Clever Girls

10 Lies The Jurassic Movies Told Us About Dinosaurs

There’s real dinosaurs. And then there’s “Jurassic” dinosaurs.


“In Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcom famously said “life… finds a way,” but when it comes to the scientific accuracy of this franchise, perhaps the more appropriate quote would be “lies… find a way.” With Jurassic World: Dominion surely about to add some more scientific inaccuracies to the mix, here are ten of the biggest paleontology errors in the Jurassic series.


Jurassic Lie #10: Mosasaurus is Way Too Big

Real specimens of mosasaurs were just shy of 13 meters long. But the one in Jurassic World (2015). looks to be upwards of 30 meters long and then close to 75 meters long in the sequel! For comparison, a blue whale, the largest animal of all time, is 30 meters long.

Jurassic Lie # 9: Pteranodons Don’t Do That

In both Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, pteranodons — flying reptiles that technically aren’t dinosaurs but whatever— are seen grabbing humans with their talons. One problem: Pteranodons didn’t have eagle-like talons. They had small feet used for walking, not grabbing.

Jurassic Lie #8: Spinosaurus Vs. T-Rex

Jurassic Park III tried to convince us that Spinosaurus was a bigger badass than T-Rex. Spinosaurus was indeed bigger than T. Rex. But badder? Spinosaurus is thought to have primarily been a river-dwelling dinosaur that hunted fish and other aquatic prey.

Jurassic Lie #7: Cloning Wouldn’t Work

Crichton’s explanation for cloning dinosaurs is cool, but it fundamentally wouldn’t work. To have enough genetic material needed to recreate a dinosaur, you would need far more DNA than you would find in the belly of a mosquito trapped in amber.

Jurassic Lie #6: “Don’t move!”

In the first Jurassic Park, Grant tells the kids that the T.rex has a “vision based on movement..” But, one study makes a convincing case that T. rex had better eyesight than humans do (at least) and possibly had better vision than a bird of prey. Eyes like a hawk? More like eyes like a T. rex.

Jurassic Lie #5: We Got a Spitter Here!

The depiction of dilophosaurus, the dinosaur that kills Dennis Nedry in the first Jurassic Park is easily the most egregious scientific inaccuracy in the whole franchise. They didn’t spit. Those neck frills didn’t exist. We got a fake spitter here! Nobody cares.

Jurassic Lie # 4: Must Go Faster

Ian Malcolm hurriedly and famously said “must go faster” as a T. rex chased down his speeding Jeep. The scientific consensus for a very long time had the T.Rex running at 30 MPH. But, now, paleontologists think it was much slower. So maybe they could have slowed down?

Jurassic Lie # 3: T-Rex Roar

The Jurassic T. rex’s awesome roar — created by combining the sounds of a baby elephant, a tiger, and an alligator and playing with the pitch and speed — is classic. But, various studies suggest that they made more of a rumbling sound with a closed mouth.

Jurassic Lie #2: Feathers

Jurassic World: Dominion introduces the first truly feathered (and scientifically accurate) dinosaur to the franchise in the form of a pyroraptor after flirting with the idea in Jurassic Park III. But, to be honest, lots of dinosaurs should’ve been depicted with feathers the whole time. Even back in 1993, the designers knew better.

Jurassic Lie #1: Velociraptor Size

This is the big one! While there were raptors that were human-sized, like the utahraptor, the actual velociraptors were about the size of a turkey. A turkey! Basically, everything about velociraptors in all Jurassic movies is wrong because Crichton based them off of another type of dinosaur, Deinonychus, and then just used the velociraptor name instead because it sounded cooler. He wasn’t wrong!


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