The NSFW origin of Jurassic Park’s velociraptor noises

The sound designer on the Jurassic Park movies sourced the dino roars from some surprising sources, with a lot of focus on animals in heat

Velociraptors in Jurassic Park

When thinking about how the Jurassic Park and World franchises created the intimidating sounds of the dinos, you may expect that they used the ferocious roars of lions, and tigers, and bears – oh my! What you’re probably not expecting is the sounds to have come from mating tortoises, especially when it comes to Jurassic Park’s most intelligent and deadliest predator – the velociraptors.

In a 2013 interview with Vulture, around the twentieth anniversary of the first movie, sound designer Gary Rydstrom opened up about where he sourced the sounds of the rampaging dinos. The intelligent raptors appear to have their own simple language, and communication is key to their success as pack hunters. But, it turns out that it’s the language… of lurve.

“It’s somewhat embarrassing, but when the raptors bark at each other to communicate, it’s a tortoise having sex. It’s a mating tortoise! I recorded that at Marine World … the people there said, ‘Would you like to record these two tortoises that are mating?’ It sounded like a joke, because tortoises mating can take a long time. You’ve got to have plenty of time to sit around and watch and record them.”

The velociraptor wasn’t the only dino to use a frisky animal as its call, the Gallimimuses who come “flocking this way” had their voices provided by a horse in heat. “I remember recording a female horse, and the male horse came right by her and she squealed because she was in heat,” laughed Rydstrom.

“A lot of animals in heat make a very unique sound, and she squealed at this male because he got a little too close and she was excited about the male, I assume. And that’s the squeal the Gallimimuses make when they’re passing by, and the squeal one makes when it’s getting eaten by a T. rex. One of the key elements of the raptor screams was a boy dolphin in heat, so you can see a pattern here!”

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