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Re: Scientific errors in Jurassic World

On 6/10/2015 6:03 AM, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

"We have to judge the movie aspect of the movie on its own merits.'

However, we need to understand that the movie's own merits is to make profit, big profit domestically and even bigger profit overseas. Everything else is secondary or irrelevant. I'm not saying that is wrong, just that we have to realize and accept that. No other metric counts in the movie's frame of reference.

DML readers may be disappointed and frustrated with the movie but we are a miniscule population whose complaints can simply be ignored. This will be neither the last nor the worst of the franchise. See it for laughs, just as you would watch the 1950s classic "Robot Monster" (which may actually be a more enjoyable film).


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of 
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 7:12 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu; tholtz@umd.edu
Subject: Scientific errors in Jurassic World

Based on trailers only, I assume we could come up with these:

1.) Lack of feathers in "velociraptors" and ornithomimids

2.) Inaccurate anatomy of velociraptors, ornithomimids (esp. hands), stegosaurs 
(tail dragging), sauropods and tyrannosaurus
The Gallimimus also has teeth, based on photos of the models in some of the 
kids books.

3.) Impossibility of cloning mosasaurs (no blood sucking insect in amber for 
sea-living creatures)
Various in-universe YouTube videos reveal that they have moved passed the 
mosquito-based techniques. So they must have resurrected
it using one of their newer techniques.

A more probable problem with the whale-sized mosasaur: although we don't have 
good growth curves for mosasauroids yet, it is
unlikely they grew at dinosaurian rates. So it probably would take 50 or more 
years to get a mosasaur this big.

4.) Superpterosaurs lifting people (and without pycno-fibrils)

5.) Pitoresque "Indominus rex", impossible hybrid
I do not have a problem with the idea of the hybrid, since it is very very very 
very clear since the first trailer that this is a
genetically modified supermonster and not a dinosaur. And, it is very VERY VERY 
VERY VERY VERY clear since the first trailer that
reasonable people consider its creation a very bad idea...

6.) Impossibility of "training" and even "using" deinonychosaurs
Not an error at all. The in-universe dromaeosaurids are shown to be highly 
intelligent and having a dominance hierarchy. People
thinks this makes them "badasses", but really these are precisely the 
properties that make animals trainable: the human winds up
inserting themselves as the "alpha female".

More generally, many types of birds imprint on a parent, even if the "parent" 
is another species. So if Chris Pratt's character
trained these (especially from hatching), it is not unreasonable.

We have to judge the movie aspect of the movie on its own merits. It is 
possible to be scientifically accurate but still have a good
film. So we'll find out in a few days.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu         Phone: 301-405-4084
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Office: Geology 4106
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Phone: 301-405-9695
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Office: Centreville 1216
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                         Department of Geology
                         Building 237, Room 1117
                         University of Maryland
                         College Park, MD 20742 USA