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"Compsognathus triassicus. Found by Fraas in Bavaria in 1913."
Robert Burke.(src)

Compsognathus is one of the smallest known dinosaurs that was first featured in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. This little pack hunter probably ate bugs and small lizards. In fact, the first fossil skeleton of this dinosaur had the remains of its last meal, a lizard, still in its stomach.

Compsognathus is one of those dinosaurs around which some controversy swirls. Some paleontologists feel that, like the much larger Tyrannosaurus, the little Compsognathus had only two fingers. Others feel strongly that it had three. Since there are only two known fossils, and the bones are not perfectly preserved in an articulated (as they were in life) manner, it may take more discoveries to solve this issue.

Compsognathus is considered an important link in the study of bird evolution. The original fossil of this dinosaur was found in the same place as Archaeopteryx, the early feathered reptile. Compsognathus shares a number of characteristics with this creature, but Compsognathus did not appear to have feathers. This is one of those interesting dinosaurs where scientists hope to find more specimens to learn the answers to many questions.[1]

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Compsognathus


Compsognathus was created[2] by InGen inside their compound[3] on Isla Sorna[2][3] where the juveniles were taken care of by the workers there.

It was green in color having multiple shades with dark striping across their back some also seem to have shades of red and blue as well and have a yellow underbelly.

Like all of InGen's cloned theropods, the cloned Compsognathus had pronated wrists and lacked in feathers. The Compy clones seem to have only functional 2 fingers on their pronated hands with a vestigial third finger, which was once believed to true (at least having only 2 fingers, anyway) based on a fossil, but a different fossil showed it had 3 functional fingers in life instead, making InGen's Compies inaccurate. It is slightly larger than the originals, being 1.5 meters (5 ft) in length instead of 1.2 meters (4.2 ft).[4] The Compies lived on a diet of lizards, insects,[3] and would sometimes scavenge given the opportunity. But the cloned Compsognathus would use a unique way of pack hunting to kill prey larger than them. A Compy pack would send a scout to confront the potential prey and while the intended target interacts with the scout, the rest of pack rushes in and overwhelms their victim.[2]

In Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, it was confirmed Compsognathus has "trace amounts of venom" in its bite, which was previously a novel canon element unlike the original.

Isla Sorna Incident (1997)

When the Bowman family went to Isla Sorna for vacation, Cathy Bowman encountered a Compsognathus scout on one of the island's beaches. She liked the small dinosaur and fed it some food. But to her and her family's horror the rest of the pack emerged from the nearby forest to attack Cathy though she survived the attack.

Compsognathus in The Lost World

When Cathy's parents sued InGen for the injuries she sustained from the dinosaurs this set course the events of the Isla Sorna Incident of 1997 where InGen's CEO John Hammond was fired and succeeded by his nephew Peter Ludlow who hired a team to capture dinosaurs living on Isla Sorna for Jurassic Park: San Diego whom he wanted to revive.

During the Hunters' capture of the dinosaurs on the Game Trail, Hunter Dieter Stark encountered a Compy whom he attacked with his taser for the fun of it.

The hunters captured several Compsognathus and two of them were showcased by InGen CEO Peter Ludlow during his transmission to the board of his company. The Gatherers later freed at least three Compies from the encampment. The individuals in Ludlow's tent were most likely killed when the captured Triceratops freed by the Gatherers. It is unknown what became of the other individuals and whether or not they survived the chaos in the camp.

When Dieter Stark went to urinate in the woods of Isla Sorna after the skirmish at the InGen Harvester Encampment, he encountered another Compsognathus. He proceeded to tase it like he had done the previous one he encountered before. This individual turned out to be a scout and its pack pursued Dieter who had gotten lost in the woods. They attacked once he tripped on a slope while trying to get back to his group.

He managed to survive the attack and scared the pack away once he had removed them from his body. But the pack soon returned to attack Stark again at a stream where the Compies succeeded in killing him.[2]

Isla Sorna Incident (2001)

During his stay on Isla Sorna, 12-year old Eric Kirby learned to use Tyrannosaurus urine to repel Compsognathus.

Compsognathus were present during the battle with the Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex as the smaller dinosaurs ran for their lives as the two theropods fought to the death.

When Dr. Alan Grant visited the truck that Eric was living in it a pack of Compies arrived near their location but they did not attack them and instead fed on some insects.[3]

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Compies in the jungle of Isla Nublar in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

It is revealed that there are surviving Compsognathus populations on Isla Nublar, but will now face an impending danger, alongside many other creatures, in the form of an erupting volcano.

They are seen running alongside several other species from Mount Sibo.

Several Compies have been rescued from the island alongside many other species, and they are later seen running out of the Lockwood Manor after Maisie released all of the captured animals. They eventually eat some of Eli Mills’s remains after the latter was killed and devoured by the T. rex.

Battle at Big Rock

Compsognathus makes a brief cameo in the short, chasing a little girl during the end credits.




Promotional Images

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park III

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Battle at Big Rock

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous


Compsognathus was created by InGen inside their compound on Isla Sorna where the juveniles were taken care of by the workers there. It was Dr. Laura Sorkin's favorite dinosaur because it reminded her of the chickens owned by her family on their farm. In her journal she said that Compsognathus' genetic structure was very similar to birds and was surprised they lacked feathers.[5] When a Compy became a few months old,[2] it would be shipped to live as an attraction for InGen's Jurassic Park on the nearby island Isla Nublar. The Compsognathus lived in the self-titled Compsognathus Paddock, which was planned for Phase 1 of the park.[6]


Isla Nublar Incident (1993)

When Dennis Nedry shut down Jurassic Park's security systems, most of the electrified fences that kept the dinosaurs of the park in their paddocks went offline, including the Compsognathus Paddock. Unlike most of the dinosaurs, Compsognathus had very little importance in the incident.

During Nima Cruz's trek with Dr. Gerry Harding and his daughter who Nima held hostage, Gerry saw many Compsognathus. Several Compies were also inside and outside the Visitor Center on that same day, presumably to scavenge the carcasses of the rescue teams hired by InGen that were killed by Troodon.

Several were scared off by the Tyrannosaurus rex/Film in the jungles where Daniel Cafaro's helicopter was located.

Two Compsognathus ran past Nima as she was just waking up from when she was knocked unconscious by Oscar Morales.[6]

It is unknown what happened to the Compsognathus populations on Isla Nublar after the Isla Nublar Incident of 1993.

Compsognathus is also featured as a common enemy in the majority of early Jurassic Park action games.

Jurassic Park NES game

Compsognathus appears as an enemy in the Jurassic Park NES game.

Jurassic Park SNES game

Compsognathus appears as an enemy in the Jurassic Park SNES game.

Jurassic Park PS game

see The Lost World: Jurassic Park (video game)/Compy level

Compsognathus is the first playable character in the video game The Lost World: Jurassic Park, it uses its leaping and evading movement to escape some of the larger predators. The character can suffer from high falling damage that would be contradictory to a small animal's ability to take higher falls. It is also able to swim and evade water predators. Its speed and jumping is what helps it survive the perils of the "Lost World".

The Lost World: Jurassic Park arcade game

Compsognathus is an enemy in The Lost World: Jurassic Park arcade game. A pack seen near the beginning of the level feeding on a Stegosaurus carcass.

Jurassic park III arcade game

Compsognathus appears as a enemy in the game.


Compsognathus also appeared in the game Warpath: Jurassic Park as an edible creature that restored health; herbivore characters simply attack it and will somehow gain health, too. They were not listed in the Museum, along with Stegosaurus.


Jurassic Park: Builder

see Compsognathus/Builder

Compsognathus is one of the available dinosaurs in the IOS application, Jurassic Park: Builder.

LEGO Jurassic World

Compsognathus is one of the 20 playable dinosaurs in LEGO Jurassic World. In the game, it possesses the unique ability to enter special pipes called Compy tubes thanks to its small size and is the smallest dinosaur in the game. Compsognathus also appear as common enemy dinosaurs which often attack the in groups. Packs of Compsognathus also appear as obstacles that prevent access to certain objects, areas, or Workers In Peril (characters the player can rescue to earn a Gold Brick). These packs do not attack, as their mere presence is enough to frighten the players, stopping the characters from getting closer. The only way to drive these packs away from the area is to use Eric Kirby's unique T. rex Scent ability to throw a flask of T. rex urine that will drive away the Compsognathus allowing the player to whatever the pack was guarding.

Unlike The Lost World film, Cathy Bowman's tragic encounter with the Compsognathus does not occur in the game as the Bowman family encounter a T. rex during their visit to Isla Sorna instead which Deirdre Bowman feeds a hotdog while the family takes picture with it. In the area of the Hunter's Campsite on Isla Sorna, the player can rescue Dieter Stark from a pack of Compsognathus by driving them away with Eric Kirby's T. rex Scent ability allowing Stark to be unlocked for Free Play and to obtain a Gold Brick. Before being rescued while screaming for help, Dieter Stark will call Robert Burke an idiot for his erroneous assertion that Compsognathus weren't dangerous. Like Dieter Stark, two other Workers In Peril can be rescued from Compy packs on Isla Sorna's Hunting Plains and Isla Nublar's Tour Route Exit using Eric Kirby's ability to drive them away.

In the Breeding Facility level, a Compy can be found swimming in one of specimen tanks that Billy Brennan can take a photograph of along three others (a baby Velociraptor, fish, and teddy bear) in order to earn a Minikit. Two Compsognathus are also playable in the Velociraptor Escape bonus chase level where they run through the Breeding Facility to escape the Velociraptors along with Grant, Paul Kirby, and Udesky. Compsognathus also appear as minor enemies in the Spinosaurus Showdown level attacking Grant, Amanda, and Eric as they assist Paul Kirby in the showdown with the Spinosaurus. One of the Compsognathus standing next to Grant, watching the Spinosaurs' defeat only for Grant to humorously order it to heel causing the Compy to sit down.

In the Parking Garage level of Jurassic World, Gray Mitchell and Zach Mitchell find a sick Compsognathus in the abandoned Visitor Center's abandoned parking garage. After healing it by feeding it a candy bar, popsicle, and some meat the thankful Compsognathus will befriend the pair causing it to become a playable character for the rest of the level and assists the Mitchell brothers in fixing one of the old Jurassic Park Responder jeeps. After the jeep is fixed and as the boys are driving out of the garage, the Compsognathus will step on the button of garage door controls to keep to garage door open preventing door from closing on the boys as they drive out of the garage. It will then wave goodbye to the boys as they drive off, then jump off the door switch and leave as the surviving Robert Muldoon, Dennis Nedry, and Donald Gennaro (who in the game survived the events of Jurassic Park but are left stranded on the island) peek out from a broken down jeep they where hiding out in. Three Compsognathus skeletons also appear perched on top of the Jurassic World's Main Street fountain.

Compsognathus can be unlocked by obtaining its Amber Brick in the Mobile Lab level. To obtain the Amber Brick, after the Eddie Carr uses his truck wench to stabilize the front car of the Fleetwood RV Mobile Lab, the Amber Brick on top of the front car can be reached via climbing the hand holds on the side. A Compys' Skeleton alternate skin can also be unlocked by collecting all 10 Minikits in the InGen Arrival level (Camp Sabotage & Mobile Lab), which will also unlock the Compsognathus hologram in the Innovation Center in Jurassic World on Isla Nublar. Like all the dinosaurs in the game, a custom Compsognathus can be customized via the Dino Customizers in both the Visitor Center and Innovation Center. Using certain parts of other dinosaurs can grant the player's custom Compsognathus with certain abilities (such as the T. rex head option will give the Custom Compy a LEGO Amber destroying roar) in addition to its own unique ability to use Compy tubes.

Jurassic World Evolution

see Compsognathus/JW: E

Compsognathus is confirmed to be in the game via the Return to Jurassic Park DLC. It looks exactly like the dinosaur from the films.


The Lost World Series 1

A Compsognathus figure was released as part of the Series 1 toy line for The Lost World alongside Dieter Stark. This toy had a magnet in its mouth that could clip on to a magnet on Dieter's chest, helping to recreate Dieter's death scene from the film.

Jurassic Park III

Two figures of Compsognathus were released as part of the Jurassic Park III toy line along with Alan Grant.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Four new figures of Compsognathus are released along with Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Robert Muldoon, and Ian Malcolm, with the last one of the four set to be release in the summer, as part of the Jurassic World: Legacy Collection toy line, which are released alongside the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom toy line.

Under construction

Behind the scenes

Concept art of Compsognathus by William Stout for the canceled Jurassic Park animated series.

Compsognathus in the films fills the role of the similarly named and similarly sized Procompsognathus. Dieter Stark's death at the hand of a Compsognathus swarm in The Lost World: Jurassic Park is based on John Hammond's death in which a pack of Procompsognathus kills while he is injured in the chapter "Hammond II" of the Jurassic Park novel. Curiously, in the behind the scenes video for the Compsognathus animatronics that attack Dieter in the film Christian Colquhoun of Stan Winston Studios refers to the Compies as Procompsognathus.[7]

When Dr. Robert Burke encounters Dieter Stark with a Compsognathus during the capture of the dinosaurs on the Game Trail he identifies it as "Compsognathus triassicus". There is no such species of Compsognathus known by this name, rather it was a combination of the genus Compsognathus and the species Procompsognathus triassicus. Though this is merely an error by the scriptwriters, it is unknown if there is a species called "Compsognathus triassicus" in the film canon or if it was simply an error that Dr. Burke made. Despite the possibility that the film's Compies are actually Procompsognathus, paleontologist and consultant for the films Dr. Jack Horner as said in the past that they were indeed Compsognathus.[8]

As a thank you to Steven Spielberg, Industrial Light and Magic created an animation that features a pack of Compsognathus wearing bow ties, top hats and holding canes tap dancing. It was included in Beyond Jurassic Park and in the The Lost World: Jurassic Park Blu-Ray.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park popularized Compsognathus. Post-TLW games, like Tomb Raider III, also feature Compsognathus as they are portrayed in the film.



Jurassic Park: The Game Dinosaurs
CompsognathusDilophosaurusHerrerasaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonTroodonTriceratopsTylosaurusTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
The Lost World: Jurassic Park Dinosaurs
CompsognathusGallimimusMamenchisaurusPachycephalosaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonStegosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Jurassic Park III Dinosaurs
AnkylosaurusBrachiosaurusCeratosaurusCompsognathusCorythosaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonSpinosaurusStegosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Dinosaurs
AllosaurusAnkylosaurusApatosaurusBaryonyxBrachiosaurusCarnotaurusCompsognathusGallimimusIndoraptorMosasaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonSinoceratopsStegosaurusStygimolochTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Battle at Big Rock Dinosaurs


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