“Jurassic World” made us wish dinosaurs were still roaming the earth while also making us grateful that they went extinct over 66 million years ago. On one hand, few sights would be more awe-inspiring than witnessing a live Brachiosaurus wander by. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine anything more terrifying than coming face to face with a Velociraptor or Tyrannosaurus rex. If these movies have taught us anything, it’s that cloning dinosaurs and showcasing them in a wildlife park sounds like a promising business venture on paper. In the end, though, playing God would probably come back to bite us… quite literally.
Despite their best efforts, scientists have never been able to successfully extract ancient dino DNA from mosquitoes preserved in amber. Jack Horner, who served as a scientific adviser on the “Jurassic” films and even provided inspiration for Dr. Alan Grant, has ruled out the possibility of cloning dinosaurs due to the lack of intact DNA. Cloning a woolly mammoth would theoretically prove more practical. Horner and various other researchers have offered an intriguing alternative, however.
Since the first “Jurassic Park” hit theaters back in 1993, it’s been discovered that many dinosaurs actually had feathers and birds likely descended from the theropod group of dinosaurs. Through genetic engineering, it may be possible to modify a chicken to look like its dinosaur ancestors. A “Chickenosaurus” if you will. Scientists have already managed to turn a chicken’s beak into a dinosaur’s snout , although that’s just one step forward. There are several other essential building blocks that would go into making a hybrid dinosaur, including the tail, teeth, and hands. Nevertheless, it would appear that life is slowly finding a way. So, now’s as good a time as any to seriously ask ourselves, “what if Jurassic World was real?”
It seems like the fatal flaw in every “Jurassic” movie lies in the park’s inability to keep the dinosaurs under control. Honestly, though, this could easily be prevented with better security and cages. Even in a worst-case scenario, real dinosaurs wouldn’t act exactly like the ones Steven Spielberg and company cooked up. For starters, Pteranodons lack the strength required to lift a human being, meaning nobody would meet a fate quite like Claire’s most unfortunate assistant. Dr. Grant’s claim that a Tyrannosaurus can’t see you if you don’t move has also been widely contested, as the T-Rex apparently had great vision and a strong sense of smell. If these prehistoric beasts were to break free from their cages, we can take comfort in knowing that no animal hunts purely for sport. So if you stay in a van with the windows rolled up, a T-Rex probably wouldn’t go out of its way to attack or eat you.
One of the more interesting concepts introduced in “Jurassic World” is training dinosaurs. What human wouldn’t want to form a bond with a raptor akin to Owen and Blue’s relationship? Ornithologist Joel Cracraft weighed in on the probability of actually domesticating a raptor, specifying that it might be possible if trained from a young age. Making eye contact to assert dominance, rewarding them with food, and mimicking raptor sounds would all likely play key factors in the training process. That being said, they’re still wild animals and you never know when that killer instinct may kick in. Training a raptor to maintain order at the park is one thing, but don’t count on ever being able to take one home as a pet.
In 2018, Universal Studios Hollywood announced that “Jurassic Park: The Ride” would be turned into a “Jurassic World” attraction. If dinosaurs were ever brought out of extinction, it wouldn’t be surprising if Universal upgraded the ride once again with actual prehistoric creatures on display. They could even revamp a section of Universal Studios with dinosaur- themed attractions. Instead of an island in Central America, Jurassic World could be built right in California, much like the San Diego dinosaur zoo proposed in “The Lost World.” With life imitating art, Universal would likely leap at the opportunity to bring things full circle. Only time will tell, however, if it would be a park worth endorsing.
Would you want Jurassic World to be real?