Sounds Used for the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park are Tortoises Mating

By now I think that many of us know that sounds in movies come from a multitude of areas.   Sometimes when you see someone walking on the ground in a horror movie, it’s really the sound of sneakers crunching potato chips.   What you think is the sound of someone chewing food could really be people mashing up toys in a blender.   Sound mixing and editing is an art and it’s what makes certain creatures and beings give off the amazing sounds they do.

One of the most interesting movies when it came to producing sound was Jurassic Park.  Since we don’t officially know what dinosaurs sounded like, a lot of historical research and improvisation was required.  But perhaps no sound was more interesting and with a hilarious backstory than the Velociraptor.

Check out this excerpt from a Vulture article that ran in 2013

The intelligent raptors appear to have their own simple language, and it turns out that it’s the language of love. “It’s somewhat embarrassing, but when the raptors bark at each other to communicate, it’s a tortoise having sex,” said Rydstrom. “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.”

Still, that wasn’t the only animal element used to create the raptor noises. “When the raptor shows up in the door window in the kitchen, the breathing noise is a horse,” said Rydstrom. “We used the horse in about three to four different dinosaurs.” What about the hiss that raptor makes when it ambushes the game warden Muldoon (which prompts him to mutter, “Clever girl”)? “That’s a goose. Birds make pretty raspy sounds, but geese are famous for being the nastiest. You’ve got to get a goose mad and then they hiss at you, and it doesn’t take much to get a goose mad because they seem to get mad at everything. All you have to do is get close to one and stick a mic near its beak and you’ll get that hiss, and that’s the hiss that Muldoon hears before he dies.”

Yup, tortoises mating. Here’s that sound again.

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