When it comes to Jurassic World, science errors were likely to be inevitable. After all, even in the fictional universe of the story, Jurassic World’s dinosaurs were created by B.D. Wong’s character, geneticist Henry Wu, to not be natural in the first place. Issues like feathered dinosaurs may make some scientists cringe at Jurassic World’s science, but paleontologist Jack Horner thinks they are missing the point.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, some scientists believe genetically engineered dinosaurs could be a reality within a decade, although the same was said by some after the release of Jurassic Park about 20 years ago.
The main focus of the movie is the creation of the Indominus Rex, a fictional dinosaur that is completely genetically engineered from the ground up. But the movie itself even admits that it has science errors since the dinosaurs were engineered to appear how audiences expected them to be in real life.
For example, velociraptors are now claimed to be feathered dinosaurs about the size of a large turkey. Raptors must likely would have been targeting smaller lizards for their meals, not bigger prey like humans. In addition, they supposedly would not move like a wolf pack, although that’s a defining moment of the film.
Jack Horner provided advice to Steven Spielberg on the science of dinosaurs for all of the movies, and due to this fact some other scientists have criticized him. Horner believes these objections are misplaced.
“It’s a movie, a fictional movie. The last thing it needs to be is scientifically grounded,” said Horner, according to CBS. “Steven Spielberg and Colin and everybody were interested in at least having as much grounded as possible but without ruining the movie. They wanted the dinosaurs to be as accurate as possible. But once they are accurate looking, they become the actors and they obviously do thing that real animals wouldn’t do – like chasing people all over the place and breaking into buildings just to eat a person.”
For example, Jurassic World’s pterosaurs are capable of picking up humans and flying away, yet Horner admits “we don’t have any flying animals at any point in time that could pick up humans.” Other scientists who spoke to The Washington Post noted that pterosaurs’ “bones are like paper” and it would probably be easy to crush them in defense, or ring their necks since the neck bones are not thick.
Jurassic World’s science errors extend beyond that. For example, how do you extract the blood for an aquatic dinosaur like the mosasaur from a mosquito? The movie also focused heavily on practically every known dinosaur predator while herbivores were limited to scary dinosaurs well-known by the public. The environment itself was odd since dinosaurs did not live in rain forests, and even if they did it is likely that the bigger dinosaurs would have reshaped the landscape by pulling down trees left and right.
But Jurassic World is not all that bad since science trends seem to change every so many years. For example, it is completely in vogue to claim feathered dinosaurs now, but scientists at London’s Natural History Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada and Uppsala University in Sweden all believe the standard scaly dinosaur may be the reality for the majority of species.
“Using a comprehensive database of dinosaur skin impressions, we attempted to reconstruct and interpret the evolutionary history of dinosaur scales and feathers,” says Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum, according to FT Magazine. “Most of our analyses provide no support for the appearance of feathers in the majority of non-avian dinosaurs. Although many meat-eating dinosaurs were feathered, the majority of other dinosaurs, including the ancestor of all dinosaurs [about 230 million years ago], were probably scaly.”
Still, the lack of any feathered dinosaurs was fairly notable, so Jack Horner provided the reason why Jurassic World’s dinosaurs were plucked clean.
“We have to maintain consistency across movies. You can’t bring dinosaurs back in the first movie and not have feathers, and then bring back dinosaurs in the fourth movie WITH feathers. We just need to maintain the consistency and y’know, the raptors in Jurassic World are really cool. And I don’t think that missing feathers on their arms is going to take anything away from the movie…. A technicolor-feather-dinosaur is not as scary as the dinosaurs that are depicted in the movie.”
Regardless of Jurassic World’s science errors, Horner also believes a genetically engineered dinosaur is just a matter of time, but he also claims the first result will probably be something that’s hardly scary: a Chickenosaurus.
[Image via Universal]