Jurassic Park

by: Michael Crichton

Important Quotations Explained

The animal on the floor was about a foot and a half long, the size of a small monkey. It was dark yellow with brown stripes, like a tiger. It had a lizard's head and long snout, but it stood upright on strong hind legs, balanced by a thick straight tail.

The narrator delivers these lines in the chapter, "The Tour," just before the animal described above jumps into Tim's arms. The animal is a baby velociraptor, but the description is the same as the one Tina gives of the "lizard" that attacks her earlier in the novel. At this point in the book, that lizard is identified first as a basilisk lizard and then, by Grant, as a compy. The above description, however, alerts us to the possibility that Tina was attacked by a young velociraptor. Later, when Lex spots several baby raptors on board a supply ship headed to the mainland, we can be certain that some of the creatures have made it onshore. This is again confirmed by the reports at the end of the novel of lizards migrating into the jungle, eating lysine-rich crops on the way, which will enable them to breed. At the end of the novel, we are left with the chilling knowledge that a population of raptors, the most lethal of the novel's dinosaurs, is likely living in the jungles of mainland Costa Rica.