With Jurassic World looming on the horizon, there has, understandably, been an increased attention paid to the previous installments of the franchise (the first three movies have been playing on a near-constant loop on TV). In all of these examinations of the extant films, one rather large plot hole has been unearthed that throws the whole saga into question. And it’s pretty obvious, as it’s in the title.
We’re willing to accept some scientific liberties in our films, but as the Huffington Post points out (shining light on a bit of information that has been bouncing around for years), the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are actually from the Cretaceous era, which is much more recent than the Jurassic. HP talked to paleontologist and Jurassic Park consultant Jack Horner about this very important matter, and he confirmed these reports, adding an explanation to boot:
The reason is the animals that sort of typify dinosaurs are ones that have lots of accouterments like spikes, horns, shields and so on, and so most of the ones with those kind of accouterments are from the Cretaceous.
The basic point here seems to be that they eschewed true scientific accuracy in favor of a cool sounding name. After all, Jurassic Park does sound better, and is easier to say, than Cretaceous Park, and, as far a the public goes, dinosaurs are the T-Rex, Triceratops, and the rest. You have to have the big hitters all present and accounted for.
Horner does go on to remark that, while it was known, this issue was never actually addressed on the set of Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking 1993 blockbuster. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter what you call it, or if the moniker is entirely accurate. After all, it’s just the name of a theme park, and the name selection for that was probably the same as it was for Michael Crichton’s novel, it just sounds cool. Horner goes on to add:
It doesn’t matter what you call the park. Calling it Jurassic Park doesn’t imply that the dinosaurs are from the Jurassic. It doesn’t imply anything really. It’s just the name of the park.
And while the Jurassic is still there, the Park has been thrown by the wayside now. The suits are thinking even bigger with the latest film, and we’ve got an entire Jurassic World to explore this time around. Set twenty plus years after the original, the new film picks up in a park that is very much open for business. Looking to boost attendance, they come up with a new genetic hybrid, the Indominous Rex, a combination of T-Rex, Velociraptor, snake, and cuttlefish DNA. Problem is, the new addition is vicious, whip smart, and escapes to wreak havoc all over the park, and it’s up to Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard to stop the creature. Good luck coming back from this one.
Jurassic World hits theaters next weekend on June 12.