nandi's blog

Paleontologists Unveil New Herbivore Dinosaur Found In New Mexico

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii

Fossils unearthed in southern Arizona about 20 years ago have recently been identified as the bones of a new species of dinosaur.

Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii, from the ceratopsid or horned dinosaur family, existed up to about 73 million years ago. It was named after the Fort Crittenden Formation in Tucson, Arizona where the fossils were found and the late Stan Krzyzanowski, a research associate at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.

Details of the discovery were published in the museum’s bulletin.

Discovery Of New Dinosaur Species

“We knew what kind of dinosaur it was, but we didn’t know it was that significant,” stated Spencer Lucas, a paleontology curator at the museum.

Krzyzanowski discovered two of the creatures back in the 90s at a mountain range in Arizona. In 2003, the researcher and his colleagues described the dinosaur in a study.

It had taken another 15 years before experts took one more look at the fossils and notice that they have stumbled upon a new species. Sebastian Dalman, also a research associate at the NMMNHS, explained that it was the dinosaur’s unique frills, the shield of bones on the side of its face, that caught their attention.

New Mexico Reveals New Dinosaur

The researchers behind the article said that the Crittendenceratops was a relative of the more popular Triceratops, but a lot smaller. The new dinosaur grew to about 11 feet long and was estimated to weight at around three-quarters of a ton.

In addition, the Triceratops lives at the end of the dinosaur era from 67 million to 65 million years ago. The Crittendenceratops lived until 73 million years ago.

According to the researchers, the new dinosaur thrived by the banks of a great lake along with mud turtles, alligators, duck-billed dinosaurs, and tyrannosaurs. Back then, Arizona was warm, wet, and had a rich environment where the Crittendenceratops found food.

While the dinosaur was thought to have evolved in Asia, it migrated and spread through much of western North America. Lucas, however, was surprised to know that bones of the animal were found so far south.

“Here we have one now way down in southern Arizona,” he stated. “We have added to the geographic range.”


Pterosaurs Had Four Types of Feathers, New Study Shows

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Reconstruction of one of the studied Yanliao Biota pterosaurs, with four different feather types over its head, neck, body, and wings, and a generally ginger-brown color. Image credit: Yuan Zhang.

Pterosaurs lived side by side with dinosaurs, some 230 to 66 million years ago. They were the first vertebrates to achieve true flapping flight, but in the absence of living species, many questions concerning their biology and lifestyle remain unresolved. It has long been known that they had some sort of furry covering called ‘pycnofibers,’ and it was presumed that it was fundamentally different to feathers of dinosaurs and birds. An analysis of two pterosaur specimens with well-preserved pycnofibers shows that these flying reptiles had at least four types of feathers: simple filaments (hairs), bundles of filaments, filaments with a tuft halfway down and down feathers.

Birds have two types of advanced feathers used in flight and for body smoothing, the contour feathers with a hollow quill and barbs down both sides.

These are found only in birds and the theropod dinosaurs close to bird origins. But the other feather types of modern birds include monofilaments and down feathers, and these are seen much more widely across dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

“Our discovery has amazing implications for our understanding of the origin of feathers, but also for a major time of revolution of life on land,” said University of Bristol’s Professor Mike Benton, senior author of the study.

“When feathers arose, about 250 million years ago, life was recovering from the devastating end-Permian mass extinction.”

Integumentary filamentous structures in a pterosaur from Yanliao Biota: (a) overview, showing extensive preservation of soft tissues; (b-p) details of the integumentary filaments in the regions indicated in a on the head and neck (b-d, i and j), forelimb (f and g), wing (l and m) and tail (o and p), and illustrated reconstructions of the filaments (e, h, k and n). Scale bars – 20 mm in (a), 10 mm in (b), 500 µm in (c) and (i), 100 µm in (d), 1 mm in (f, l, m and p), 200 µm in (g) and (j), and 5 mm in (o). Image credit: Yang et al, doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0728-7.

Professor Benton and co-authors studied two pterosaur specimens from the Middle-Late Jurassic Yanliao Biota (around 165–160 million years ago) in Inner Mongolia, China, and found many examples of all four types of feathers.

“We were able to explore every corner of the specimens using high-powered microscopes, and we found many examples of all four feathers,” said Nanjing University paleontologist Dr. Zixiao Yang, first author of the study.

“Some critics have suggested that actually there is only one simple type of pycnofiber, but our studies show the different feather types are real,” said co-author Dr. Maria McNamara, a researcher at University College Cork.

“We focused on clear areas where the feathers did not overlap and where we could see their structure clearly. They even show fine details of melanosomes, which may have given the fluffy feathers a ginger color.”

“We ran some evolutionary analyses and they showed clearly that the pterosaur pycnofibers are feathers, just like those seen in modern birds and across various dinosaur groups,” Professor Benton said.

“Despite careful searching, we couldn’t find any anatomical evidence that the four pycnofiber types are in any way different from the feathers of birds and dinosaurs. Therefore, because they are the same, they must share an evolutionary origin, and that was about 250 million years ago, long before the origin of birds.”

The study was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.


Zixiao Yang et al. 2019. Pterosaur integumentary structures with complex feather-like branching. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 24-30; doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0728-7


'Treasure Trove': 85 dinosaur Footprints Found in Southern England

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A small theropod (carnivore) footprint. Credit: Neil Davies

More than 85 well-preserved dinosaur footprints—made by at least seven different species—have been uncovered in East Sussex, representing the most diverse and detailed collection of these trace fossils from the Cretaceous Period found in the UK to date.

The footprints were identified by University of Cambridge researchers between 2014 and 2018, following periods of coastal erosion along the cliffs near Hastings. Many of the footprints—which range in size from less than 2 cm to over 60 cm across—are so well-preserved that fine detail of skin, scales and claws is easily visible.

The footprints date from the Lower Cretaceous period, between 145 and 100 million years ago, with prints from herbivores including IguanodonAnkylosaurus, a species of stegosaur, and possible examples from the sauropod group (which included Diplodocus and Brontosaurus); as well as meat-eating theropods. The results are reported in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

Over the past 160 years, there have been sporadic reports of fossilised dinosaur footprints along the Sussex coast, but no new major discoveries have been described for the past quarter century and the earlier findings were far less varied and detailed than those described in the current research.

The area around Hastings is one of the richest in the UK for dinosaur fossils, including the first known Iguanodon in 1825, and the first confirmed example of fossilised dinosaur brain tissue in 2016. However, trace fossils such as footprints, which can help scientists learn more about the composition of dinosaur communities, are less common in the area.

A close up of skin impressions from an iguanodontian footprint. Credit: Neil Davies

"Whole body fossils of dinosaurs are incredibly rare," said Anthony Shillito, a Ph.D. student in Cambridge's Department of Earth Sciences and the paper's first author. "Usually you only get small pieces, which don't tell you a lot about how that dinosaur may have lived. A collection of footprints like this helps you fill in some of the gaps and infer things about which dinosaurs were living in the same place at the same time."

The footprints described in the current study, which Shillito co-authored with Dr. Neil Davies, were uncovered during the past four winters, when strong storms and storm surges led to periods of collapse of the sandstone and mudstone cliffs.

In the Cretaceous Period, the area where the footprints were found was likely near a water source, and in addition to the footprints, a number of fossilised plants and invertebrates were also found.

"To preserve footprints, you need the right type of environment," said Davies. "The ground needs to be 'sticky' enough so that the footprint leaves a mark, but not so wet that it gets washed away. You need that balance in order to capture and preserve them."

"As well as the large abundance and diversity of these prints, we also see absolutely incredible detail," said Shillito. "You can clearly see the texture of the skin and scales, as well as four-toed claw marks, which are extremely rare.

Two large iguanodontian footprints with skin and claw impressions. Credit: Neil Davies

"You can get some idea about which dinosaurs made them from the shape of the footprints—comparing them with what we know about dinosaur feet from other fossils lets you identify the important similarities. When you also look at footprints from other locations you can start to piece together which species were the key players."

As part of his research, Shillito is studying how dinosaurs may have affected the flows of rivers. In modern times, large animals such as hippopotamuses or cows can create small channels, diverting some of the river's flow.

"Given the sheer size of many dinosaurs, it's highly likely that they affected rivers in a similar way, but it's difficult to find a 'smoking gun', since most footprints would have just washed away," said Shillito. "However, we do see some smaller-scale evidence of their impact; in some of the deeper footprints you can see thickets of plants that were growing. We also found evidence of footprints along the banks of river channels, so it's possible that  played a role in creating those channels."

It's likely that there are many more dinosaur footprints hidden within the eroding sandstone cliffs of East Sussex, but the construction of sea defences in the area to slow or prevent the process of coastal erosion may mean that they remained locked within the rock.

More information: Anthony P. Shillito et al, Dinosaur-landscape interactions at a diverse Early Cretaceous tracksite (Lee Ness Sandstone, Ashdown Formation, southern England), Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.11.018


Scientists Are Excited Over These 'Weird' Feathers Preserved in 100-Million-Year-Old Amber

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

(Xing et al./Journal of Palaeogeography)

Feathers found in Burmese amber dating back 100 million years are so exquisitely preserved that palaeontologists have been able to make a detailed study of their structure - and they're like nothing seen in living birds today.

In fact, they may have served as a type of decoy, falling away in a predator's grasp, much like a lizard drops its tail to make its escape.

The feathers, found in 31 pieces of Myanmar amber dating back to the Cretaceous (commonly known as Burmese amber) were analysed by a team led by palaeontologist Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences in Beijing.

You may remember Xing from such Burmese amber smash hits as 100 Million Year-Old Bird Trapped in AmberUnlucky Frogs Trapped in Amber are the Oldest Ever Found, and of course the absolutely epic A Feathered Dinosaur Tail Has Been Found Preserved in Amber.

These feathers now join this list of special finds. They're called tail streamers, and they're long feathers that extend from the tails of these ancient birds - sometimes even longer than the birds themselves.

Because modern birds also often have very long tail feathers for ornamental and mating purposes, it was thought that this is why Cretaceous birds had them, too.

But, although we've known about Cretaceous bird tail feathers for decades, most fossil specimens recovered have been squished flat, which makes a more detailed study of their purpose a little tricky.

The amber specimens - most of which show that the feathers occurred in pairs - are beautifully preserved in all three dimensions. So the team has been able to discern their strange morphology, and understand a little bit about how they might have been used by the birds.

"The way we interpreted these feathers from compression fossils was basically completely, entirely wrong. Looking at them in three dimensions preserved in amber, I was astonished," palaeontologist Jingmai O'Connor of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing told Science.

"They are the weirdest feathers I have ever seen."

They are dominated by the rachis, or central shaft of the feather (hence the other name they are known by, rachis dominated feathers, or RDFs). But, as the researchers have now ascertained, that rachis is quite different from the closed cylinder seen in modern birds.

Rather, it is open on the underside - like a C- or U-shape - with fewer barbs on either side than modern feathers. The rachis could also be incredibly thin - less than 3 micrometres in some cases (a human blood cell is 7 micrometres in diameter on average). Yet they still would have stuck out, straight and rigid.

The thinness and shape of the rachis leads the researchers to believe that the feathers would have had a lower energy cost to grow - a desirable trait if the feathers are disposable, as clues indicate.

For instance, some feather patterns surrounding the RDFs indicate that the feather struck the oozing sap with some force, while others were found without a sign of a dead bird nearby. According to the researchers, both of these features suggest the feathers were easy to remove.

They also weren't as colourful as you'd expect from a sexy tail feather.

"The apparent ease of removal and muted colours observed in amber RDFs may indicate a sacrificial role in defence, as well as usefulness in visual signalling," the researchers wrote in their paper.

"The reduced amount of material involved in building an elongate RDF with an open and thin-walled rachis may have helped to reduce the energetic costs of producing feathers that were in many cases as long as the total body length of their bearers."

However, the strange shape of the rachis seen in these feathers raises more questions - namely, whether the RDFs evolved from normal feathers, or whether they followed a different evolutionary pathway.

This question will, however, require the study of a larger number of RDF amber samples of exceptionally high quality to answer. Fingers crossed scientists can get their hands on some soon.

The team's research has been published in the Journal of Palaeogeography.


The ROM’s New Rock Star: Meet Zuul the Dinosaur, Destroyer of Shins

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A replica of the armoured dinosaur Zuul crurivastator, left, stands ready for visitors at the Royal Ontario Museum.  MELISSA TAIT/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Toronto museum visitors will get a glimpse of an amazing find: The most complete armour-plated dinosaur to be discovered on record. But getting Zuul crurivastator into the public eye was a complicated undertaking. Here’s how it was done.

Some dinosaur fossils – particularly the sharp-toothed, carnivorous kind – evoke a delicious sense of terror when viewed from behind a display-case glass. Who can stare at that rapacious reptilian grin and not wonder: “What if I had to face a live one of those?”

When visitors line up this week to catch a glimpse of the latest dinosaur acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the feeling they are more likely to experience is respect.

While imposing to behold, the armour-plated reptile known as Zuul crurivastator was, nonetheless, an herbivore that munched peacefully on ferns and other plant stuff during the late Cretaceous period, about 76 million years ago. But it played a mean game of defence, thanks to the crushingly powerful bony club it wielded at the end of its long, muscular tail. That accounts for the second part of the creature’s scientific name, which is Latin for “shin destroyer.” (The first part, Zuul, is the name of a demonic beast in the original Ghostbusters movie, to which the dinosaur bears a passing resemblance.)

Judging by how many carnivorous dinosaurs have been unearthed with battered leg bones, it’s fair to assume that such a feature was not just for show. In the context of this week’s news, one imagines that tail swinging with a menacing force, rather like the paleo-equivalent of a U.S. House Speaker’s gavel keeping an angry president in check.


Zuul is a form of armoured dinosaur that paleontologists call Ankylosaurs. They are relatively rare, making up about 5 per cent of dinosaur finds. Zuul is even rarer, because it is a nearly complete specimen, including head and tail.

The evidence suggests it may have drowned in an ancient river and was buried on the sandy bottom rather quickly in successive floods during what would have been frequent tropical storms.

Because of its catchy name and dramatic backstory, Zuul now seems destined for a busy second life as a crowd-pleaser. But its public debut also marks the beginning of a behind-the-scenes scientific investigation that could ultimately reveal far more about dinosaurs than meets the museum-goer’s eye.

The reason for this has to do with the circumstances in which Zuul was discovered in 2016, when a team of professional fossil hunters working in northern Montana struck the end of its tail with a mechanical excavator. While this caused a bit of minor damage, it was a small price to pay for an unexpected find. At that point, the team was already working many metres deep into hard rock, where they were busy extracting another dinosaur specimen. Without that lucky strike, no one would ever have known Zuul was there.

“They found it thousands of years before it would have naturally eroded out,” says David Evans, a paleontologist and senior curator at the ROM. “And the fact that they found it so deep means it’s really well-preserved.”


In practical terms, Zuul’s remains are remarkably unweathered and untouched by plant roots, or unaffected by ice ages and the countless frosts and spring thaws that have played out above its rock coffin for so many millions of years. That makes Zuul a golden opportunity for scientists looking to extract any remaining organic material that is preserved along with dinosaur bones.

Until recently, such an idea was considered a fantasy, as unrealistic at the premise behind Jurassic Park, in which dinosaurs are brought back to life through their preserved DNA. Today, dino-DNA remains an unrealizable goal, owing to the fragility of the DNA molecule over geologic time. But what some exceptional dinosaur specimens may offer are traces of proteins that can be recovered from mineralized skin and bone and analyzed to reveal evolutionary details about the long-lost Age of Reptiles.

“We’ve got reams of data from multiple labs that tell us proteins can persist,” said Mary Schweitzer, a professor at North Carolina State University and a pioneer in the still-emerging field of molecular paleontology. “The question now is how can we access the information locked in the rock record?”

Dr. Schweitzer was part of a team that published a surprising report in the journal Nature last week, showing evidence for soft-tissue preservation in a 180-million-year-old marine reptile. Zuul is less than half as old and beautifully preserved. While it’s not yet known whether it may yield any traces of protein, Dr. Schweitzer said there is every reason to try.

In particular, she said, the dense cortical bones, at the ends of Zuul’s large limbs, where blood vessels are concentrated, would represent a prime location for proteins to linger.

Zuul's remains, which were found in Montana in 2016 (see map above), came with exquisitely preserved armour plating and soft tissue.  ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM/ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

Meanwhile, once scientists cut into the massive block of sandstone containing Zuul, they found not only a near-complete skeleton, but fossilized bones and debris from many other species of animals and plants. In some cases, the tiny holes in fossilized leaves are so well-defined that it should be possible to say something about the insects that ate them based on the shapes of the minute bite marks they carry.

“It isn’t just Zuul,” Dr. Evans said. “It’s basically a whole world preserved.”


Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii: New Horned Dinosaur Discovered in Arizona

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Life reconstruction of Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii. Image credit: Sergey Krasovskiy.

A new genus and species of herbivorous ceratopsid (horned) dinosaur being named Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii has been discovered by paleontologists from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS).

Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii roamed what is now Arizona about 73 million years ago (Late Cretaceous period).

The new dinosaur belongs to a group of horned dinosaurs called the centrosaurs.

Crittendenceratops frill. Credit: New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

The ancient creature was about 11 feet (3.5 m) long, weighed an estimated 750 kg, and can be distinguished from other centrosaurs by the unique shape of the bones in its frill (head shield).

Like other horned dinosaurs, Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii was a plant eater.

The fossilized skull fragments from two individuals of the species were collected from the Fort Crittenden Formation of southeastern Arizona.

The specimens were described and named by NMMNHS paleontologists Dr. Sebastian Dalman and co-authors.

Crittendenceratops squamosal bone. Credit: New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

“The name Crittendenceratops is for the Fort Crittenden Formation and Greek ceratops, which means horned face,” they explained.

“The species name krzyzanowskii is for the late Stan Krzyzanowski, a NMMNHS research associate who discovered the bones of the new dinosaur.”

paper describing Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii is published in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin.


Sebastian G. Dalman et al. 2018. A new ceratopsid dinosaur (Centrosaurinae: Nasutoceratopsini) from the Fort Crittenden Formation, Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) of Arizona. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin79


Meeting Earth’s First Animals at the Burgess Shale

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Restoration of Burgess Shale fossil arthropod Waptia fieldensis, via Wikimedia Commons

The Burgess Shale is a huge deposit of unique fossils that reveals records of the middle Cambrian, a vital period in evolutionary history.

During renewed expeditions of the Burgess Shale, a giant fossil-bearing rock deposit in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, scientists are unearthing new and mysterious fossils. Expedition leader Jean-Bernard Caron and his team of scientists have found, among other odd creatures, a mysterious flying saucer-shaped organism they’re calling “the mothership.” The Burgess Shale contains over 60,000 unique fossils, providing the best records of the middle Cambrian, a vital period in evolutionary history at the dawn of animal diversification about 500 million years ago. In other words, these are some of Earth’s first animals.

The first exploration of the area was conducted in 1909 by paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott, who decided to smash a rock that was blocking his way during some fieldwork. Finding fossils inside the quarry, Walcott returned for numerous expeditions, as have other scientists up through the present.

The area was once a deep reef, and what makes it so incredible is the high number of soft-bodied fossils found there. Generally only bones or hard exoskeletons readily fossilize; soft body parts degrade too quickly. The exceptional state of preservation indicates that whatever buried the organisms did so quickly and completely before decomposition or mechanical forces had a chance to damage them. Here, soft body parts are preserved as thin, reflective film. Some fossils of the same species were preserved in different positions, allowing researchers to see the same type of creature from different perspectives and understand its body shape.

The fossils themselves are so unusual that they are difficult to describe. Arthropods are the most common, many resembling variations on a shrimp. The most prevalent one is Marella, which looks sort of like a shrimp but with spikes, antennae, and other appendages sticking out every which way. Another arthropod called Leanchoilia superlata resembles a pill bug crossed with a crayfish crossed with a squid. There are sessile creatures, such as sponges, or crinoids, which look like a frayed wicker basket on a stalk. There are numerous types of bulbous worms called Priapulids, fearsome predatory segmented Polychaete worms, a primitive snail-like mollusk, algae, and many others. All told, the fossils suggest a thriving marine ecosystem.

According to S. Conway Morris in Science, the diversity and weirdness of the Burgess Shale organisms are evidence of the Cambrian radiation (or Cambrian explosion), a vast increase in the diversity of life that set the stage for almost all life on Earth. Many of the taxa survived on Earth for a very long time. Others, geologically speaking, were flashes in the pan.

Some Burgess Shale organisms are remnants from a little-understood earlier period called the Ediacaran, at the dawn of life on Earth. Most of these Ediacaran organisms went extinct. The few that didn’t diversified into many more species during the Cambrian. The Burgess Shale discoveries are not just a window into the early diversification of life, but they also help scientists understand the dynamics of mass extinctions and their aftermath. These new discoveries suggest that the Burgess Shale fossils are even weirder than anyone believed.


Jurassic Park T-Rex Has a Name and It's Not Rexy

Friday, December 14, 2018

Jurassic Park T-Rex Roberta

It turns out the T. rex from Jurassic Park has a name. Over the years, many have taken to calling the original Tyrannosaurus rex by the nickname Rexy, but that was never made even remotely official by anything in the canon of the franchise. It's really just something fans cooked up that has taken off. But, as it just so happens, someone who has a lot of authority over the franchise did give the old girl a name, as revealed in some of the early storyboards for the movie.

Phil Tippett, the man famously credited as the "dinosaur supervisor" on Jurassic Park and the more recent Jurassic World movies, leading to the great "you had one job, Phil" meme, auctioned off some of his early storyboards and other items from the production back in 2016. One of the early storyboards showcasing the T-rex reveals that Tippett was calling her Roberta during development. There was no real need for this name to ever make it into the movie, but Tippett is a very important figure who helped to craft these creatures for Steven Spielberg. This is as official as it gets.

That's not to say that in the production binders or in the script notes they refer to the T-rex as Roberta. Or that the people of InGen picked a name for her, which happened to be Roberta, but this is as close to an official name for arguably the most beloved character in the franchise as we're going to get. Sure, people are always going to adore Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm, but no element of the franchise is more iconic than this particular dinosaur, who we can now pretty safely refer to as Roberta from here on out.

Jurassic Park: Roberta

There isn't really much of a history at all in the franchise when it comes to giving dinosaurs names on screen. That only really started with Jurassic World when Owen (Chris Pratt) named all of the raptors he was training, with Blue being the most famous example. It's also worth mentioning that this is the name for the original T. rex. There are several different genetically engineered versions of this animal throughout the series, such as the couple we were introduced to in The Lost World on Site B, Isla Sorna. There is also the rex that died at the hands of the Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III, which is theorized to be the baby from the second movie grown up. Though, that has never been confirmed.

But Rexy, or Roberta, is easily the most infamous of these dinosaurs and appeared once again in this summer's Fallen Kingdom. It's highly likely that we'll see her show up at least once more in Jurassic World 3, which is currently in development and is slated to hit theaters in June 2021. Colin Trevorrow is returning to the director's chair, in addition to co-writing the script alongside franchise newcomer Emily Carmichael. Be sure to check out the storyboard in question below. This originally surfaced over on Reddit


Jurassic World 3 Won't Have Dinosaurs Attacking Cities

Friday, December 14, 2018

At the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it looked like a large scale 'man vs dinosaur' story was on the horizon...

Jurassic World 3 may not be quite as wild as it looked like perhaps it could have been. Depending on one's personal expectations, that could be a good or bad thing. Whatever the view of the individual, director Colin Trevorrow has shot down the possibility of the sixth movie in the long-running franchise featuring dinosaurs attacking cities around the world. This, despite the fact that the ending of this summer's sequel, Fallen Kingdom, seemed to set up just such a scenario.

Spoilers for those who haven't yet seen Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but the ending sees the remaining dinosaurs from the now-destroyed Isla Nublar let loose at various locations all across the globe. The post-credit scene even teased a few pterodactyls getting ready to wreak some havoc in Las Vegas. Still, in a recent interview, Colin Trevorrow says he doesn't plan to take things to the most ridiculous, and possibly most entertaining (if ridiculous) level in the next movie. Here's what he had to say about it.

"I just have no idea what would motivate dinosaurs to terrorize a city. They can't organize. Right now we've got lethal predators in wild areas surrounding cities all over the world. They don't go pack hunting for humans in urban areas. The world I get excited about is the one where it's possible that a dinosaur might run out in front of your car on a foggy backroad, or invade your campground looking for food. A world where dinosaur interaction is unlikely but possible, the same way we watch out for bears or sharks. We hunt animals, we traffic them, we herd them, we breed them, we invade their territory and pay the price, but we don't go to war with them. If that was the case, we'd have lost that war a long time ago."

In as much as the franchise possibly can be at this point, it sounds like Colin Trevorrow wants to keep things grounded. That is all very relative, given the genetically engineered hybrid dinosaurs, prehistoric creatures now running loose amongst the world of men and whatnot. But so much for Planet of the Apes with dinosaurs in it. Or, as I've called it in the past, Dawn of the Planet of the Dinosaurs.

Trevorrow is working with franchise newcomer Emily Carmichael on the screenplay. For Jurassic World 3. In the past, the filmmaker has referred to the movie as Jurassic Park 6. Trevorrow also discussed that a bit, saying that the upcoming sequel will have deep ties to the source material.

"Emily and I call it Jurassic Park 6 because it's fun, and that's what it is to us. This is the conclusion of a story that began 25 years ago, and I think fans will be fired up when they see how much we're connecting it to the source material. I know Jurassic World didn't feel like a sequel in a traditional sense, the title change probably contributed to that, but it was. And so is this."

Critics largely weren't having it with Fallen Kingdom, but the movie grossed $1.3 billion worldwide and assured that a third installment of the revamped franchise was coming. Just don't expect it to go off the rails too much. At least not in the dinosaurs destroying cities recklessly kind of way. Jurassic World 3 is set to arrive in theaters on June 11, 2021. This news was first reported by Jurassic Outpost.


'Jurassic Park' Added to National Film Registry

Thursday, December 13, 2018


The National Film Registry is turning 30 and will bring in a new crop of films ranging from dinosaurs' return from extinction, a cowboys-in-love drama and stories showcasing Native Americans.

The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that the films "Jurassic Park," ''Brokeback Mountain" and "My Fair Lady" are among the 25 movies tapped for preservation this year.

"These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams," Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, said in a statement.

The national library chose a few more memorable titles such as "The Shining," ''Eve's Bayou" ''Hud" and "Broadcast News." Others on the list include 1898 film "Something Good - Negro Kiss" and "Smoke Signals" from 1998, along with animated films "Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-Headed People" (1984) and "Cinderella" (1950).

The library selected movies for preservation because of their cultural, historic and artist importance since the registry began in 1988. This year's picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 750.

"Brokeback Mountain," released in 2005, is the newest film on the registry. The Oscar-winning film delved into the tragic tale of two cowboys who fall in love and starred Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger.

Ang Lee, director of the film, said he never intended for "Brokeback Mountain" to make a statement, but simply wanted to tell a love story.

"To my great surprise, the film ended up striking a deep chord with audiences; the movie became a part of the culture, a reflection of the darkness and light - of violent prejudice and enduring love - in the rocky landscape of the American heart," Lee said in a statement.

Steven Spielberg's 1993 original "Jurassic Park" was a blockbuster and the top public vote-getter to make its way into the registry this year.

Several films showcased the ethnic diversity of American cinema: "Smoke Signals" (1998) and "Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency" (1908) explored the culture of Native Americans.

Other additions include ""Days of Wine and Roses" (1962), "Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955), "The Girl Without a Soul" (1917), "Hearts and Minds" (1974), "The Informer" (1935), "The Lady From Shanghai" (1947), "Leave Her to Heaven" (1945), "Monterey Pop" (1968), "The Navigator" (1924), "On the Town" (1949), "One-Eyed Jacks" (1961), "Pickup on South Street" (1953) and "Rebecca" (1940).