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Re: T.rex



>I guess you and the rex think alike, regarding inanimate objects (jeeps)
>as potential adversaries. I wonder if she also bellows at rocks and trees?

In point of fact, most animals have evolved "threat displays" which are
employed when facing adversaries of unknown capabilities.  We can presume
that a 'rex could tell the jeep was a "new thing" and a tree wasn't, and
to be insecure when facing one.  The threat display would be quite definitive
normally - perform it, and a prey animal will run, and a non-prey animal
will perform its own threat display, or one of submission.  The jeep did
none of the above, which would be confusing to any predator in the 'rex's
position.

>I remember her bellowing once to try
>to frighten one of the people into running. This was because her vision
>wouldn't register stationary prey, which seems very unlikely

One of the many weirdities in the book.  We can presume the ocular deficiencies
in the book (which were carried over into the movie without comment) were due
to the use of frog DNA - all visual problems shown were similar to normal
frog vision, which is almost literally inoperative until a moving object has
passed the retinal prescanners and been identified as a non-background motion
implying food or a threat.  Tests on frogs show the optic nerve remains quiet
no matter what the frog is looking at until some sort of threat or food is
presented.  This is utter nonsense in dinosaurs (vegetarian dinosaurs as
depicted in the book would quickly starve to death since the reflex to eat
could not be triggered, nor could the dinosaur eat something not in motion
if it were.  Presumeably a 'rex's vision would be at least as good as a
'raptor.  One of the many places where Crichton did not think things through.

But the thing that bugged me the most about the movie was taking the perfectly
satisfactory dinosaurs from real prehistoric fossils and replacing two of them
with funky hollywoodized mutants.  The 'raptor was saved from utter stupidity
only by the fortuitous discovery of utahraptor, which was at least the right
size, though the head configuration was quite different, but - oh! - what they
did to the poor dilophosaurus.  I could have bought the "discovery" of a
poisonous bite or even of spitting in an appropriately-sized dinosaur - OR
even the neck-frill.  But certainly not both at once _combined_ with a drastic
size reduction, it just wasn't a dilophosaur when they were done with it.  If
they really had to have such an improbable creature, they should have based
it on something else, or even just given it a plausible scientific name and note
that it was "never found in the fossil record, a surprise found in an ancient
mosquito left for us here - in Jurassic Park".  But no, just swipe the name,
most people will never know the difference.  Like the stupid D&D "rust monster"
with the propellor beanie tail that's been showing up in plastic dinosaur
blister packs for years before the movie caused all the makers to revamp their
product lines - though I found another one in Toy-R-Us just a few months ago.
Argh!

Larry Smith
larrys@alpha.zk3.dec.com