What Is A Raptor (Dinosaur)?

"Raptor" is a non-scientific, term made up for the Jurassic Park movie franchise. The name "raptor" was derived from shortening the genus name Velociraptor, while the dinosaurs portrayed in the movie were actually modeled after Deinonychus and what is now named the Utahraptor.

The term raptor is now generally used to refer to small to medium sized, bird-like dinosaurs. They share characteristics such as feathers, three-fingered hands, relatively big brains, and a large "killing claw" on their hind feet. Many people restrict the term to refer to dinosaurs in the Dromaeosaur family, though some theropod dinosaurs outside of this family bear similar characteristics. Even some dinosaurs with "raptor" in their name such Gigantoraptor are not Dromaeosaurs.