I’m currently writing a research paper on paleontology and society’s views on dinosaurs. I can’t help but mention Jurassic Park and its inaccuracies, so before I get carried away and add every single detail in my research paper, I’m going to “let off the steam” here. If you’re interested… read on, reader!
So, for starters I’ll do the most obvious errors a dinosaur enthusiast would probably raise an eyebrow or two to. The Velociraptors. My god, the oh so clever raptors. If you were to meet a Velociraptor in real life by some unlikely course of event, you don’t have to be extremely terrified because they’re not AS fearsome as the Velociraptors in the movies. In reality, the Velociraptors were about three feet tall and covered in feathers. It wouldn’t be able to full on tackle an adult human without some help from its ‘pack.’ The Velociraptors in the movies actually closely resemble another raptor family member called Deinonychus (though it too was most likely covered in feathers). And although the dromaeosaur family (the real, formal name of the raptor family) was the smartest family of dinosaurs in history, they were still probably no smarter than your average bird, set aside smart enough to turn a door handle.
Next, the big guns: Tyrannosaurus and Spinosaurus. Indeed, Spinosaurus is the biggest theropod (bipedal carnivore) ever found whereas Tyrannosaurus is not even third largest. But as much as Spinosaurus had size, power and arms to its advantage… it probably wasn’t as deadly and totally badass as the third movie portrays. In the movie, the showdown between the Tyrannosaurus and Spinosaurus ended with the latter snapping the other’s neck ruthlessly. In actuality though, it’s highly unlikely a Spinosaurus would have been able to kill a Tyrannosaurus. Spinosaurus had a long, narrow jaw that was meant more for spearing fish and catching small dinosaurs… while the T-Rex had jaws that were built to crush bones. It had the strongest bite force of all dinosaurs, so the Spinosaurus would have been as good as dead as soon as the T-Rex grabbed a hold of its neck in its jaws. As much as this is one of my favorite Jurassic Park scenes of all time, the fight is pretty unrealistic to me when I think about it seriously. It’s like watching a Cheetah easily bring down a full grown, healthy male Lion.
In addition, I don’t see why the two predators would immediately fight. No matter how fearsome they were, carnivores wouldn’t risk their own health and lives when they could simply size each other up and scare the other away. Of course, there’s no definite proof for this nature, but it’s similar to today’s predators as well as common sense. And it’s unlikely a T-Rex would abandon a large, freshly killed prey to chase five measly humans. Like, come on.
Remember in the first movie, there was a small dinosaur that killed one of the characters in the car? Its name is Dilophosaurus and boy, the author of JP and movie creator really fucked this dinosaur up. Unlike what happened in the movie, there is absolutely no fossil evidence that Dilophosaurus had large frills nor evidence that it spat poison. To be fair/open minded, maybe the Dilophosaurus in the movie was a juvenile, but for information sake: Dilophosaurus was actually 20 feet long from head to tail and usually as tall as an average adult.
In the beginning of the first movie, the first dinosaur we encounter is a Brachiasaurus, and it does this magnificent move where it gets up on its hind legs to reach some green leaves on a tall tree and then lands on the ground with a thunderous sound. Yeah, in reality it would have seriously wounded itself from doing that. Them being able to do that is like a cow able to run down a hill naturally without hurting itself. It’s just physically, anatomically not possible. Their bone structures were way too stiff and sturdy to be able to do nimble moves. Imagine an elephant and do a comparative analysis; they’re similar in terms of size ratio and muscle movements.
As a final note: the title of the movie itself. Sure, some dinosaurs were from the Jurassic period, but majority of the movie dinosaurs (especially the top dogs Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Spinosaurus, etc.) were from the late Cretaceous era. So really it should be called Cretaceous Park. Doesn’t really have a ring to it though…
Well, that’s all I’ll put in this post. Regardless, the Jurassic Park movies truly were/are fantastic movies with realistic dinosaurs and the details were done marvelously. Props to Spielburg my favorite, favorite, favorite! It’s a classic movie for my dad and me, and we watch one of them whenever we have a lot of free time.