It’s been a week since Colin Trevorrow ‘s Jurassic World opened worldwide and the film is already an undeniable success. Dinosaurs rule the cinema once again, with the film smashing box office records both globally and in the U.S. alike. Jurassic World has proven that humanity’s fascination with extinct creatures such as the Tyrannosaurus rex never wavered.
With that fascination comes curiosity and Dr. Jack Horner, paleontologist and film adviser on all of the Jurassic Park films, has been at the forefront of educating audiences about the science behind dinosaurs. Dr. Horner revealed the real-life possibility of creating transgenic creatures to build up excitement for the movie, while Universal Pictures released a featurette detailing his work on creating the Indominus Rex. Now Dr. Horner has teamed up with Jurassic World star Chris Pratt and Youtube channel Vsauce to further explain dinosaurs and their role in modern society.
You can watch that discussion in the video above.
Video host Michael Stevens conducts the interviews, with Chris Pratt opening up the discussion through the humorous quips we’d expect, before Dr. Horner dispenses the facts. It’s a style that suits both interviewees and allows the discussion to range from fossilized excrement to the living descendants of dinosaurs.
While largely played for laughs, the video offers some good scientific insight into the extinct creatures as well as speculation about what makes them so fascinating. Dr. Horner dispels the myth that oil comes from dinosaur fossils and shares some of his experience with coprolites (fossilized dung). However, the most interesting aspect of the interview is perhaps the revelation that humanity will never be able to bring dinosaurs ‘back.’
Any dinosaurs humanity manages to create will be reverse engineered from birds, not dinosaur DNA encased in amber like in the Jurassic Park movies. As such, those ‘dinosaurs’ will essentially be works of fiction separate from the extinct creatures of the past, much as the various “biological attractions” at Jurassic World aren’t “real” dinosaurs either.
This lends a surprising level of credibility to the depictions in the Jurassic Park series. Scientists now believe that most real dinosaurs were covered in feathers and had distinctly bird-like features. However, the mighty T-Rex loses some of its intensity if it’s ruffling its feathers rather than roaring. It would make sense that the scientists on Isla Nublar would skip the feathers and up the intimidation factor on their dinos. It’s an unnecessary justification, but one that ultimately helps the movie sit easier with the scientifically-minded outcriers.
Jurassic World – starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, and Vincent D’Onofrio, among others – is now playing in theaters worldwide.