WARNING: This article covers the "Velociraptor" as it appears in the novel canon
A giant, quiet bird of prey. - from Jurassic Park (novel)
They were instinctive hunters and never passed up prey. They killed even when they weren't hungry. They killed just for the pleasure of killing. They were agile, tireless runners and incredible jumpers. They had lethal weapons on each of their four limbs; a strong punch with one of the forearms could lacerate a man. And had powerful jaws that ripped meat instead of biting it. They were also a lot more intelligent than other dinosaurs and seemed to be natural cage-breakers. They also had forked tongues.
They have distributed nervous systems. According to Robert Muldoon, they don't die fast, even with a direct hit to the brain. And they're build solidly, thick ribs make a shot to the heart dicey, and they're difficult to cripple in the legs or hindquarters. Slow bleeders, slow to die.
Despite several differences, most notably being man-sized, Dr. Henry Wu identified the raptors in the novel canon as Velociraptor mongoliensis. A popular explanation is that they were actually Achillobator, a dromaeosaurid found in the same location as Velociraptor, Mongolia. However, it should be noted that both Achillobator and Velociraptor were found in different fossil formations; and were separated from each other by exactly 5 million years in the fossil record, with Velociraptor living around 75-71 million years ago and Achillobator existing 93-80 million years ago respectively. This belief states that a passage in Gregory S. Paul's book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World mentioned a large dromaeosaurid claw held at the American Museum of Natural History was actually Achillobator and Michael Crichton referenced this toe bone by making the Raptors man-sized. However, this can not be the case because Achillobator was discovered in 1989, a year after Paul's book was written and the toe-bone itself matches the description of the fossil AMNH 6572 found in a different formation than Achillobator.
John Ostrom, who discovered Deinonychus, wrote in the past that Crichton consulted him and modeled the novel's Velociraptor after Deinonychus in "almost every detail". Ostrom further recalled that Crichton had also renamed Deinonychus in the novel to Velociraptor with his reason being that he felt that the name was "more dramatic".  Another interesting detail is that in the novels Crichton did not only rename the Deinonychus, but he envisioned the Deinonychus to be an upscaled version of Velociraptor mongoliensis. This is proven by how he references in the novel that the animals head was two feet long which would be relatively proportionate to a sized up V. mongoliensis. The book, Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, has illustrations of long-snouted Deinonychus that Crichton most likely took inspiration from in his representation of Velociraptor.
Though it is believed these aforementioned events occurred during the writing of the Jurassic Park novel, paleontologist Daniel Brinkman later discovered that the consultation occurred when Crichton was writing the sequel The Lost World instead. Brinkman found that John Ostrom himself instigated the conversation when he sent letter congratulating Crichton and Steven Spielberg on the film adapation while the sequel novel was still being written. Ostrom then invited both men to see Deinonychus and his conversation with Crichton.
Seeing as how the cloned Procompsognathus had five digits on each hand instead of four and Dr. Wu wanted to make the dinosaurs slower for his proposed Version 4.4 because he felt that they were "too fast", which would fail to convince visitors due to them not being accustomed to seeing large animals move as fast as the clones, the novel's raptors could just simply be genetically modified V. mongoliensis rather than a related dromaeosaurid miss-classified as the animal.
At Version 3.0 the raptors skin was described as being leathery with a pebbled texture. The skin colors exhibited in the raptors are given as dark yellow with brown stripes (seen on a juvenile), name brown-yellow with dark reddish markings and pale yellow with brown markings. It has been observed in a wild born juvenile male that the raptor clones can change color like a chameleon.
Velociraptors are the first dinosaurs to escape. They had found a hidden place to nest and the number of raptors rose quickly. Before everyone on the island left they had to check how many raptors there were. But they "migrated" away before they could and the island was destroyed. Before this, when the park's main power was unknowingly off for five hours, the eight captive raptors escaped from confinement. Shortly after escaping, they killed two security guards and several workmen. Robert Muldoon kills one raptor with his LAW rocket launcher (of which he only has six shells) and wounds another by blowing its leg off. After chasing Ellie Sattler and Muldoon, they killed Henry Wu and John Arnold, and then found the children in the computer room. Grant came to rescue the children, and they ran through the computer room and the nursery and into the hatching lab. The kids ran into another room and Grant had them lock the door. It was here Grant found a toxic liquid chemical and injected it into some dinosaur eggs, then rolled them in front of the raptors.
One raptor ate it and started dying from the poison, the second tore it open and killed it. It ate one of the poisoned eggs and died of poisoning; the last heard his radio as Sattler was trying to talk to him, but Grant was able to inject the syringe directly in the tail with the toxin. The wild raptors in the first book could also change the color of their skin, much like a chameleon and like the Carnotaurus in the second novel. All of the raptors, including Clarence, died in the napalm bombing. In the epliouge of the novel,Martin Guitierrez tells Alan Grant that some unidentifed animals were eating crops that were rich in lysine, most notably soy and agama beans, in rather bizzare manner. Guitierrez also brought up the fact that these creatures were moving in a straight line and were migrating from coasts and into the jungle. Since it was revealed that some of the raptors were migrating off of the island, by means of sneaking aboard boats like the Anne B, it can be assumed that the animals that Guitierrez was talking were raptors.
In the Jurassic Park novel, the wild Velociraptors cared for their young and only the captives were pointless killers, even killing an infant that had been raised in the nursery. In The Lost World, their behavior is somewhat different; they don't care for the young or each other, apparently because, as relatively intelligent creatures, they were created but had no predecessors to learn proper pack behavior from, and lived in a survival-of-the-fittest society. It seems social dynamics beyond hunting are beyond them, and they displayed high cannibalism. The prion plague DX that was running rampant on Isla Sorna may be the reason why these raptors behaved so differently. The raptors were first seen by Ian Malcolm, Richard Levine, and Jack Thorne, when they were in the High Hide. Malcolm talked to Thorne about how vicious they were. Then, while Howard King was walking through some tall grass, trying to escape from the island, he was ambushed and killed by a pack of Velociraptors, one of which seemed to be eating his candy bar and enjoying it. Later, while Kelly, Arby, and Levine were in the High Hide, together, the Velociraptor pack attacked them, yet again, using their sickle-shaped killing toe claws to climb up the High Hide, in order to reach their prey. Eddie Carr attempted to deter them by hitting them on the snouts with a metal bar, but one of the raptors then tugged on the metal bar, causing Eddie to fall down to the ground, where the pack then promptly killed him. Afterward, Sarah Harding teamed up with Kelly, to tranquilize a raptor, while riding on a motorcycle. Kelly held the rifle. After several missed shots, she finally managed to hit the raptor, killing it. Later on, when the team was in a Convenience Store, the raptors attacked the Store, attempting to catch the humans. One of them stuck its head through, nearly killing Levine. However, Kelly then managed to save the day, by finding an air vent, for them to crawl through. They then followed through with Kelly's plan, and they escaped the island, and returned back home on a boat found inside the old InGen boathouse on Site B.
Behind the scenes
Concept art for the Velociraptors that appeared in The Lost World: Jurassic Park are the same coloration as the raptors that appeared in the book that the movie was based on. It was ultimately not the final design of the second film's raptors, but the Tribe B Velociraptors in Jurassic Park: Trespasser have a similar appearance.
- Jurassic Park (novel), page 119, 329 (Novel bundle)
- The Lost World (novel), page 627 (Novel bundle)
- Jurassic Park (novel), page 118 (Novel bundle)
- Jurassic Park: "The Tour"
- Henderson, Tara. (May 29, 2013) Cryptodraco. Cryptodraco.
- Jurassic Park Legacy - Velociraptor “giganticus” (*) (C/N) (June 10, 2011) Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20151026181738/http://www.jplegacy.org/jpencyclopedia/?p=845
- Mortimer, Mickey. (August 26, 2017) Dromaeosaurs. The Theropod Database.
- The Achilles Heel Why the Jurassic Park Raptors Are Not Achillobator. Prehistory on the Silver Screen.
- YaleNews - Yale’s legacy in ‘Jurassic World’ (June 18, 2015) Retrieved from http://news.yale.edu/2015/06/18/yale-s-legacy-jurassic-world
- Conniff, Richard. (October 14, 2016) This Dinosaur Fossil Changed the World. TakePart
- Jurassic Park: "Skeleton"
- Jurassic Park: "Search"
- Jurassic Park: "Version 4.4"
- Jurassic Park: "Tim"
- Jurassic Park: "Control II"
- Jurassic Park: "Control"
- Jurassic Park: "Control IV"
- Jurassic Park: "Under Control"
- The Achilles Heel Why the Jurassic Park Raptors Are Not Achillobator - A blog post on the identity of the Jurassic Park novel raptors.