Deinonychus was the first of the raptors (technically called "Dromaeosaurs") to be known from a nearly complete skeleton. Velociraptor had been discovered forty years earlier but was known only from a skull and a few bones of its hands and feet.
The skeleton of Deinonychus were first to show the now infamous sickle-shaped retractable foot claw (8 inch), used for ripping open the skin of a victim, causing the preys guts be ripped and with a considerable amount of damage. Deinonychus also had a nasty bite, with over 60 knife-like teeth. Although with a deadly bite its arms and legs would be most powerful and could rear on one leg and kick an opponent.
Dr. John Ostrom discovered Deinonychus in 1964. Dr. Ostrom believed that this dinosaur was an agile, swift predator, more like a warm-blooded mammal or bird than a cold-blooded crocodile.
StoryMontana dig site, Dr. Alan Grant discovers a hatchling of a dromaeosaurid that he classifies as Velociraptor antirrhopus, which is the reclassified Deinonychus.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (console game)
In the video game The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Deinonychus is an enemy in various levels. It bears a resemblance to the Velociraptor that appeared in the game as well, only different in colors. Oddly, it is smaller than the Velociraptor, instead of being bigger as in real life. In the game they are also called "Deinon-Raptor", likely to differentiate them from the Velociraptor. They are grey and have yellow spots in-game, but in the game's strategy guide book, they reuse the Velociraptor's color scheme.
Jurassic Park III: Park Builder
In Jurassic Park III: Park Builder, Deinonychus is a carnivore that can be recreated from paleo-DNA.
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
Jurassic World: Evolution
The Deinonychus appears in Jurassic World: Evolution as a dinosaur attraction. In the game, it is portrayed with a comb on its head similar to a rooster as well as another fleshy ridge along its tail. It also has a shorter skull than its real-life counterpart with large pronounced eye ridges. The default cosmetics are a reddish tint with a white underbelly and blood red crest. This can be changed with cosmetics, although all variants possess a large head crest that its real-life counterpart did not.
Jurassic World: Alive
Deinonychus appears in Jurassic World: Alive as part of the 2.0 update on July 21, 2020. Unlike previous depictions of Deinonychus in the Jurassic Park franchise, this depiction has feathers all over its body and even wings.
Behind the scenes
Deinonychus was the basis for novel canon's Velociraptors and in turn the raptors seen in the films.
Jurassic Park novel author Michael Crichton visited John Ostrom—the discoverer of Deinonychus—when doing research for the novel. Ostrom said that Crichton's Velociraptor was based on Deinonychus in "almost every detail" and Crichton had even called him to inform him that he had renamed the Deinonychus in his novel to Velociraptor because he felt it sounded "more dramatic".
During the production of the Jurassic Park film, Steven Spielberg's production contacted John Ostrom and requested copies of all the technical papers that Ostrom had done of Deinonychus. Unlike the novel, the raptors that were seen in the film were to be properly named Deinonychus and Mark "Crash" McCreery had even made concept art of this raptor in 1991, but later in pre-production it was renamed to Velociraptor.
Notes and references
- Dinosaur Field Guide, page 63.
- In page 131 of Jurassic Park, Dr. Alan Grant says: "Although Deinonychus is now considered one of the Velociraptors..."
- Page 12 of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Official Strategy Guide on the upper left corner
- Dinosaurs cut from Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.
- Cummings, Mike. (June 18 2015) Yale’s legacy in ‘Jurassic World’. Yale News.
- icollector.com - Mark “Crash” McCreary conceptual artwork for Deinonychus from Jurassic Park