‘Jurassic Park’ Star Arrives in Santa Barbara

Hollywood’s Famed Velociraptor Enshrined at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

“Stop. Don’t move,” Nikita Gruzdev warns me. “If you move, he’ll see you and could attack!”

<strong>FRIGHTFUL FUN:</strong> Nikita Gruzdev is wowed by the velociraptor.
Click to enlarge photo

Carolina Starin

FRIGHTFUL FUN: Nikita Gruzdev is wowed by the velociraptor.

That was my 5-year-old son’s nerve-racked reaction to meeting Jurassic Park’s velociraptor for the first time. The original mold of the starring dinosaur in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 prehistoric drama was recently acquired by the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum on Anapamu Street. The 75-million-year-old dinosaur’s likeness is now the centerpiece of a new fossil-focused exhibit that also includes a nest of nine dinosaur eggs with shells intact; a 250-million-year-old aquatic reptile from the Permian Period that supports the Continental Drift Theory; and feathers and drawings of dinosaurs that reflect the growing scientific theory that 90 percent of dinosaurs had feathers.

After a short paleontological study of the exhibit, Nikita began trusting the velociraptor model and stopped to admire its sturdy legs, long claws curling off its front limbs, and rows of serrated teeth. “This guy would actually make a pretty cool pet,” my son opined. “But you’d definitely have to train him a little first.”

Admission is free to the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum at 21 West Anapamu Street. See for museum hours.

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