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The Raptors in Jurassic Park Were So Big Because They Were Humans

The massive, deadly raptors portrayed in the movies are totally wrong. In reality, Velociraptor was only a few feet tall and had feathers. It was basically a larger, predatory chicken.

The Velociraptor (or, you know, the raptor) is one of the most famous dinosaurs ever, largely because of how they were used to such brilliantly scary effect in the Jurassic Park books and movies. (JP even gets a shoutout just three paragraphs in to the Velociraptor Wiki page.) But as any paleontologist worth his or her salt has likely lamented countless times, the massive, deadly raptors portrayed in the movies are totally wrong. In reality, Velociraptor was only a few feet tall and had feathers. It was basically a larger, predatory chicken. While they might have been effective predators, they certainly weren’t the size of LeBron James.

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Via Stan Winston

But how’s this for wild idea: What if the raptors in Jurassic Park were oversized because they needed to be able to fit a human inside? At the very least, we know that humans did fit inside the JP raptors thanks to the above video from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, which designed the raptor puppets for the first movie.

Via Stan Winston

Jurassic Park is noted for its excellent use of CGI — as awkward as digital effects can look today, they still blow puppets out of the water for realism when movement is concerned, as a couple Redditors pointed out. Not every shot could work with CGI, so full and half puppets were used. But when all else failed, apparently the man suit came out. According to Stan Winston’s epic post on the suits’ construction, the JP kitchen scene used all three techniques.

Follow Derek Mead on Twitter: @derektmead.