12/05/2013

We recently featured some of the dinosaur misinformation spread by Jurassic Park. But even with its flaws, most paleontologists were thrilled with how the movie brought dinosaurs to life. Much of what scientists believed was based on the idea that dinosaurs were big lizards. We now know dinosaurs are a unique species with more in common with birds than lizards. Here are six dinosaurs myths that Jurassic Park helped dispel.

1. Sauropods Lived on Land - It was once believed large dinosaurs like the brachiosaurus were so huge that they had to live in the water. This was later disproven by scientists when they realized the water pressure would have crushed their chestsJurassic Park showed the brachiosaurus walking on land, like it should be.

2. Dinosaurs Raised Their Tails - Both artwork and movies often showed dinosaurs dragging their tails around. This was an idea quickly disputed by anatomy. Jurassic Park showed the dinosaurs with raised and flexible tails.

3. T-Rex Stood Horizontal - The first Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was shown standing upright. In reality, scientists now believe the T-Rex stood horizontal with its tail balancing its head. Jurassic Park showed the T-Rex with the proper pose.
The Wrong Pose of the T-Rex
4. Dinosaurs Were Smart - Another holdover from the "giant lizard" theory is that dinosaurs were stupid. There was even a theory that dinosaurs were so dumb that they had to have two brains just to control their bodies. In reality, dinosaurs varied in intelligenceJurassic Park showed dinosaurs behaving with intelligence, which is quite possible with their relative brain sizes. Jurassic Park also showed dinosaurs with complex behavior including hunting in packs and herding.

5. Dinosaurs Were Fast - Dinosaurs were thought to be slow moving like lizards, too slow to catch up to the nimble birds and mammals. Also stop motion animation couldn't move quickly, so people thought of them as lumbering Goliaths. Jurassic Park showed them as fast moving creatures.

6. Dinosaurs Hunted at Night - It was once believed dinosaurs would be too sluggish to move at night. Again, this comes from the idea that dinosaurs were coldblooded lizards. Scientists now know dinosaurs were warmblooded, and believe there were nocturnal predators among the dinosaurs. Much of Jurassic Park's dinosaur attacks occurred at night with ferocious speed and ferocity.

What facts did you learn from Jurassic Park? Do you think Jurassic Park was good or bad for dinosaurs?

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9 comments:

Roderick T Faulkner said...

It's satisfying to know Jurassic Park did get some of the science right because it remains one of my favorite films!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Most of that I'd heard before the movie came out, so I was glad they were accurate with the representation. However, I still don't believe dinosaurs had feathers. Not sure who came up with that idea.

MedeiaSharif said...

Interesting stuff.


Jurassic Park definitely made me afraid of dinosaurs.

DAVID WALSTON said...

A giant chicken!

DAVID WALSTON said...

Makes sense. The idea that they were all "pea" brains is kind absurd.

Pat Dilloway said...

In another 20 years probably this entire list will be invalidated.

Rusty Carl said...

PT is probably right, but I do appreciate that they did the best they could with the info they had available at the time. Man, it seems like that movie came out just recently. I suppose its been a few decades now. Time flies.

Nigel Mitchell said...

They've actually found quite a few dinosaurs with preserved feathers, and others have been found with quill knobs, the anchor points for feathers on the bones
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feathered_dinosaur

Nisse Söderström said...

My favorite part of JP is when they stand still cause then the T-Rex cant see them. I would imagine trees to be standing still a lot, something T-Rexes then probably would have some great troubles with ...:P

Great article! More dinosaurs stuff! Btw, isnt it high time for a Dino-Riders movie? Wheres my petition?

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