What Are Pyroraptors? Jurassic World 3’s Rumored Dinosaur Explained

What Are Pyroraptors? Jurassic World 3's Rumored Dinosaur Explained

Jurassic World: Dominion introduced the Pyroraptor, a new feathered dinosaur. How does it fit into the final film of the Jurassic World series?

WARNING! Contains spoilers for Jurassic World: Dominion!

Jurassic World: Dominion brought back classic Jurassic Park characters and put them up against many new dinosaurs, including the Pyroraptor, a never-before-seen species of feathered raptor. Colin Treverrow, who directed the first Jurassic World movie, returned to the helm, promising the final installment would “bring the franchise together” with a satisfying conclusion. Jurassic World: Dominion used both CGI and animatronic dinosaur effects, attempting to get closer to what made the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park film so technologically impressive and well remembered. In keeping with Dominion’s harkening back to Spielberg’s 1993 dino-epic, the original human Jurassic Park stars (Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum) returned to play Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm in substantial roles. 

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Although these tributes to the first Jurassic Park installment were welcomed by many fans, Dominion also blended them with newer additions to the franchise. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprised their roles as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, and many other characters from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, like Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), had elevated roles in the final film. Jurassic World: Dominion starts four years after the second movie finished, with the dinosaurs now freely roaming Earth and causing carnage that throws Owen and Claire into the paths of veteran Jurassic Park characters.

Related: Jurassic World 3: Every Way Dominion Is Different To All Previous Movies

First revealed in a series of Jurassic World 3 set photos prior to release, the menacing Pyroraptor is among the new reptilian threats. A variety of raptor, Pyroraptors descended from Jurassic franchise mainstays, the Velociraptor, living about 2 million years later. The Pyroraptors distinct feathered appearance meant it gained a lot of interest when fans saw their first footage of one in the trailers. Here’s everything you need to know about the new feathered dinosaur in Jurassic World 3.

Pyroraptors Explained: Jurassic World Dominion’s New Dinosaur In Detail

The Pyroraptor, whose name means “fire thief,” was a predatory dinosaur first described by paleontologists in 2000. Like the Jurassic Park series’ iconic Velociraptors, it possessed a long, thin tail, clawed forelimbs, and walked on two legs. Pyroraptors were covered head-to-toe in feathers and had distinctly curved claws on their feet for climbing – an important skill for an animal that only came up to an average human’s knees. Like many of Jurassic World’s dinosaurs, they existed in the Late Cretaceous period, rather than the Jurassic age.

When it comes to how dinosaurs looked, much is open to speculation. However, it’s always been that the Jurassic Park movies take artistic liberties with their dinosaur designs, such as scaling up the Velociraptor and altering its avian features to be more lizard-like. As far as the Jurassic World: Dominion dinosaurs go though, Pyroraptor is surprisingly realistic (or as realistic as can be achieved for a creature that lived over 70 million years ago). This accuracy definitely makes the Pyroraptor noteworthy, especially when you consider some Jurassic World and Jurassic Park dinosaurs are made up. They’ve appeared in Jurassic media before; the mobile games Jurassic World: Alive and Jurassic World: The Game featured the Pyroprator in all of its feathered glory. It’s one of the only dinosaurs in the franchise to be depicted with full plumage, whether in a game or movie.

This might seem like a minor detail, but it’s significant. In the almost 30 years since the original Jurassic Park, the general consensus among paleontologists has shifted from viewing dinosaurs as scaled/leathery skinned to the current consensus that most were feathered. The Jurassic franchise chose to ignore this, sticking with its traditional (and inaccurate) reptilian dinos. The feathered Pyroraptor is an uncharacteristic design choice, one that’s much truer to prehistoric life.

Related: Why Jurassic World Dominion’s Box Office Destroyed The Bad Reviews

The Pyroraptor in Jurassic World: Dominion differed from the real-life dinosaur in other ways though. Much like the Velociraptors, real-life Pyroraptors were only about knee height on humans. The Pyroraptor that chases Owen and Kayla (DeWanda Wise) across a frozen lake is much bigger, coming easily up to Owen’s shoulders like the Velociraptors of previous installments. Fortunately, every dinosaur in Jurassic World: Dominion only exists because of cloning and DNA tinkering, so the increased size can be justified in canon without difficulty. However, the fact that the Pyroraptor in Dominion is an agile swimmer and aquatic hunter might be harder to explain away, since there’s no evidence at all the pack-based Pyroraptor of prehistory took to the water for food.

How The Pyroraptor Affects Jurassic World Dominion’s Story

A Pyroraptor staring down Owen and Kayla in the snow

The Pyroraptor is a formidable member of Jurassic World: Dominion’s roster of threatening dinosaurs. It doesn’t have the plot weight of the T-Rex, Velociraptor, or Giganotosaurus, but it gets its own highly tense chase scene that feels right out of the original Jurassic Park’s playbook. After Owen and Kayla crashland en route to the Biosyn facility, they are chased across an iced-over lake by a roaming Pyroraptor.

The chase scene is standard Jurassic fare, filled with plenty of false safety, breaths caught too early, and near-escapes. A notable moment that demonstrates the Pyroraptor’s tenacity is when Kayla gives it a tasers-worth of prolonged electric shock, only to recoil in panic as the feathered dino gets up and shrugs it off like a light tickling. Owen and Kayla manage to get away, but it’s a close call. The Pyroraptor is still alive by the end of the chase, and it demonstrates that it’s a prehistoric force to be reckoned with by use of its speed, cunning, and unnaturally proficient swimming ability.

Despite being heavily included in Jurassic World: Dominion’s promo, the feathered Pyroraptor isn’t seen again after this scene. This wasn’t a total surprise though. With a large ensemble cast and dozens of other dinosaurs, new and old, to feature, it was unlikely that any Jurassic World: Dominion dino besides Blue and the T-Rex would get extensive screen-time. There’s simply too much crammed into Dominion’s 2 hours 27-minute’s for any single dino to have more than one or two moments in the spotlight. Despite only having one scene though, Pyroraptor’s distinct feathered appearance and chilling ice lake pursuit mean it stands out from the rest of Jurassic World: Dominion’s new dinosaurs and many of the returning Jurassic Park beasts. If there’s more to come from the franchise, the Pyroraptor will more than likely make a reappearance.

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Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022

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About The Author

Kristen Abernathy
(58 Articles Published)

Kristen Abernathy is a Movies and TV Features writer at Screen Rant. She is a current third year Biology student at the University of California, Los Angeles who loves science fiction as much as real science. When she isn’t studying, she’s reading comics, watching movies, and writing her own short stories.

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