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Stub.PNG This section is taken from the Dinosaur Field Guide.

"So what did you call those things that were chasing you? Hairy-saurauses?"
"Herrerasaurus, from the Triassic era. Now that we've bred them we can easily classify them as early theropod."
Billy Yoder and Gerry Harding(src)

Herrerasaurus ("[Victorino] Herrera's lizard") was one of the oldest and most primitive Theropods, or meat-eating dinosaurs, though in its day it was relatively hyper-advanced. Its body displayed many of the same features of the later theropods. It walked on its hind legs, which sported feet with 5 digits each with the middle 3 being able to bear weight, and its arms ended in a long 5-digit hand with the first 3 ending in powerful claws used for grasping prey. Its teeth, like those of most theropods - were shaped like blades and had knife-like serrations running up the front and down the back. Its lower jaw had a special hinge about halfway along its length. This joint would have helped Herrerasaurus to better hold on to struggling victims. Many later theropods also had this hinge. Some scientists consider the Herrerasaurus to be more carnivorous primitive member of the Prosauropoda family.

Although Herrerasaurus shared the basic body design of future rulers of the Earth (like Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus), it lived during the Triassic period, a time when the dinosaurs were not the most powerful animals on Earth. Herrerasaurus would have had to run away from the much larger Saurosuchus, a giant land-dwelling crocodile relative, and the even larger Fasolasuchus tenax, which was the largest meat-eater in Argentina during the beginning of the Mesozoic era.

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Herrerasaurus


Herrerasaurus map icon.

At least 4 Herrerasaurus were created by InGen inside their compound on Isla Sorna and shipped to Isla Nublar where they lived in their own paddock, but the animal was never seen on-screen.[1] On the map, Herrerasaurus‘ enclosure is located at the far northwestern end of the island where the tourist route does not connect. This population went extinct between the 1993 incident and the 1994 cleanup. InGen did, however, save 60% of its genome.[2]

Herrerasaurus skull in a case

Herrerasaurus apparently was subject to cruelty by 2018, although it is unknown if there are any surviving populations left.[3]

However, a fossil skull of Herrerasaurus is seen in Lockwood Manor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.



Herrerasaurus was created by InGen inside their compound on Isla Sorna[4] where they were taken care of by the workers there at a young age.[5] Dr. Laura Sorkin believed that they were created to be a "safe" alternative to Velociraptor, since the Raptors proved to be too difficult to handle and were said not to be as intelligent.[6]

Like all of InGen's cloned theropods, the Herrerasaur clones had pronated hands. They also lacked the fourth and fifth fingers that the animal had in life. The Herrerasaurus clones had a bright red body with dark red stripes, and white underbelly and some yellow patches. They roamed in packs[7] and their willingness to pursue their prey over long distances made them highly dangerous.[6]

When those on Isla Sorna reached a certain age, they would be shipped to the neighboring island Isla Nublar in the Herrerasaur Paddock of Jurassic Park, which was planned for Phase 1 of the park.[8]

Isla Nublar Incident (1993)

At the time of the Isla Nublar Incident of 1993, the Herrerasaurus living in Jurassic Park were not fully grown.[9]

Herrerasaurus was in the Jurassic Park Brochure, as an attraction for Phase I.

When Dennis Nedry disabled Jurassic Park's security, Herrerasaurus, along with many other dinosaurs, were able to freely go outside of their paddocks.[10]

Herrerasaurus had very little involvement in the incident and farthest they were known to go outside of their paddock was the nearby Bone Shaker roller coaster.

This pack attacked Dr. Gerry Harding, his daughter Jess Harding, and their captor Nima as they try to use the Bone Shaker as a way down. They jump onto the roller coaster cars but are successfully fended off, thrown off into the jungle below.[7]

It is unknown if they survived the fall, but with having hollow bones and diminutive size it's highly unlikely. It is also unknown if there were any existing and surviving populations on Isla Nublar after the Isla Nublar Incident of 1993 or if there were any on Isla Sorna after Hurricane Clarissa.



Behind the scenes

There is evidence that mosquitoes existed during the Triassic period around 226 million years ago. Scientists have found Amber from that period, meaning that Herrerasaurus must have been created using DNA from drops of blood or pieces of flesh preserved in amber (see DNA in Amber).

Bizarrely, the Herrerasaurus sounds in Jurassic Park: The Game seem to be a slowed-down version of the Velociraptor calls.

Gerry Harding claims the cloned Herrerasaurus are classed as early theropods. However, a study by Barron, Norman and Barrett has found that Herrerasaurus was more closely related to sauropodomorphs like Brachiosaurus.[11] That said, this study has much against it.


  1. The computer screens in the film don't show a "Herrerasaurus Paddock" (see image).
  2. InGen's Investigation Note of the 1993 incident, leaked in 2018 by DPG: "Previously active on Nublar. Four individuals were alive prior to the sabotage of park systems - All were found dead during the 1994 clean-up. Viable embryos were destroyed during sabotage of cold storage units and flooding."
  3. according to the Dinosaur Protection Group, Herrerasaurus is one of the 12 dinosaur species subject to cruelty before the events the of the film.
  4. Jurassic Park III
  5. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  6. 6.0 6.1 InGen Field Journal, page 6
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jurassic Park: The Game: "The Ride"
  8. InGen Field Guide, page 9
  9. On the video of Herrerasaurus seen on the Tour the Island website there is a scene comparing the Herrerasaurus seen in Jurassic Park: The Game to the actual size of Herrerasaurus and it is stated that they can reach 20 ft in length like the real dinosaur.
  10. Jurassic Park
  11. Baron, M.G., Norman, D.B., and Barrett, P.M. (2017). A new hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution. Nature, 543: 501–506. doi:10.1038/nature21700


Jurassic Park: The Game Dinosaurs
CompsognathusDilophosaurusHerrerasaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonTroodonTriceratopsTylosaurusTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor