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Re: The Lost World errata



In the Reply to message dated 95-09-26 09:35:29 EDT, jpoling@infinet.com 
(Jeff Poling) writes:
 ----------
>From: dinosaur
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: The Lost World errata
Date: Thursday, September 28, 1995 12:31PM

In a message dated 95-09-26 09:35:29 EDT, jpoling@infinet.com (Jeff Poling)
writes:

>   T. rex eyesight being based on movement was Spielberg's attempt to work 
a
>plot device from the book into the movie.  In the book, the hadrosaurs (at
>the very least, maybe other dinos as well) could not see Grant and the kids
>unless they moved.  This was explained as being the result of their DNA
>being blended with amphibian DNA (the implication being, I guess, that
>amphibian eyesight is based on movement).
>
>

Since the dino DNA was blended with amphibian DNA, then what we have in
_Jurassic Park_ are not dinosaurs but dinosaur-amphibian chimaeras. Thus,
even though it looked like a _Tyrannosaurus rex_, it really wasn't a
_Tyrannosaurus rex_, just a newly minted life-form genetically designed to
resemble one. So all inferences about the behavior of real, Mesozoic
dinosaurs deduced from the behavior of the dino-chimaeras in the Park are
inherently flawed. Why none of the characters--particularly the
scientists--in the books or the movie ever makes this clear must have to do
with the commercial aspects of the project (either the fictional Jurassic
Park project or the real Crichton-Spielberg Jurassic Park "project"). Or
maybe the author just didn't think it through?
 
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While it has been a while since my genetics days at Penn State, my 
understanding is that DNA from, say, Chimpanzees is very similar (like 90 % 
similar) to human DNA.  Amphibian DNA is probably very similar to Dinosaur 
DNA.  Who knows the percentage equivalence.  I don't. Close enough for 
fiction.

In my opinion, there are two flaws in the scene where the Raptor eggs are 
found.  One, the example of sex change given (some African frogs) is from 
male to female, not the other way round.

Two,  since "...all animals are inherently female...",  I find it believable 
that a male could revert to a female, but implausible that a female could be 
converted, after conception, to a male.

I think Nova's piece on the challenges science would actually face trying to 
create dinosaurs using the methods described in Jurassic Park is very well 
done.

As far as the movement issue, perhaps they should have stayed with the 
Dinosaurs are birds theory and base the behavior on modern raptors.  Who 
knows.  I felt that they just threw that in their.  I don't remember it from 
the book.

Jerry Straut