Is ‘Jurassic World’ Scientifically Accurate? The Experts Weigh In
Jurassic World may be enjoying a record-breaking run at the box office, but the film is also causing a bit of controversy in the scientific community.
Judging The Science Of Jurassic World
Assessing the scientific accuracy of Jurassic World is somewhat strange, especially considering the film’s villainous creature is a hybrid dinosaur, created in the film, named Indominus Rex.
In the film, scientists build Indominus Rex by mixing the genes of a T. rex, velociraptor and other dinosaurs with tree frogs and cuttlefish, something many scientists have agreed is impossible, if only for the fact that we lack access to dinosaur DNA. However, the technology used to splice genes from a variety of animals could be on the horizon.
In fact, paleontologist Jack Horner, who consulted on all of the Jurassic Park films, including Jurassic World, believes science is getting close to figuring out a way to genetically engineer dinosaurs back into existence, though not quite as depicted in the film. Instead of making a patchwork of animal DNA, Horner explained that there could be a way to reverse engineer dinosaurs from their descendants: chickens.
“Dinosaurs had long tails, arms and hands – and through evolution they’ve lost their tails, and their arms and hands have turned into wings. Additionally, their whole snout has changed from the velociraptor-look to the bird-like beak morphology,” Horner explained.
In fact, scientist Bhart-Anjan Bhullar has successfully implemented this theory and was reportedly able to reverse the evolution of a chicken to produce a bird with a dinosaur-like snout.
This chicken to dinosaur relationship makes even more sense when considering the number one paleontologist complain about Jurassic World: the dinosaurs’ lack of feathers.
“We now know that species like Velociraptor and Gallimimus would have had feathers, and this would likely have been true for other theropods as well, including Tyrannosaurus. This remains the largest failing of the movie because its absence is very visual, and because it undermines one of the greatest paleontological discoveries of the last several decades – that birds are in fact dinosaurs,” noted Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.