Raptor. Even the word is cool. Just the sound of it sends shivers down the spine, even if the meaning is unclear.
Debates about evolution v. creation aside, these are creatures that HUNT. Owls are raptors. Hawks, ospreys, eagles - they're all raptors. Those beaks and claws can rip into things like nothing else. But the most dramatic representation of raptors came in the film "Jurassic Park."
Remember the velociraptor in the beginning, when Sam Neill described to the obnoxious child exactly how the velociraptors behaved? It sounded creepy even then.
But later in the film, when they got loose and started hunting the people, the creep factor escalated exponentially.
I have a theory about why so many people were fascinated by them - and to some extent, still are. I think it's because mammals were prey animals. Maybe it's still coded somewhere in our DNA to be fearful of things that can rip us to bits and start eating us while we're still alive.
Either way, it works well for authors and filmmakers. It'll be interesting to see how well Jurassic Park does now that it's come out again on the big screen in 3-D.
See you tomorrow!