Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” films turned raptors into legitimate Hollywood superstars during the early ’90s. National Velociraptor Awareness Day on April 18 gives us a reason to once again ponder this creature that roamed the Earth 70 million years ago.
Here’s one fact we often overlook: raptors, unlike those in the films, did not stand over 7 feet tall. They were roughly 6 1/2 feet long and measured less than 2 feet high at the hip. (But they did have some frightening hips.) They also had feathers and wings. In reality — they sort of resembled turkey dinosaurs.
Still, the filmmakers were onto something.
That’s because production on “Jurassic Park” began before the 1991 discovery of the so-called Utahraptor skeleton — measuring 5 1/2 feet tall — the largest at that time. Said one film designer: “We designed it, we built it, and then they discovered it. That still boggles my mind.”