Di­nosaur movie a world away from sci­en­tific fact

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

IT IS only hoped that the “good in­cen­tive for aca­demic per­for­mance” (“Juras­sic thrill for next gen”, TB, 23/ 6) was in­tended as a re­ward/ bribe for the Year 7s view­ing Juras­sic World in 3D, and not as a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

It is just a pity that the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Steven Spiel­berg did not hire as a tech­ni­cal ad­viser one of the palaeon­tol­o­gists so crit­i­cal on so­cial media of the movie.

Even the zo­ol­o­gist in the 1999 BBC mock­u­men­tary Walk­ing with Di­nosaurs cap­tures his first di­nosaur, a mononykus, with a pil­low­case to show it had brightly coloured feath­ers.

When spec­u­la­tion was mount­ing about what new sci­en­tific the­o­ries would be ad­vanced in the cur­rent mon­ster/ mad sci­en­tist movie, the di­rec­tor tweeted “No feath­ers”.

There was, how­ever, the jux­ta­pos­ing of a black­bird and a slide viewer of pre­his­toric lizards in the open­ing scene and an un­in­tel­li­gi­ble com­men­tary about the evo­lu­tion of birds still play­ing in the evac­u­ated dis­play room un­der siege from the ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied mon­ster.

It is also de­bat­able whether it was nec­es­sary to cre­ate a new hy­brid gi­gan­tic di­nosaur in­domi­nus rex ex­cept to make the point con­sumers are in­sa­tiable in their de­sire for some­thing big­ger and bet­ter.

They ap­par­ently al­ready had feed­ing ses­sions with an apinosaurus ae­gyp­ti­a­cus, an aquatic preda­tor that was the big­gest to have ever ex­isted.

Two land- dwelling preda­tors larger than tyran­nosaurus rex were also known to have thrived, gi­gano­tosau­rus and spinosaurus. Like the rap­tors, these hunted in packs. Ev­i­dently they didn’t eat their sib­lings.

Juras­sic World is a self- re­flec­tive self- par­ody, very con­scious of its spinoff prod­ucts. Juras­sic World mer­chan- dise is now in toy de­part­ments in the form of plas­tic dilophosaurus, stegosaurus, and ptero­dactyl.

While Clive Palmer’s T- rex Jeff be­came ex­tinct af­ter an elec­tri­cal fire, it is mooted that the tyran­nosaurus rex may not have died out but evolved into one of the 10,000 species of birds alive to­day.

It is also claimed that we may have again a planet in­hab­ited with large rep­tiles and small mam­mals, as was the pat­tern pro­duced 55 mil­lion years ago with global warm­ing. WIL­LIAM ROSS,


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