|“||The culprit is an Ornitholestes, a 2 meter long carnivore that is closely related to the dinosaurs that will evolve into birds. Normally he hunts small lizards and mammals in the forest. The hatchling is an extra treat.||”|
Ornitholestes was a relatively small dinosaur, measuring 2.5 meters in length and weighing around 15 kg. This dinosaur lived in the same place and the same time as many of the giant Jurassic dinosaurs like Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus and Allosaurus. However, Ornitholestes most likely stayed away from these animals and focused on hunting small animals and baby dinosaurs, as seen in Time of the Titans.
Portrayal in the Series
In Walking with... Series
An Ornitholestes was seen eating an hatched Diplodocus sauropodlet, whilst the remaining babies emerged from the soil, the carnivore watched as it already ate its fill. Later, the same Ornitholestes passed by the Diplodocus creche which was hiding in the undergrowth.
Years later, an Ornitholestes was seen screeching at the Diplodocus creche which were too large for the Ornitholestes to hunt.
A pair of Ornitholestes were seen stalking a group of baby Allosaurus. Another was later seen protecting its nest from Big Al.
- Ornitholestes is the only non-avian dinosaur in the Walking with Dinosaurs documentary to have feathers (referred to as "quills").
- Ornitholestes is shown to have a nasal crest. That theory is discussed. The problem is that the only fossil we have as his nasal bone broken. When Ornitholestes was first discovered, scientists believed that it did have a nasal crest but that theory is now disproven.
- Ornitholestes did not have pronated hands, in fact, none of the theropods had them. The pronated hands was a common error before people realized that theropods (including feathered dinosaurs) didn't have them. Even so, this mistake persists to this day.
- Ornitholestes is now classified as a maniraptoromorph, and should have possessed a sickle claw on each of its retractable second toes, similar to that of a dromaeosaurid. This would make it a true maniraptoran.
Appearances In Other Media
Primeval: New World
Read more at the Anomaly Research Centre
Ornitholestes appears in the episodes Babes in the Woods and The Inquisition with an appearance similar to its' WWD depiction.
The Lost World (Jurassic Park)
Read more at the Jurassic Park Wiki
A carcass of an individual is discovered Martin Guitierrez in the novel. It was said to have skin like Carnotaurus, which was depicted with chameleon-like abilities.