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Thursday, January 03, 2008

The disastrous pop-culture image of Velociraptor

In doing a quick search for Velociraptor images today, I came across something disturbing: the entire first page of google results (with one exception of a Todd Marshall painting) are complete rubbish. They look nothing like what we know of Velociraptor's true appearance from fossil evidence and careful study.

Who cares? I do! A more accurate feel for the appearance of prehistoric animals gives us all a better appreciation of evolution and biodiversity, and is just plain more interesting than the silly pop-culture image.

The real Velociraptor was a very birdlike animal not much bigger than a turkey. Perhaps it looked something like my drawing above, or maybe like one of the these excellent restorations at Scott Hartman's

If you want to help give Velociraptor its rightful image in pop-culture, participate in "link-to-an-accurate-Velociraptor day". Simply link to your favourite V. image or page using the word "Velociraptor" in your journal , website or blog, and help bring the popular image of V. (and by extension prehistoric animals) more into line with the science.

Here's a few links to accurate restorations (there are surprisingly few, in my opinion):

Velociraptor by Matt Martynuik,
Velociraptor , and Velociraptor and Protoceratops by yours truly,
Velociraptor by Mike Keesey,
Velociraptor, Velociraptor and Velociraptor by Alain Beneteau, and
Velociraptor by Demetrios Vital.