Velociraptor exhibits an abnormally large number of phenotypic anomalies, which are presumed to be the result of genetic modification (whether the modification was accidental or intentional is subject to much debate). The most marked physiological difference is the size; all three subspecies grow between 3.4 meters (11 feet) and 4.6 meters (15 feet) in length, roughly 250% larger than fossil Velociraptor species (and also slightly larger than Deinonychus antirrhopus). They stand around 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall when holding their heads upright, and are estimated to weigh between 150 and 350 pounds.

The skull is more rectangular and with a taller snout, as opposed to the narrow, low skull of fossil species. The eyes possess vertical slit pupils which give it excellent night vision, similar to the eyes of some birds and many reptiles. Sclerae of the Velociraptor eyes are typically yellow, though some breeds have yellow-green or orange sclerae. Each eye is protected by a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane, which is semi-transparent and originates from the medial canthus. The nostrils and eyes both face forward; raptors are noted to have an extraordinary sense of smell. The tongue is pink, narrow, and pointed, but not particularly muscular.

The number of teeth differs between fossil and genetically modified species. Fossil Velociraptors are believed to have had between 26 and 28 serrated teeth, widely spaced in the mouth, while InGen’s Velociraptors have around fifty long, blade-like teeth packed closely together. The brain of this dinosaur is quite large; fossil species are believed to have had intelligence similar to that of small mammals such as cats or opossums, but InGen’s cloned specimens exhibit extraordinarily high intelligence levels.

The limbs of Velociraptor are heavily armed with sharp, curved claws. Both the arms and legs are lengthy and muscular; the hands have three fingers each, which are also long and terminate in narrow but extremely sharp claws. These enable the raptor to grapple with objects in its environment, as well as allowing it to cling to prey items. Its powerful legs allow it to run at very high speeds, between forty and sixty miles per hour during sprints. The feet have four toes each; the first is a dewclaw, a small vestigial digit that does not reach the ground when the animal stands upright. The second toe possesses a greatly enlarged raptorial claw, which averages six inches in length (twice the size of those of fossil species). Highly curved with a flesh-piercing tip, this claw is designed to stab into prey items. The third and fourth toes are simpler, possessing smaller but still very sharp talons.

The tail of the Velociraptor makes up around half its length, and is used both for counterbalance while running and for expressive communication. Paleontologists long believed that the tail was extremely stiff, unable to bend or flex at all; evidence uncovered in the 1980s and 1990s show some evidence that the tail was actually somewhat flexible. The tail of V. antirrhopus, however, is noticeably more flexible than those of currently-known fossils.

Along with these various phenotypic anomalies, Velociraptor antirrhopus is afflicted by the typical errors that plague InGen’s theropods, including pronated wrists and a lack of feathery integument. The lack of feathers would have been plausible when the animals were cloned, but 2007 fossil evidence confirmed beyond a doubt that the animal would naturally have been feathered. According to InGen internal data, research performed as early as 1997 suggested that the animals would have possessed feathers in prehistory.

Coloration of this animal is quite variable, with red or brown being the most common colors. Earlier specimens were a pale pink color, with red markings on the skull and slight countershading; those bred for Jurassic World were a darker muddy brown hue with countershading and a very dark brown stripe running down the spine. This stripe fluctuates in width, giving it a beaded appearance. A second genetic lineage, termed GEN 2, was bred in Jurassic World as well; this lineage possesses a gray-green coloration with a distinctive dull yellow stripe down either side from the neck to tail. In this lineage, narrow dark gray stripes appear horizontally on the legs and flank, while vertical stripes appear on the tail. Countershading is less prominent.

Gene splicing was used to create Velociraptors in Jurassic World possessing other alternate color schemes, including gray with a blue lateral stripe, dark green with faded green vertical stripes, tan with bluish vertical stripes, and pale green with pine-green vertical stripes.

Growth

During infancy, Velociraptor has a proportionally larger head than the adult. Its tail is proportionally shorter while the limbs are close to the adult proportions. Even at a fairly young age, raptors show signs of social hierarchy and intraspecific competition, and are quite athletic. In evolved specimens, the bony protrusions on the body develop as the animal matures.

Artificial Evolution

At Jurassic Park, experimentation performed on Velociraptor yielded increasingly strong and vibrant animals. While the external anatomy did not change very much as the animals were genetically manipulated and bred, the coloration became much more noticeable. Alterations began with the development of red vertical stripes on the back, which became more vibrant with successive generations as the rest of the body darkened. Finally, the fourth such generation displayed a dark red and orange base color with yellow and black vertical stripes. The head was outlined with black markings surrounding a yellow jaw, with a red snout tip and a diamond-shaped yellow and orange mark on top of the skull.

More advanced experiments were carried out in Jurassic World around a decade later. Both GEN 1 and GEN 2 raptors were utilized for artificial evolution experiments. As with the older experiments, the first noticeable change in GEN 1 was the development of vertical striping on the body. Coloration shifted from brown to green, eventually becoming a bright forest green color that would likely aid it in camouflaging. The stripes became darker, eventually reaching a near-black shade, while yellow countershading on the underside appeared in the third iteration. In the final generation, the stripes attain a reddish iridescence and body protrusions develop on the body at maturity. These are red-orange and triangular in shape; one appears on the tarsal of each leg, with three smaller ones present on the metatarsals. The largest such feature is present on the skull, forming from the nasal and lacrimal bones. Others which are present down its neck, back, and tail form from the vertebrae; these are generally smaller, but the largest appear on the end of the tail. The third-to-last and final structures are about the same size, with the second-to-last being the tallest. Increased strength and improved health were other attributes which developed as a result, as is typical in these experiments.

Coloration development in GEN 2 differs, with the vertical stripe delineating the point at which countershading begins. The lower body became browner, while the upper body became a pale green-gray. The face developed whitish markings around the eyes, while the dorsal side of the snout became dark gray. The preexisting narrow gray stripes became darker and extended to more of the body. In the third iteration, the white stripe became darker brown than the body’s underside, increasing in thickness while the head’s gray marks became darker as well. Bony spines similar to those seen in GEN 1 developed along the same pattern, but these are yellow in color rather than red.

Generally, the evolution of this animal shows a trend toward social displays, rather than increased predatory adaptations. However, the increase in social intelligence does make the raptor a more efficient hunter. Although artificial evolution in other species did result in feather redevelopment, this was not the case in Velociraptor. Some of the alterations to this animal were due to DNA inclusions from other organisms, but these have not yet been identified.

Statistics: GEN 1
Jurassic Park: Builder

Rarity: Bronze

Creation Cost: 3,400 Coins

Profit (Max Level): 2,200/30min

Health (Max Level): 352

Attack (Max Level): 44-266

Ferocity (Max Level): 36

Jurassic World: The Game

Rarity: Super Rare

DNA Cost: 1,500

Profit (Max Level): 38,016/2h

Health (Max Level): 800

Attack (Max Level): 306

Jurassic World Alive

Rarity: Common

Health (At Creation): 591

Attack (At Creation): 458

Speed: 132

Defense: 0%

Critical Chance: 5%

Statistics: GEN 2
Jurassic World: The Game

Rarity: Super Rare

DNA Cost: 1,500

Profit (Max Level): 43,930/2h

Health (Max Level): 1023

Attack (Max Level): 320

Biology
Habitat

The Velociraptor is a small, swift, and agile predator, and so can adapt to a wide variety of environments. It is capable of surviving well in forests that provide it cover; this allowed it to maintain a living population in the wilds of Isla Nublar for many years, as well as thriving on Isla Sorna. While it can also thrive in open fields and grasslands, this is a highly intelligent animal and needs some kind of complexity in its environment to remain satisfied. Today, these dinosaurs have become common across the world; they are among the most often sighted nocturnal creatures and are acclimated to human contact. The GEN 2 lineage, however, appears to have become extinct in the wild after the events of 2015.

Diet
A social animal, Velociraptor can be kept in small groups.

This animal, like most theropods, is a carnivore. It chiefly feeds on small animals, but as it is a social creature with excellent coordinating skills, it can prey upon animals larger than itself by working together in groups. When hunting, it uses its high speeds to chase down prey animals, but it is also able to attack via ambush to kill prey. It attacks by leaping onto its victim and biting with its jaws, using its six-inch toe talons to stab and pin down the prey. The claws on its hands are used for gripping the food and tearing or slashing at it. GEN 2 is perhaps more suited for pursuit hunting, since it runs with longer strides than GEN 1.

Velociraptor is typically fed both live and prepared meat, and will readily accept both. In captivity, it has been shown to thrive on a diet of cattle meat or live goats. It has been known to attack humans, both for territorial reasons and for food, but as humans are more likely to carry weapons they are not ideal prey items.

Social Behavior

Because it is so intelligent, InGen’s Velociraptor has among the most complex social lives of any dinosaur. They often live in groups called packs, socializing and hunting together. Raptors belonging to different packs can sometimes integrate with one another and cooperate, with communication being established fairly easily. However, raptors that live in captivity may not always cooperate well with those raised in the wild; this occurred in 2015, when four captive-raised raptors briefly joined a wild pack but defected upon realizing the wild pack’s aggression toward humans. However, GEN 1 and GEN 2 raptors are believed to be compatible; a GEN 2 raptor was once discovered living in a pack otherwise consisting of GEN 1. Artificial evolution has added a new level of complexity to raptor social behaviors; those that have been engineered to develop bony structures on their bodies use these as displays. GEN 2 raptors show respect toward packmates with fully-developed spikes, as these are a sign of maturity and thus experience.

Reproduction

As with all dinosaurs, this animal hatches from eggs. Raptor eggs are white and ovoid, laid in a ground nest. Theropods tend to be good parents, but this dinosaur also grows quite quickly and shows signs of independence from an early age. Raising them with siblings is a common practice, since this lets them socialize and develop a hierarchy as they would in the wild. The incubation period is fairly short, though modern practices do take longer, and the eggs can be left uncovered in a tropical environment. Hand-rearing this animal is possible, though best performed by trained professionals. The young raptors may act out unless the human establishes authority properly.

Ecology

As a predator, the Velociraptor regulates the populations of prey animals in its environment in a manner comparable to wolves. These social creatures are able to bring down prey larger than themselves by cooperating, increasing the effect they have on the local environment. They are highly intelligent, meaning they have a better understanding of their surroundings than many animals; GEN 2 in particular is known to tease other animals for fun, without any actual intent to harm them. Although it is a fierce predator and a formidable survivor, Velociraptor is not invulnerable; it can be preyed upon by larger carnivores, and must be wary of the natural defenses of the creatures it attempts to hunt. Its birdlike bones are hollow and easily broken by stronger attacks.

Relationship to Humans

The intelligence of Velociraptor, which has likely been enhanced by genetic manipulation along with its other features, has made its historic relationship to humans a complex one. It was one of the animals first bred for Jurassic Park in the 1990s, and was selected by InGen’s Chairman of the Board for testing within Isla Nublar’s Green Zone to the north. Its EQ was studied, the belief being that it would be higher than scientists had traditionally assumed. Because of their use in research, raptors were often confined to smaller areas for study, which may have impacted their welfare and health. The exaggerated size of this animal was an effect of genetic engineering, as is its lack of feathery integument; while these may have been accidental when the animal was first engineered, at least its size is now maintained intentionally for various reasons including consumer appeal and use in combat.

Research continued as the animals were integrated into Jurassic World during the twenty-first century. In the summer of 2015, genetically-engineered raptor embryos were grown by Dr. Henry Wu from a state of cryonic preservation; the four survivors were dubbed Blue, Delta, Echo, and Charlie. These raptors were raised by InGen animal behaviorist Owen Grady to form the Raptor Response Team, the purpose of which was to determine whether the animals could be trained. The program was overall a success, despite incidents occurring that summer.

Velociraptor was utilized in Project Ares as one of the base components of the hybrid Indominus rex, which was first bred during the summer of 2015. Following this, InGen Security supported further hybrid research, superhybridizing the Indominus with Velociraptor to create the Indoraptor. The GEN 2 lineage was also used to create a GEN 2 Indominus and, subsequently, GEN 2 Indoraptor. In the absence of GEN 2 individuals, DNA sourced from the raptor Echo’s lineage can be used to create the GEN 2 Indominus, while DNA sourced from Blue’s lineage can be used to create the GEN 2 Indoraptor. DNA sourced from Charlie’s lineage, on the other hand, can be used along with the DNA of GEN 2 Erlikosaurus to create the Erlikogamma.

The complex behavior of this animal makes it a common feature in most de-extinction theme parks as well as research institutions. It is among the first animals that was traditionally available to park managers at Jurassic Park, though Jurassic World restricts access to it until later in the manager’s career. Since its release into the wild, it has become a commonly studied species by the Dinosaur Protection Group, due to its population’s large size and its lack of fear of humans making it easier to approach. While it can be aggressive, the raptor can be acclimated to human contact and enjoys being stroked on its neck. It will vocalize and assume a receptive posture when it is comfortable with being touched, and warn keepers away with loud barks and head gestures when it becomes overstimulated.

Raptors require playthings to remain satisfied in their habitats, owing to their intelligence. Paddocks are often furnished with complex objects, such as decommissioned vehicles, to keep the animals interested. Toys intended to help them exercise their hunting behaviors, such as rubber tires or sturdy stuffed animals, are also often used. Even with a proper habitat, though, raptors are excellent escape artists and frequently must be attended to as they attempt to break free of their paddocks. It is known to become particularly agitated during inclement weather, as well as being especially sensitive to geomagnetic activity.

Because this species was present in the original Jurassic Park, it was of concern to Dr. Wu during the development of Project Ares. Some of the animals’ lifespans were drastically reduced by harmful DNA inclusions originating from mosquitoes, while others lived normal lives but were carriers for this potentially fatal condition. Raptors in Jurassic World had to be screened by Dr. Wu during the project and classified as Legacy or Candidate specimens, with the Legacy specimens treated to sterilization using synthetic melengestrol acetate.

Combat Guides
Jurassic Park

From the very beginning, the potential applications of Velociraptor in combat were obvious. An intelligent animal, capable of understanding commands and analyzing its foes, this creature is built to hunt and subdue its prey. Since it was one of the first dinosaurs to be rediscovered by InGen in 1997, park managers were able to test its combat abilities early on. Research into dinosaurian EQ by InGen’s Chairman likely helped with this.

Velociraptor prepares to pounce at a Dilophosaurus

Though it is lightweight and fragile, this speedy and tactical creature is able to use its teeth and claws to tear at prey and rivals alike. In combat, it can clamp its strong jaws around enemies, but is also skilled at using its whole body to fight: it can ram enemies with a shoulder-shove or slap them with its long and flexible tail. Its lower body weight makes it vulnerable to swiping attacks, though it is able to resist ramming attacks fairly well. Like other social predators, the real advantage of Velociraptor is its ability to coordinate with other members of its kind to take down prey.

However, it is far from the largest or most ferocious of the dinosaurs, and was eventually left behind by park managers as stronger creatures were cloned.

Jurassic World

Today, the Velociraptor is useful as a combat animal in more ways than in the past. While it is still not the largest or strongest of animals, it is still a fearsome predator able to use its agility as well as its teeth and claws to attack foes. These predatory adaptations make it particularly useful in combat against herbivores, which are its natural prey items. It is not as quickly accessible as it once was, but still can be cloned reasonably early in the careers of most park managers, and has decent attacking power and average health for its size.

Training regimens improved for this animal more than perhaps any other during the twenty-first century, with Jurassic World’s Raptor Response Team being the best example. Animal behaviorist Owen Grady trained four individuals, named Blue, Delta, Echo, and Charlie, for varying combat techniques. These originally were expressed in the form of Boosters, which represented some of the specific techniques that the raptors learned; when combat testing was taking place, the Boosters could be used to command whichever raptor specialized in it to aid its companions in battle. Today, these have been replaced by MODs, which are still developed at the Raptor Paddock; the raptors themselves no longer assist in combat, but are used as subjects to develop MODs that can then be applied to other animals.

Dinosaur Protection Group

Outside of de-extinction parks, Velociraptor continues to be a useful addition to combat teams as the Dinosaur Protection Group takes action to control and capture de-extinct animals. The speed and agility of Velociraptor are particularly helpful, as it can outmaneuver most unmodified creatures and strike first when fights break out. Combat still sees the tried-and-true methods that have been established in this animal for decades; it will pounce on its prey, using its claws to pierce flesh and cause painful distractions, then finish prey off with a bite from its strong jaws. This makes it a popular choice to use against powerful animals. It has the additional advantage of incredible focus, making it immune to distractions during combat.

Despite its advantages, the raptor is still a fragile creature, meaning it cannot take too much damage from enemy attacks. It is also vulnerable to attacks that slow it down by targeting its legs, which takes away the advantage of speed. Once it is moving slowly, a raptor is easily downed by stronger attacks before it can pounce on its foe and defend itself.

The Raptor Response Team (and, presumably, raptors that are their descendants) are also living in the wild, though their tactics vary from baseline raptors due to their genetic modifications.

Disambiguation Links

Velociraptor “antirrhopus” (S/F)

Velociraptor “antirrhopus” (J/N)

Velociraptor “giganticus” (C/N)

Velociraptor “antirrhopus” (T/C)

Velociraptor “antirrhopus” (IDW-DG)

Velociraptor “antirrhopus nublarensis” (IDW-JPR)

Velociraptor “antirrhopus” (CB-Topps)