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Jurassic Park's Scientific Accuracy - The ultimate thread

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NoobMember0 XPJun-14-2014 12:08 AM

I know that this is nothing new, and probably a boring and overdiscussed discussion, but I have been browsing the net and found nothing on Jurassic Park's paleontological accuracy that would satisfy me. That being said, I figure I'd start it.

This discussion is dedicated to discussing the accuracy of the dinosaurs and other prehistoric critters of past, present and possible future films, making comparisons between films and the fossil record, as well as citing newer, more radical theories.

Let's start with:

Tyrannosaurus - Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. We know T.rex's visual acuity isn't based on movement. In fact, scientists now claim that the Tyrant Lizard has better visual acuity than modern raptors (that's birds of prey to you). Other than that, I'd say the Tyrannosaur in the JP films are pretty accurate, save for the arm being a bit too long and slender, and that human-esque hindlimbs.

Velociraptor - Frankly, I'm tired of hearing people saying that the raptors are the most innacurate re-creation, citing the blunt snout and larger physique. I disagree. It's really quite obvious that the raptors in the film are based more on its close relative, Deinonychus antirrhopus. Therefore, I will mainly compare JP's 'Velociraptor antirrhopus' with its true real life counterpart 'D. antirrhopus'. 

Well, aside from the lack of feathers, and the ability to pronate their frontlibs (making their palms face the ground) I'd say the 'Velociraptors' are really quite accurate. As for their intelligence, the fossil record cannot predict how high their I.Q really was, so we can only speculate that real 'raptors' are as smart as JP claimed they were.

Spinosaurus - The big bad for JP III, I think Spinosaurus was depicted rather innacurately. Granted, the film was made before we had pieced together the evidence, as Spinosaurus was a very obscure theropod. The skull of JP's Spinosaurus looks like it was based on its close cousin Suchomimus. If you compare the heads of JP Spinosaurus and Suchomimus' skull, you'll see what I mean. Dentary shape and position and even the snout ratio looks quite identical. JP III's Spinosaurus also looked way to 'stocky', I imagine, based on fossil fragments and reconstructions, a real Spinosaurus would be more gracile and slender to aid it on its mainly aquatic lifestyle.

Brachiosaurus - Most people would point these out: Brachiosaurus can't stand on its hindlimbs, it couldn't chew its food like a cow, etc. Hell, some people even went as far as saying that the entire Sauropod clade couldn't sneeze, as the pressure would build up due to its extreme neck length, causing their tiny heads to explode! Personally, I think the sauropods, primarily Brachiosaurus, of the franchise are quite inacurate. I have to agree with what most people had to say. Additionally, Brachiosaurus probably did not have the vocal flexibility to create melodious, whale-like calls it made during its appearances on film. Instead, they would have probably made deeper, simpler grunts and bellows (though I prefer the whale-like calls, it sounded so beautiful).

Stegosaurus - Not much to say here, save for its gigantic size (Stegosaurus could never have grown into the size depicted in TLW, way too large for any Stegosaurus species).

Dilophosaurus - Another favourite for criticising JP's accuracy, the midget, venom spiitting, frill raising Dilophosaurus of the franchise made many raise an eyebrow or two. To me, the films meant to depict the Dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park as a juvenile, hence the shorter snout, smaller stature, and innacurate crest to head ratio. But I could be wrong, and the Dilophosaurus from JP are nothing more that simply Spielberg and Stan Winston having a little bit of fun.

Pteranodon - Another blatantly innacurate depiction (Jurassic Park III seems to have a lot of these) the 'toothless flier' had teeth in JP III, hence rendering the name 'Pteranodon' hypocritical. The film also depicted the Pteros snatching prey with their feet, which in reality are far too weak for carrying anything above a few kilograms. The beak was too straight, the lack of fur-like coverings, etc. In short, the JP III Pteranodon looked more like a B-movie monster than a well-researched representation. (I liked the TLW cameo, though.)

Tylosaurus - Since Jurassic Park: The Game is considered canon, I felt that we need to address this creature. The mosasaur form JP:TG was one of the biggest surprises of the game, I have to say, but it was also quite inaccurate. First of all the scales. Due to living underwater for its entire life, having jagged scales and keratinous spines along its back and tail will prove disadvantageous for it. A sea-dweller needs to be more slender, and stremalined, to allow smoother and more efficient cruising under the waves. The JP:TG mosasaur also had a symmetrical, paddle like tail. We now know that mosasaurs had a tail not dissimiliar to modern day sharks, albeit inverted. This means a second, distinct lobe was supposed to be present above the bottom lobe, forming a tail fin. 

So that's that. I'm sure I missed a lot of things, so that's why this discussion was created in the first place, to discuss and debate on the accuracy of the franchise. Feel free to say anything within the topic, cite any research or articles, or just speak your mind, or forever hold your peace.



9 Responses to Jurassic Park's Scientific Accuracy - The ultimate thread


NoobMember0 XPJun-14-2014 6:59 AM

the dilophosaurus is debated if it had a frill or not

but all of this can be explained because there not 100% pure dinosaurs

Evacuate?, Godzilla is just a Legend!-Woman in GMK

Sci-Fi King25

2KMember4297 XPJun-14-2014 7:30 AM

I agree with the not pure dinosaur thing, but it's been proven that Dilophosaurus didn't have a frill.


Another Tyrannosaurus inaccuracy: In reality, the hands faced each other, but in JP, they faced the ground.

“Banana oil.”- George Takei, Gigantis: The Fire Monster


NoobMember0 XPJun-14-2014 9:35 AM

Well this may sound blunt but here it is, this thread is completely irrelevant. You put a lot of thought into it and was brilliantly presented, well done on that but, the creatures themselves are not the same as their prehistoric counterparts because they are different organisms altogether. The "theme park monsters" created by INGEN are not accurate because they are completely different, the animals are not genetically the same, the pteranodons for example are far heavier than their real life  life predecessors and I have heard some people go as far as to say that these monsters are just genetically enhanced commodities that are labelled dinosaurs and called certain species because they attain portions of their prehistoric counterparts DNA. Im sorry if I sound so mean right now! Long day! But there's my opinion. 

How far can we push nature before it pushes back?

Rex Fan 684

NoobMember0 XPJun-14-2014 11:02 AM

I have nothing to say except well done. This list is very accurate in my opinion. The only thing you missed was the young T.rex from TLW was featherless. There's a good chance they had feathers. But besides that, I think you got everything.

"Men like me don't start the wars. We just die in them. We've always died in them, and we always will. We don't expect any praise for it, no parades. No one knows our names." ―Alpha-98

Something Real

LegendMember5639 XPJun-14-2014 11:57 PM

REDTIGER243 - This is a very compelling list you've put together! As a whole. it looks very solid and well-presented. Of course, I can't make many specualtions as we know very little about what dinosaurs were actually like when they still lived upon the world. For all we know, the T-Rex could have flown! That notion is so unlikely as to be ludicrous, but bone can only tell us so much. Regardless, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us; this was very interesting! :)


NoobMember0 XPJun-15-2014 8:50 PM

I feel that this explains the JP raptors pretty well:

Here, have a waffle (-'.')-#


NoobMember1 XPJun-16-2014 1:09 PM

I can't see the resemblance between spino and sarco's heads. The velociraptors in JP are more of the size of utahraptor. I think Ptranodon could've carried prey in its claws, maybe not all that large though.

Youre fat, and I'm not sugarcoating it cause you'd probably eat that too.

Rex Fan 684

NoobMember0 XPJun-16-2014 5:34 PM

The "Velociraptors" were about 5-6 ft tall and 9-13 ft long in JP. Deinonychus is anywhere between 5-6 ft tall and 9-13 ft long too. So, I'd say they're pretty close to Deinonychus, although they're certainly border line.

"Men like me don't start the wars. We just die in them. We've always died in them, and we always will. We don't expect any praise for it, no parades. No one knows our names." ―Alpha-98


NoobMember0 XPJun-18-2014 1:04 AM

@Evan123I guess we can all agree that the "themepark monsters" inside the Jurassic Park universe are not accurate represenations of the real dinosaurs.

But this thread is informative anyway because I bet most people who watched the movies and are NOT hardcore dinosaur fans would take the information as accurate simply because the movie universe presents them that way.

After all, no one in the movie said "Hey, hang on, that Velociraptor is a bit too big, don't you think? Looks more like a Deinonynchus to me."

Too bad we still don't know much about the actual behaviour of dinosaurs...

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