3 big things “Jurassic World” got wrong

The Friday premiere of “Jurassic World” had paleontologists (and some regular movie-goers) groaning in disappointment. Some Indominus rex-sized inaccuracies can be seen throughout the film.

We get it – none of this is real. This is just a movie. But still. The release of the original “Jurassic Park” movie in 1993 informed and influenced public understanding of dinosaurs more than any other event ever. As strange as it may seem, the “Jurassic” franchise yields a lot of power. Unfortunately for us, that power was squandered in their latest installment. Here, we set the record straight:

Chris Pratt, playing dino wrangler Owen in "Jurassic World," helps calm down a gang of angry velociraptors. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Chris Pratt, playing dino wrangler Owen in “Jurassic World,” helps calm down a gang of angry velociraptors. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

1. Velociraptors actually have feathers

Director Colin Trevorrow was adamant about not including feathers in “World.” Still, paleontologists learned in 2007, after all three original “Jurassic” movies had been made, that the feisty carnivores were covered in feathers. In what can only be judged as an effort to adhere to continuity, the new film’s velociraptors are still scaly, snarling, over-sized beasts.

According to fossil records, the real little guys were actually about the size of a turkey, and lacked the facial muscles needed to create an angry snarl.

A mosasaur jumps out of the water for a quick bite in the "Jurassic World" trailer. Photo courtesy of Universal Studios.

A mosasaur jumps out of the water for a quick bite in the “Jurassic World” trailer. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

2. The mosasaur is not really a dinosaur 

Sorry folks. Despite their “Jurassic World” portrayal as killer whale-like creatures, these marine reptiles are actually closer to snakes and monitor lizards.

The real deal was also much less acrobatic – a mosasaur’s body mass would have been too big to allow it to jump straight out of a shallow pool, as shown in the movie trailer.

A pterosaur spreads his wings in the trailer for "Jurassic World." Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

A pterosaur spreads his wings in the trailer for “Jurassic World.” Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

3. Pterosaurs could not sweep you off your feet

At least this one is reassuring. In the trailer for “Jurassic World,” these winged dinos can be seen hauling screaming victims up by their shoulders and flying away with them. The probability of that happening in real life? Zero. Their tiny bodies could never support the weight.

Given the steps researches have made in the way of more accurate dinosaur information in the years since the original “Jurassic” films were made, you would think “Jurassic World” would have taken greater care in creating their prehistoric beasts. At least the general premise of the film wasn’t too far fetched – the idea that we can learn more about dino construction through genetic research is actually pretty spot-on.


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