My Untestable Velociraptor Hypothesis

Photo: Heather Haupt Enos, taken on North Campus at Cornell University

I don’t really understand how this “guerrilla” bike lane art promotes bicycle riding or bicycle friendly driving behavior.

But, it did get me thinking about velociraptors on bicycles. Which, naturally, led to me wondering what I would do if bicycle riding velociraptors were overrunning my city (the most likely scenario leading to such regulation of velociraptor velocipeding). In particular, what if one of said pedaling raptors decided it had a taste for Josh, on the bone.

Could I kick a velociraptor’s ass?

My untestable velociraptor hypothesis is, “Yes, I could kick a velociraptor’s ass.” Provided a few qualifiers.

First, this is a straight up fight, not an ambush. If bicycling raptors are ambushing folks left and right, I’m holing up in my house like its the zombpocalypse.

Second, I get to have a baseball bat. You may think this is unfair, as the velociraptor only has the weapons granted to it by a few billion years of mutation, selection, and drift. Well, I say that tool use is one of the weapons granted to the this human by the self same processes. If this big-brained, bipedal primate doesn’t get tool use, Mr. Raptor doesn’t get serrated teeth and disembowling, toe scythes. Its only fair.

Size comparison of Velociraptor to a human. Each grid segment represents 1 square meter.' Based on an illustration by Matt Martyniuk. (Dinoguy2 - Creative Commons 2.5)

Your feeling that I may be getting cocky is most likely due to the inaccurate representation of velociraptors (Velociraptor mongoliensis) in Jurassic Park. Actual velociraptors might have been about 2m long; but they were only about half a meter high and maxed out at about 15kg – about the size of a turkey.

Your friendly neighborhood rugbyologist, on the other hand, is about 1.8m tall and weighs in at about 95kg – about the size of an American Black Bear.

I like my odds.

Size comparison of Deinonychus to a human. Each grid segment represents 1 square meter. (Creative Commons 2.5)

If, however, the dinosaur in question is Deinonychus (up to 3.5m long, 1m tall, and 75kg in weight – about the size of critters that successfully eat me)*, I’m screwed. Unless I can change my selection of tool to use from “baseball bat” to “Gatling gun”.

*Probably the actual raptor inspiration from Jurassic Park, but much harder to pronounce, let alone shorten into something cool like “raptor”. Being chased by the “Nychies” is not as scary, although it does open the door to interesting product placement.

Author: Josh Witten

5 thoughts on “My Untestable Velociraptor Hypothesis”

  1. Aluminum bat? Or are we limiting it to technology comparable to what wolud have been available to hunter-gatherers?

    1. I was going for minimal technology level that would make me feel rather confident, yet still have the fight be categorized as a melee. An aluminum bat would be harder for the velociraptor to grip with its teeth. I’m not particulalry concerned about what technology would have been available to hunter-gatherers for the simple reason that the amount of time separating us now from the last time most of our species lived as hunter-gatherers is nothing compared to the vast gulf of millions of years separating anything closely resembling our species from the dinosaurs.

      Essentially, I’m evaluating my odds in a Jurassic Park/time travel scenario.

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