Length: 5.5 - 6 feet
Height: 3 feet
Weight: 55 pounds
- Adult (both sexes): A green body with dark green stripes and a pale underbelly.
- Juvenile (both sexes): A pale green and paler underbelly.
Diet: Mostly animals smaller than itself - lizards, small mammals, and dinosaur eggs and chicks. Ornitholestes helps control the population levels of larger dinosaurs by raiding their nests and eating their young. It typically hangs around sauropod breeding sites, waiting for the adult sauropods to move away before moving in to steal the eggs or hatchlings. Ornitholestes will also readily consume carrion.
Preferred Habitat: Anywhere on Isla Sorna, primarily forest.
Social Structure: Pairs that mate for life. May hunt in small loose non-hierarchical groups to take down slightly larger prey, but it typically does not live in a pack structure.
Ornitholestes somewhat resembles Velociraptor, and it was in fact believed to be a third subspecies. Like Velociraptor, Ornitholestes has grasping three-fingered hands with sharp talons, as well as a slightly enlarged sickle-like claw on the second toe of each foot. This claw is proportionally smaller in Ornitholestes than it is in either of the Velociraptor subspecies. In addition, feather like quills are present on the back of its head; small notched spikes run along spine; and there is a short, Proceratosaurus-like horn on snout. The spikes and horns are absent in juveniles.
Dubbed "Velociraptor antirrhopus ingens", it was only later discovered to in fact be Ornitholestes. Although it lacks the famous intelligence of either raptor subspecies, Ornitholestes is still a practical thinker when it comes to strategies, whether it is hunting prey or crossing water. It is cunning and a fast mover, capable of running at speeds of up to 65 mph to chase down prey or evade larger predators. It is a good jumper as well, able to leap ten feet straight up into the air. Unlike Velociraptor, this species can proficiently move through the trees, jumping branch to branch. It will also use its enlarged toe claws to literally walk up a tree.
Though small and elusive, Ornotholestes should not be underestimated. It will attack with tooth and claw if cornered. It is a nocturnal dinosaur, although sometimes seen active during the day. It ambushes its prey within its forested habitat, delivering a powerful bite to the back of the neck to kill the prey before carrying it away to be consumed in a safe location. Its slightly enlarged second toe claw is used to keep a hold onto and stab small, struggling prey in a similar fashion to seriemas; as opposed to the slashing and gutting usage raptors employ.
Ornitholestes has varied vocalization and mated pairs make chattering noises with their jaw to each other. This is obviously a form of communication, but whether or not it is as highly evolved as some of the other species cloned by InGen (i.e. Velociraptors or Troodon) has yet to be seen, though there is some tantalizing indications to suggest it is there on some level. Other sounds these dinosaurs make include chirps, whistles, and other falcon-like screams.