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Jurassic World: 10 Worst Decisions Made By The Movie's Main Characters

Monday, February 8, 2021

Jurassic World was an exciting film but a lot of what happened boiled down to some truly awful decisions made by the main characters in the story.

After the Jurassic Park franchise had fizzled out following the third movie, it was brought back from extinction thanks to the massively successful Jurassic World. The movie took place years after the events of the first movie and fulfilled the promise of opening the theme park filled with dinosaurs which inevitably goes terribly wrong.

The movie was hugely successful financially, but many fans felt it fell far short of the original. The most common complaint was in regards to the characters who were not only uninteresting but also made many some really poor decisions throughout the movie, making it hard to fully root for them.

10 - Building A Theme Park Near An Active Volcano

The best aspect of Jurassic World is seeing the park open in all of its glory with various attractions and rides to entertain the guests. But there is a fatal flaw about the park that is not introduced until the next movie but was certainly still an issue in this movie.

In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it is revealed that the remaining dinosaurs are at risk because a volcano on the island is about to blow and kill everything. The thing is, volcanos do not spring up overnight which means they must have known about it when making the park and didn't think that far ahead.

9 - Wearing High Heels

One of the main characters in the movie is Claire Dearing who is the work-obsessed manager of the park who must become the hero to save the lives of the visitors and her nephews. However, the thing most people remember about the character is her terrible choice of footwear.

Being the workaholic corporate person that she is, Claire spends the entire movie running about the jungle from dangerous dinosaurs while wearing high heels. Not since John McClane in Die Hard has a hero been so careless with their selection of footwear.

8 - Going Off The Trail

It would not be a Jurassic Park movie unless there were some innocent kids in danger. But it was a lot harder to be scared for two boys in this movie, Gray and Zach, because they put themselves in danger with an obviously terrible decision.

While exploring the park inside one of the futuristic Gyrospheres, they find an open gate the warns guests not to go past. But being the adventurous young lads that they are, they ignore the signs and venture on. Never once did they think if that gate might have been for their own protection against the man-eating dinos.

7 - Flying A Helicopter

With John Hammond dead long before the movie begins, the new man in charge is Simon Masrani. He has a mix of the corporate greed that has always been the villain of this franchise but also shares the wonder and excitement of the park that Hammond had.

When the deadly Indominus Rex escapes and begins wreaking havoc, Masrani decides to take matters into his own hands, piloting a helicopter to chase down the rampaging beast. However, since Masrani is still learning to fly, he ends up crashing, freeing more dinosaurs, and dying in the process.

6 - Weaponizing Raptors

One of the most controversial aspects of Jurassic World was the use of the raptors. While these killer dinos were the terrifying villains of the first movie, this new version has the badass hero Owen Grady training and befriending them.

For some reason, the military seems to think that trained raptors would be the ultimate weapon and enlists them to take on the Indominus Rex. Predictably, the raptors turn on the army guys and attack them.

5 - Letting The T-Rex Out

At the end of the movie, most of the island has been evacuated except for the heroes who find themselves trapped by the Indominus Rex. Knowing that they cannot defeat the monster on their own, they decide to release the original T-Rex so it can battle the Indominus Rex.

While this works out as they planned, the success of the plan was purely coincidental. There was no guarantee that the T-Rex would be interested in fighting the Indominus Rex and nothing to stop it from trying to eat the humans as well.

4 - Going Inside The Paddock

Since the Indominus Rex is the newest attraction and not yet ready for the public, it is kept inside its own special paddock. However, there is considerable alarm when a scan of the paddock shows no heat signature from the dinosaur.

Thinking it had escaped, Owen and several other workers go inside the paddock to investigate when they are quickly attacked by the Indominus Rex who was hiding. Since it is a massive dinosaur, there were probably better ways to search for it besides going inside.

3 - Not Evacuating The Park Earlier

After killing most of the workers inside the paddock, the Indominus Rex flees into the jungle meaning the most powerful and dangerous dinosaur in the park is out in the open. Instead of evacuating the island, they send in a team to capture the beast.

After the dinosaur kills the team, they still decide the financial impact of closing the island would be too devastating so they remain open until the visitors begin getting attacked, leading to a lot more casualties.

2 - Making The Indominus Rex

As this list makes very clear, a lot of trouble would have been avoided if the park owners had simply not decided to create their own super dinosaur. The idea that the world would get sick of seeing regular old dinosaurs after a few decades is ridiculous and a special dinosaur is totally unnecessary.

Not only did they not need to cook up a dinosaur in a lab, but they really shouldn't have given it the ability to camouflage and communicate with raptors.

1 - Opening The Park

As fun as it is to see the park up and running in this movie, the whole concept of Jurassic World is hard to take. The idea of filling a park with dinosaurs and then having people come to visit that park seems like a bad idea to begin with but that point was confirmed with the events of the first movie.

After the park falls apart and several people are eaten, it's hard to believe anyone would get behind the idea of giving it another shot.


Ancient Crocodiles’ Shadowy Family Tree Reveals Unexpected Twists and Turns

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Artist’s impression of Macrospondylus- an extinct fossil group of teleosauriods. Credit: Nikolay Zverkov

Scientists probing a prehistoric crocodile group’s shadowy past have discovered a timeless truth – pore over anyone’s family tree long enough, and something surprising will emerge.

Despite 300 years of research, and a recent renaissance in the study of their biological make-up, the mysterious, marauding teleosauroids have remained enduringly elusive.

Scientific understanding of this distant cousin of present-day long-snouted gharials has been hampered by a poor grasp of their evolutionary journey – until now.

Unknown species

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have identified one previously unknown species of teleosauroid and seven of its close relatives – part of a group that dominated Jurassic coastlines 190 to 120 million years ago.

Their analysis offers tantalizing glimpses of how teleosauroids adapted to the momentous changes that occurred during the Jurassic period, as the earth’s seas experienced many changes in temperature.

“Our study just scratches the surface of teleosauroid evolution but the findings are remarkable, raising interesting questions about their behaviour and adaptability. These creatures represented some of the most successful prehistoric crocodylomorphs during the Jurassic period and there is so much more to learn about them.”

— Dr. Michela M. JohnsonStudy lead, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

The study reveals that not all teleosauroids were engaged in cut and thrust lifestyles, snapping at other reptiles and fish from the seas and swamps near the coast.

Instead, they were a complex, diverse group that were able to exploit different habitats and seek out a variety of food sources. Their physical make-up is also more diverse than was previously understood, the scientists say.

Previous research had provided insights into the origins and evolution of this fossilized croc’s whale-like relatives metriorhynchids, but less was known about teleosauroids.

500 fossils

To address this, the expert team of paleontologists examined more than 500 fossils from more than 25 institutions around the world.

Cutting edge computer software enabled the team to glean swathes of revealing data regarding their anatomical similarities and differences, by examining the entire skeleton, teeth, and bony armor, which indicated whether species were closely related or not.

This information enabled the team to create an up-to-date family tree of the teleosauroids group from which emerged two new large groups, whose anatomy, abundance, habitat, geography, and feeding styles differ from one another significantly.

The first group, teleosaurids, were more flexible in terms of their habitat and feeding. The second group known as machimosaurids – which included the fearsome turtle crushers, Lemmysuchus and Machimosaurus – were more abundant and widespread.

Curious features

Names given by the team to seven newly described fossils, found in both teleosaurids and machimosaurids, reflect a curious range of anatomical features – among them Proexochokefalos, meaning ‘large head with big tuberosities’ and Plagiophthalmosuchus, the ‘side-eyed crocodile’.

There are even hints of their diverse behavioral characteristics and unique locations – Charitomenosuchus, meaning ‘graceful crocodile’ and Andrianavoay, the ‘noble crocodile’ from Madagascar.

Researchers have named the newly discovered species, Indosinosuchus kalasinensis, after the Kalasin Province in Thailand, where the fossil – now housed in Maha Sarakham University – was found.

The recognition of I. kalasinensis shows that at least two species were living in similar freshwater habitats during the Late Jurassic – an impressive feat as teleosauroids, with the exception of Machimosaurus, were becoming rare during this time.

“The same way family trees of our own ancestors and cousins tell us about our history, this huge new family tree of teleosauroids clarifies their evolution. They were some of the most diverse and important animals in the Jurassic oceans, and would have been familiar sights along the coastlines for tens of millions of years.”
— Professor Steve Brusatte, School of GeoSciences, University of EdinburghSchool of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

Reference: “The phylogenetics of Teleosauroidea (Crocodylomorpha, Thalattosuchia) and implications for their ecology and evolution” by Michela M. Johnson​, Mark T. Young and Stephen L. Brusatte, 8 October 2020, PeerJ.
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9808

The study, published in the scientific journal PeerJ, was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, SYNTHESYS Project and Leverhulme Trust Research. The Palaeontological Association and Paleontological Society provided travel grants.


Jurassic Park & World: Every Dinosaur Fight In The Franchise, Ranked

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Throughout both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, fans experience a multitude of violent and fun dinosaur fights. Here are some of the best.

The excitement of watching powerful dinosaurs create havoc in the Jurassic Park films is an experience that moviegoers have loved for decades. The thrill of watching people flee in terror from a charging T-Rex or a lunging Velociraptor is hard to match, let alone beat. This is why the films' creators have regularly decided to up the ante by having the powerful beasts take on each other in ferocious battles.

In every Jurassic Park film, there has been at least one fight between two or more dinosaurs. These sequences are often the high points of the action in the films, and they also display the special effects teams' ability to offer audiences an incomparable experience.

7 - Velociraptor Vs. Velociraptor

Though it was brief, the in-fighting between two raptors in The Lost World added additional tension to an already gripping escape scene. At one point during the human's attempt to evade the pursuing raptors, one human character and one raptor fell off of the roof of a building, resulting in the raptor landing on top of a member of its pack. It was an accident, but that did not stop the raptor who was hit from being annoyed at the other raptor. The anger led to both raptors having it out as the human took their chance to escape.

A fight between two raptors is exciting in concept, but in execution, it was ultimately a letdown. Most of the fight was not shown. Its real purpose was to create a convenient way for the main characters to escape the situation, which would have otherwise resulted in them being killed by the raptors.

6 - Indominus Rex Vs. Ankylosaurus

The Indominus Rex's attack on the herd of Ankylosauruses in 2015's Jurassic World was the first on-screen instance of the superpredator recklessly attacking the other dinosaurs. Using its ability to camouflage itself, the Indominus Rex was able to stealthfully approach the herbivores without them noticing. Seizing the opportunity, the Indominus charged at the Ankylosauruses in an attempt to kill whatever it could sink its teeth into.

This battle, while exciting, primarily served as a quick example of the Idominus Rex's ferocity. Ankylosauruses are powerful creatures, and their backs are lined with boney armor plating. They also have club-like tails that they can use to defend themselves. But despite these protections, the Indominus was able to assert its dominance by using its strength and intelligence to flip its quarry onto its back, giving the carnivore the chance to bite down on and crush its prey's head.

5 - Carnotaurus Vs. Sinoceratops

During the portion of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom when both the humans and the dinosaurs fled from the volcanic eruption, Owen Grady and some other characters are cornered by an opportunistic Carnotaurus. The beast begins to slowly approach Owen, but it is distracted by a nearby Sinoceratops. Seeing the larger potential meal as a greater priority, the Carnotaurus leaves the human alone and charges the relative of the Triceratops.

The fight was reminiscent of the one between the Indominus Rex and the Ankylosaurus from the first Jurassic World, with an armored plant-eater protecting itself from the aggressive, bipedal predator. The main difference is that Carnotaurus lacked the power and intelligence that the Indominus had, so the Sinoceratops was able to successfully fend off its attacker and then flee.

4 - T-Rex Vs. Spinosaurus

When the promotional material for Jurassic Park III first revealed that a new, larger superpredator, the Spinosaurus, would be the main threat in the movie, many fans were wondering if the beast would fight a T-Rex. This question was answered before the film's midway point when the Spinosaurus, on the trail of fleeing humans, stumbles upon the feeding grounds of the rival predator.

The fight began as anyone would expect. Both titans charged at each other at full force in an attempt to take an early lead in the battle. The fight went back and forth for a moment, but the Spinosaurus was able to claim a quick and decisive victory when it managed to grab hold of the T-Rex's neck. The T-Rex was unable to resist as the Spinosaurus used its grip and weight to twist and snap the T-Rex's neck, killing it instantly.

3 - T-Rex Vs. Velociraptors

Both the T-Rex and the Velociraptors spread a lot of terror throughout the original Jurassic Park film. Each predator took multiple chances to make meals of the humans on the island while chasing them across the park. It was only a matter of time until both dinosaurs came into contact with each other.

This fight came as an absolute shock during the movie's finale. The raptors had the surviving humans cornered in the park's visitor center. But as the raptors prepared to attack, the T-Rex appeared almost out of nowhere and killed one of them. The remaining raptor attempted to fight the T-Rex, but it was no match for the much more massive beast and was soon killed.

2 - Blue Vs. Indoraptor

The battle between Blue and the genetically modified Indoraptor in Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom was unique among the battles in the franchise. This fight took place in a mansion located on the mainland, rather than on one of InGen's islands. These beasts were also searching for a way to escape the mansion. The only difference was that the Indoraptor was also looking for as many people as possible to kill along the way, and Blue was trying to protect the human, Owen Grady, she had imprinted on as a hatchling.

The fight between Blue and the Indoraptor took a few turns. It began in one of the mansion's bedrooms, where Owen was attempting to protect the young girl Maisie from the Indoraptor. The humans were able to escape to the roof of the mansion in the confusion, but the Indoraptor was able to fend Blue off long enough to pursue them. The fight ended when Blue took the Indoraptor by surprise by jumping on its back while it was standing on the glass dome ceiling. Both dinosaurs fell through the glass, and the Indoraptor was impaled on the fossilized skull of a Triceratops that stood beneath them.

1 - T-Rex And Blue Vs. Indominus Rex

The two-on-one fight between the T-Rex, Blue, and the vicious Indominus Rex in Jurassic World was the type of clash that fans had been dreaming of for years. The last true dinosaur battle seen in the films was the one between a T-Rex and the Spinosaurus, and it had left many fans unsatisfied. They wanted to watch their long-time favorite dinosaur win. This fight, however, more than made up for the letdown seen in the previous film.

The battle between the T-Rex and the Indominus Rex quickly proved to be a greater fight than the one from Jurassic Park III, and it was made greater still once the Velociraptor Blue joined in to help the T-Rex. The two dinosaurs were eventually able to overwhelm the Indominus, pushing to the edge of the park's massive water enclosure. From there, the massive aquatic Mosasaur made a surprise appearance when it lunged from the water to grab hold of the Indominus. With little effort, the Mosasaur dragged the Indominus back into the depths, drowning it and bringing an end to the fight.


Jurassic World: What Dinosaur Are You Based On Your Zodiac?

Monday, February 8, 2021

The Jurassic Park/World franchise introduced viewers to many different dinosaurs along the way. But how exactly do they align with the zodiac?

It is easy to tell that many animals have their own distinct personalities. People can see how an animal's behavior differs from one species to the next and how that affects attitudes. This, in turn, makes it easy for people to regularly see themselves in their furry, feathered, or scaly friends.

But what is interesting about this is that, since they are based on real-life animals, the dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park films can be viewed in much the same way. Thanks to this comparison, people can easily match these different species of reptiles to certain zodiac signs. With some clever observation, those same people can then find the dinosaur that perfectly matches their own personalities.

12 - Virgo: Tyrannosaurus

Virgos are incredibly analytical and continually observe their surroundings and current situations. This hyper-awareness can do enough to make them tense or even agitated regularly. It can also make it hard for others to understand them.

The T-Rex matches Virgos in many ways. Due to its nature as an apex predator, T-Rex needs to be constantly and carefully searching for its next meal. And thanks to its peculiar eyesight, which can only track prey if it is moving, its undivided attention needs to be even greater than most other carnivores.

11 - Aries: Velociraptor

People with the Aries sign will always seek to be at the heart of some form of action. They have a lot of energy and a need to go at things with full force and at top speeds. They try to avoid inactivity whenever possible, which can sometimes lead to them acting aggressively.

The Velociraptor can understand the desire to keep moving. These ferocious pack hunters are fleet-footed and are always eagerly searching for the next hunt. They are one of the few dinosaurs that will hunt for sport, so their aggression is not always tied to a need to eat. Sometimes, it's just about their desire to do what they do best and to do it as often as possible.

10 - Scorpio: Triceratops

Scorpios are bold and determined, and they do not shy away from most situations. They also tend to take the lead when the opportunity arises. They can be a bit skeptical at times, but they are generally good at dealing with others.

Much like a Scorpio, a Triceratops is a steadfast creature that doesn't back down. It has the strength and will to find a way to best whatever it is facing, especially potential predators. If threatened, it will take the initiative in a fight to defend itself. Outside of the occasional upset stomach, there isn't much that can make the Triceratops surrender.

9 - Pisces: Brachiosaurus

Pisces is among the friendliest of the personalities. People with this sign are compassionate and easy-going, and they have no issues with spending time with others and offering their help in any way. They find an unmatched level of comfort with social interaction.

Despite being so massive, the endearing Brachiosaurus is one of the most docile and pleasant dinosaurs. It can be seen grazing with any number of other species, and it isn't particularly fearful of humans, who have been able to interact with them on occasion. They are the quintessential gentle giants.

8 - Gemini: Dilophosaursus

Geminis love to let their curious minds take over so they can learn new things. They are also often of two minds about things, switching their viewpoints at times that seem almost random to other people.

No dinosaur matches them better than the Dilophosaurus. This dinosaur displays an almost d0g-like level of curiosity and playfulness when it wants to. But its mood can shift instantly if it finds something it wants to make a meal of. When this happens, the innocent attitude is quickly replaced with that of a hungry predator.

7 - Libra: Gallimimus

It's not often that anyone will encounter a Libra who is on their own. Libras love to socialize and be part of larger groups. They also try to remain as peaceful as possible and seek to avoid conflict at all costs.

To that end, a Libra could easily identify with and appreciate the Gallimimus. This bird-like creature is a herd animal that always operates in groups and hates being separated from the rest of its kind. It also prefers to run from danger, an easy objective thanks to its powerful legs and bodies built for sprinting.

6 - Cancer: Stegosaurus

People with the Cancer sign tend to operate in a state of high emotion. They are sympathetic, cautious, and above all, loyal. They don't open up easily to new people, but they show a strong amount of devotion to the people they care about.

These same traits are seen in the Stegosaurus. It is a docile and shy creature, but it has a close-knit social structure and is protective of its herd. Its attachment to the herd is even stronger when it feels the need to protect its young, as fans saw in The Lost World. When this happens, its anger flares up and creates trouble for anyone or anything that is seen as a threat.

5 - Sagittarius: Pteranodon

The best word to describe a Sagittarius is "extrovert." These people love to experience new things, love to travel, and are not hesitant about doing either. Once they decide that there is something they want to, they rarely let anything get in the way of doing it.

Curiosity, willfulness, and desire to be free are easy ways to describe a Pteranadon. This flying reptile goes about its business, does what it wishes, and travels to wherever it wants. And when it finds something it wants to investigate, such as a potential meal, it can be stubborn and won't let anything or anyone stop it from doing so.

4 - Leo: Spinosaurus

A Leo is someone who has the will to lead and do whatever they can to be at the top. They can be stubborn and arrogant at times, but their dedication allows them to dominate most aspects of their lives. These are the people who can see the mountaintop and want to be the ones standing on it.

That is how the Spinosaurus feels. The Spinosaurus is the largest and most powerful dinosaur seen in Jurassic Park III, and it is obsessed with asserting its dominance and expanding its territory. This beast sees almost every encounter with another creature as a challenge to its authority. It feels threatened by nothing though, so it enjoys every challenge that comes its way.

3 - Taurus: Ankylosaurus

Those who fall into the Taurus category are often some of the most stable and practical people around. They have a lot of common sense and stay grounded at all times. Other people can often rely on them when they need advice from someone with a good head on their shoulders.

The Ankylosaurus is almost the embodiment of the Taurus attitude. It is a dinosaur that keeps a low profile, in both the metaphorical and literal sense. It is not aggressive and keeps to itself, and it doesn't seek to stir up any needless excitement. When excitement does come its way, it relies on its instincts and defense-based abilities to endure almost anything.

2 - Capricorn: Indoraptor

Capricorns are independent thinkers that know how to take their time. They are expert planners who exercise self-control to achieve whatever it is they set their minds to. And they are highly intelligent, learning from their past experiences so they can improve in the future.

These same traits are what the Indoraptor displays for any prey that fails to understand the danger it poses. The Indoraptor knows how to watch and wait for the best time to strike. It is also able to manipulate its quarry and can lead them to make life-ending mistakes.

1 - Aquarius: Mosasaurus

An Aquarius tends to be an independent and sometimes shy individual. They take everything in and make the decisions that are best for them, regardless of any preconceived notions or prejudices. This type of person can also easily adapt to multiple situations.

This is why any Aquarius can relate well to the Mosasaurus. This aquatic reptile is a solitary predator and a careful observer. It is an impartial eater, feasting on any creature that foolishly comes in or near its territory. And once it has secured its meal, it returns to the depths to return to its much-desired seclusion.


Jurassic Park/World: The 10 Best Scenes Featuring Velociraptors, Ranked

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Velociraptors are one of the most iconic elements of the Jurassic Park/World franchise - and these are their best moments.

Few cinematic dinosaurs are as iconic or frightening as the dreaded Velociraptor from the Jurassic Park/World films. Although not technically Velociraptors (original author Michael Crichton lifted the name from a different dinosaur in order to sound more threatening), that didn't matter much to audiences who were thrilled to have their hearts leap out of their chests, scene after scene.

The Velociraptors have evolved as characters unto themselves since Jurassic World was released, which is why it's good to track them back from their beginnings as terrifying movie monsters in Jurassic Park. Here are their best appearances in the franchise films, ranked.

10 - Blue & The T-Rex

Blue was an attempt by the Jurassic World writers to make a hero out of a very frightening villain, and it was a good decision. This lovable hero Velociraptor proved she had the smarts and the skills necessary to make her a standout character. Though she stumbled along the way when the Indominus Rex was able to turn her pack against the humans, she made up for it by the end.

When Claire let the O.G. T-Rex out of its paddock in an attempt to pit it against the dangerous Indominus Rex, it seemed as if things were going well. However, the T-Rex was quickly outmatched by the Indominus. Before it was killed, Blue showed up on the scene to lend the T-Rex a hand, creating a tag-team that was strong enough to take the Indominus Rex down for good.

9 - The Lab Attack

Jurassic Park III put a lot of emphasis on the principal big baddie of the film - the Spinosaurus. When the action pivoted away, the writers needed a smaller-scale, yet no less terrifying foe to fill the gap. Enter the ever-reliable Velociraptors who had since fallen into their respective niche on Isla Sorna's ecosystem.

These Raptors were coordinated, territorial, and very strong. The presence of humans on the island was an excuse to kickstart the hunt all over again, and it was performed to beautiful effect when Grant and company stumble upon InGen's abandoned genetic research facility. The Velociraptor reveal is heart-pounding, as is the chase that ensues.

8 - The Table-Turning

Jurassic World introduced genetic cloning and manipulation into the story in a way that wasn't quite the same as in previous installments. In this film, the park was open, and booming with success. To maintain the enthusiasm, investors wanted new attractions to draw visitors to the park and build new business.

Enter the Indominus Rex, a hybrid of multiple dinosaur DNA pools, including Velociraptor. When the Rex broke free and rained down carnage on the park, personnel were authorized to slay it by whatever means possible. Owen Grady used his Raptor pack to track the Rex, but he didn't realize the Rex had Raptor DNA in its blood. When Blue and her Raptors recognized the Rex as the new alpha, they turned on their human counterparts in a terrifying scene of mass carnage.

7 - The Hatching

First-time Jurassic Park audiences were astonished to see what Steven Spielberg came up with on screen. The film was a riveting masterpiece that completely drowned out real life, and drew the audience in for an adventure that seemed to go on forever. One of the most magical moments of the film occurs when the overreaching and ambitious John Hammond gives his visitors a tour of the park.

He brings them behind the scenes to witness the birth of a dinosaur from an egg, which is both enchanting and emotional. As the little one breaks free from its egg, Dr. Grant asks what species it is. When he learns that he's holding a newborn Velociraptor, the entire mood of the scene shifts. It's the first full on-screen reveal of a Raptor in the franchise, and it would prove to be one of the most iconic.

6 - Baby Blue

Jurassic Park established that Velociraptors were highly intelligent and cunning pack hunters that would coordinate strategies to take down prey. While this is still a working theory, there is evidence to support it based on research done on the original Deinonychus fossils the creature is based on (Velociraptor is a different dinosaur altogether).

This intelligence is examined in Jurassic World when Owen Grady manages to forge a relationship with a Velociraptor pack led by the matriarch, Blue. Fallen Kingdom showed archival footage of Grady forming a bond with a baby Blue, with whom he develops a deep emotional bond. It's the first time Raptors are shown not just as vicious killers, but something more.

5 - Owen's Training

Jurassic World introduced new characters like Owen Grady, a handler who works primarily with Velociraptors. His training allowed him to raise a pack of Raptors from birth, and form a bond based on routines, and stimuli that kept him from being their next meal.  However, Owen was still fighting a never-ending battle against pure instinct.

The first reveal of Blue and her pack was shown in Jurassic World when a staffer accidentally falls into their paddock. As the Raptors close in to kill this unfamiliar human, Owen puts his life on the line by rushing in to stop them. He barely manages to get them to back down, proving just how dangerous his job really is.

4 - The Tall Grass

Raptors took a bit of a backseat in The Lost World in order to put twin T-Rexes at the forefront of the story, and it worked. However, the latter act needed to spice things up a bit, which is why these frightening predators were brought back. Spielberg sought to build on the terror of the Raptors from the first film by using primordial fear against the audience.

He kicked things off with a scene showing humans running through a field of tall grass which was stuffed with Velociraptors. As the predators moved in, the audience watched from a pull-back shot in sheer horror as they stayed low, and ran through the grass to snatch humans one by one.

3 - The Feeding

Sometimes, the best monster scenes are the ones where the creature isn't seen, and Spielberg recognized the value of holding back in order to build tension. In the first half of Jurassic Park, Hammond takes his guests to watch a live cow being lowered into the Raptor paddock in order to feed.

What follows is a cacophony of awful sounds and violent rustling while the unseen Raptors tear their meal to pieces. As the characters look on in terror, so too does the audience realize that soon these predators will be running around free, looking for a meal.

2 - The Clever Girl

John Hammond's game warden Robert Muldoon knew the dangers of Jurassic Park better than anyone. He wasn't particularly pleased with Hammond breeding Raptors, especially given how intelligent they were. Audiences were given an indirect crash course in Raptors when Muldoon revealed how they would test the park's security defenses for weaknesses.

If that weren't chilling in and of itself, Muldoon met his end in the jaws of the very creatures he was such an expert on. While tracking one in the brush, Hammond prepared to fire, only to forget that Raptors hunt in packs. While training his sights on his target, another emerged from the bushes beside him, and went straight for the kill.

1 - The Kitchen Scene

Jurassic Park's kitchen scene deserves top honors for being possibly the scariest, most nail-biting moment in all of cinema. The tension is almost unbearable as Lex and Tim try to shake off pursuing Velociraptors who are on the hunt. The two kids use their small size to stay out of sight, but it doesn't go according to plan.

Before they can make it out of the kitchen, they inadvertently attract the attention of the Raptors several times. Those who were old enough to remember seeing Jurassic Park in theaters during its initial release also remember the audience screaming along with the terrified children, which was an experience to say the least.


Jurassic World: Every Big Game Hunter In Every Park

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Jurassic franchise is known for scientists and kids facing dinosaurs, but each chapter of the saga also has a memorable big game hunter character.

The Jurassic Park franchise has had a big game hunter in every movie as well as Netflix's animated spinoff; here's every such character who failed to keep the dinosaurs in line. The Jurassic film franchise spans the original Jurassic Park trilogy directed by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston as well as the Jurassic World trilogy directed by Colin Trevorrow and J.A. Bayona. Trevorrow's Jurassic World: Dominion is scheduled to premiere in June 2022 while Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is keeping the franchise strong on Netflix in the meantime.

Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park novel ignited the franchise, and it was the author who recognized that John Hammond's dinosaur theme park would need a game warden to oversee the prehistoric cloned animals. Crichton created Robert Muldoon, the original Jurassic Park's game warden, who survived the dinosaur outbreak in the novel. Muldoon became the prototype for similar characters who appeared throughout all of the Jurassic movies and the TV series; in fact, like the dinosaurs themselves, every similar big game hunter who followed is essentially a clone of Muldoon. Most of the Jurassic franchise's big game hunter characters spoke with European accents like Muldoon and they more-or-less physically resemble him, including emulating his fashion sense of beige khakis, safari hats, sunglasses, and the latest in jungle gear.

Another distinguishing feature of Jurassic Park/World's succession of big game hunter characters is how tremendously bad they all turn out to be at herding and combating the dinosaurs. Indeed, scientists like Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), administrators like Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), and even kids like Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan) and the six teens of Camp Cretaceous have fared far better at surviving dinosaur rampages than the highly paid, swaggering professional hunters who come equipped with weapons and tactical jungle experience.

Ultimately, Jurassic Park's big game hunters fall into the same mold and most of them end up as a meal for prehistoric predators. Yet, the Jurassic franchise's big game hunters are essential and memorable parts of the saga - especially how they end up being eaten - and the Jurassic movies and TV series wouldn't be the same without them.

Robert Muldoon - Jurassic Park (1993)

Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) was the first and, arguably, the best Jurassic big game hunter. Muldoon was formerly the game warden of John Hammond's (Richard Attenborough) Kenya park before he transferred to Isla Nublar to oversee Jurassic Park's dinosaurs. Muldoon was also one of the first characters seen in Jurassic Park and he was clear-eyed about the serious threat the Velociraptors posed, although his warnings went unheeded by his eccentric billionaire employer.

Muldoon survived the Jurassic Park novel but he memorably died in Spielberg's film when he accompanied Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) into the jungle as they searched for Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson). Muldoon instantly understood that they were being hunted by the Velociraptors and he stayed behind to draw them out as Dr. Sattler made it to safety. Muldoon also had one of the most memorable lines of dialogue in Jurassic Park when he said "Clever girl!" right before the raptors made a meal out of him.

Roland Tembo - The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

The Lost World: Jurassic Park's big game hunter was Roland Tembo (Pete Postlethwaite), who made his reputation in Mombasa, Kenya. Regarded as the best of the best in his field, Tembo was hired by InGen CEO (and John Hammond's nephew) Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) to lead the expedition into Isla Sorna AKA Site B, which was overrun by dinosaurs.

Tembo's primary interest in Jurassic Park 2 was hunting a T-Rex, but he had a change of heart after all of the carnage that occurred in The Lost World and the death of his friend, Ajay Sidhu (Harvey Jason). Disheartened, Tembo turned down Ludlow's offer to oversee Jurassic Park San Diego and he left; Tembo surviving The Lost World was a reversal of Muldoon dying in Jurassic Park, and the big game hunter turned out to be more complex and moral than he initially appeared to be.

Udesky, Cooper, And Nash - Jurassic Park III (2001)

Jurassic Park III introduced a trio of big game hunter-types, none of whom were worth the fees Amanda (Tea Leoni) and Paul Kirby (William H. Macy) paid them to lead an expedition into Isla Sorna to rescue their lost teenage son, Eric. Udesky (Michael Jeter) was the mercenary "booking agent" who brought along Cooper (John Diehl) and M.B. Nash (Bruce A. Young).

Despite the weapons and gear they brought along, Nash and Cooper were eaten by the Jurassic Park 3 dino, the Spinosaurus, soon after they landed their plane in Isla Sorna. Udesky lasted a little longer, but he was surrounded and killed by a pack of Velociraptors. Later, the survivors led by Dr. Alan Grant ran across a mound of Spinosaurus dung that contained the remains of Nash and Cooper, a sly wink at what value their high-priced "expertise" turned out to be against the dinosaurs.

Vic Hoskins - Jurassic World (2015)

Portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio, Vic Hoskins was a memorable villain in Jurassic World and he was a foil for the film's hero, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Hoskins headed up InGen's Security Division and he initiated advanced security measures in the interest of weaponizing super predators like the Velociraptors and the hybrid dinosaur the Indominus Rex, beyond being the stars of a dinosaur zoo.

When the Jurassic World dinosaur outbreak occurred, Hoskins and his men went to Hammond's Creation Lab and began gathering up DNA samples. Hoskins was then killed by Delta, one of the Velociraptors Grady worked with, who mauled him to death. However, Hoskins embodied the idea of the dinosaurs being weaponized and before died, Hoskins even mused his mistaken belief that the Indoraptor would be great for military applications.

Ken Wheatley - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) was perhaps the most outright villainous of the Jurassic big game hunters, and he also met the most comical death. Another high-priced mercenary, Wheatley led the rescue operation of the dinosaurs ahead of the volcanic eruption of Mt. Sibo, but he was under orders to gather the dinos up and bring them back to Lockwood Manor for a black market dinosaur auction.

Wheatley had a sadistic hobby of plucking a tooth from every dinosaur he killed for his personal collection, but this ended up leading to his gory demise against the Indoraptor after the auction. Wheatley's attempt to get an Indoraptor tooth hilariously backfired when the hybrid beast tricked Wheatley by playing dead and then mauled the helpless big game hunter.

Hap - Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2021)

Hap (Angus Sampson) appeared in Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 2, and he was the guide Mitch (Bradley Whitford) and Tiff (Stephanie Beatriz) hired to lead them into Isla Nublar after the dinosaurs overran Jurassic World. In a clever twist, the outwardly intimidating Hap was actually a good guy and he was trying to protect the teenage Campers from Mitch and Tiff, who posed as eco-tourists but were actually big game hunters looking to make trophies of the dinosaurs.

Hap turned on his married employers and helped the kids, and he sacrificed his life to distract a pack of Baryonyx so the teens could escape. Mitch and Tiff also met horrible ends in Camp Cretaceous: he was eaten by the T-Rex and the Baryonyx made a meal out of Tiff aboard her boat as she tried to escape Jurassic World.


Sam Neill Defends 'Jurassic Park III' and Notorious Talking Raptor Scene

Friday, February 5, 2021

Sam Neill has spoken in defence of the maligned sequel Jurassic Park III, including the scene in which a raptor talks to his character in a dream.

The 2001 adventure — in which Neill’s palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant is duped into travelling to another island of cloned dinosaurs — was far from beloved by film critics, with its approval score on Rotten Tomatoes currently set at just 49%.

Particularly, the scene in which a sleeping Dr Grant is addressed as “Alan” by a talking velociraptor has become notorious as an example of the movie’s failings.

Neill, though, has told Collider he thought that sequence was “pretty cool” when he first read the script for Joe Johnston’s movie.

The 73-year-old star said: “I was just talking to someone earlier in the day who said: ‘I really like Jurassic Park III and it gets an unfair [treatment].’

“He was from Rotten Tomatoes, I think it was him. And I said: ‘Thank you very much!’

“I agree that the last 10 minutes are way too easy and way too hurried, but I think up to that point, it’s pretty damn good.”

Despite the negative reaction to the movie, Neill said he had only truly figured out the role of Dr Grant by the time he appeared in the third film.

“You’re not just playing a character. You need a whole skillset,” he said.

“You need a whole armoury to play an action hero and I wish I had known what those skills were when we did the first one, but there we are.”

Neill is due to reprise his role as Dr Grant, alongside fellow original movie stars Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, in the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion.

Director Colin Trevorrow has suggested that fans are underestimating the size of the trio’s roles, saying they will be part of an “ensemble” rather than simply making cameo appearances.


Rare 50 Million-Year-Old Fossilized Bug Flashes its Penis for Posterity

Friday, February 5, 2021

This poor fossilized assassin bug's tiny penis is being closely scrutinized by paleontologists who consider the find "a rare treat"—because it has been so extraordinarily preserved.

It dates back 50 million years, so this group may be twice as old as previously assumed.

A rare fossilized assassin bug is causing a bit of a stir in entomology circles because it is so remarkably well-preserved that one can distinctly pick out its penis. The specimen dates back 50 million years to the Eocene epoch, meaning this particular taxonomic group may be twice as old as scientists previously assumed. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) researchers who conducted the analysis described their unusual find in a new paper published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.

"Getting a complete fossilized insect is really rare, but getting a fossil of an insect from this long ago, that has this much detail, is pretty amazing and exciting," Gwen Pearson of Purdue University's Department of Entomology, who is not a co-author on the paper, told Ars. Assassin bugs (part of the Reduviidae family, of the order Hemiptera) are predators favored by gardeners because they eat pests. The mouth is distinctly shaped like a straw, the better to poke into the body of its prey, like a juice box, and slurp out the guts.

But of course, it's the preserved genitalia that make this fossilized specimen so exciting. The genitalia are contained within a shell—Ruth Schuster, writing at Haaretz, described the penis (technically its "pygophore") of the assassin bug as a "chitinous codpiece"—which is why it's difficult to tell whether a given insect specimen is male or female. In addition to the pygophore and the telltale stripes on the legs, the new fossil also distinctly shows the "basal plate," a structure shaped like a stirrup that supports the penis.

"The thing that makes bug penises so interesting is that in many cases they are part of the exoskeleton," said Pearson. "It's not because entomologists are pervy, it's because genitals are the place where we can see evolution happening. That's where the sexual selection is strongest. And the more we know about how insects lived and diversified in the past, that helps us understand how they're living and diversifying now."

Among other rare ancient insect finds is the 2013 discovery of a fossilized pair of insects in a related taxonomic group known as froghoppers (Anthoscytina perpetua), caught in flagrante delicto, their copulation preserved in great detail for over 165 million years. The froghoppers were so well-preserved in a belly-to-belly mating position that one can see the male inserting its "aedeagus" (analogous to the penis) into the female's "bursa copulatrix."

Most insect fossils are found in a few dozen "jackpot" deposits known as konzentrat Lagerstätten, loosely translated as “a deposit where a whole bunch of fossils were preserved,” according to a new article in Entomology Today. Those fossil-rich regions include the Green River Formation, a series of sedimentary deposits located in what is now Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. That's where this new fossil was found in 2006, near Meeker in Rio Blanco County in Colorado, by a fossil collector named Dan Judd. The ancient bug has been dubbed Aphelicophontes danjuddi in his honor.

Another unusual feature is that the specimen split neatly in half in the field when Judd found it, instead of one half encasing the actual fossil and the other recording its impression, which is what usually happens. "The Green River shales are very well-laminated and split nicely like the pages of a book," co-author Sam W. Heads, a paleontologist at UIUC, told Ars. "I expect Mr. Judd will have given the stone a tap or two with a hammer and popped it open, revealing the specimen inside. It was pure luck that it split the way it did right through the coronal plane. I did do a little minor preparation in the lab with a very fine pin mounted in a pin vice, just to remove some matrix that was covering certain parts of the body. Other than that, the specimen was perfect."

Enlarge / Forever love: These two froghoppers, discovered in 2013, were caught in the act of copulating and preserved for more than 165 million years.

When Heads first received one half of the specimen, he "was awed by the wonderful preservation including the beautifully preserved color pattern," he said. "I immediately recognized it as an assassin bug and was simply ecstatic about it since they are not common in the fossil record. I ran straight into my colleague's office next door to mine to show him the specimen."

Upon closer examination under the microscope, he realized that the internal genitalia were also very well preserved—cause for even more excitement. "I didn't sleep much that night," Heads admitted. Within a week, he learned that Judd was willing to donate his half of the specimen, thereby enabling Heads and lead author Daniel Swanson, Heads' graduate student, to learn even more about the bug's morphology. "I had another jump-for-joy moment as I examined it and found that the genitalia were visible on that half also, and not only that, but it preserved slightly different parts of the phallic complex," he said. "I realized we might be able to reconstruct the morphology of the phallus of this insect."

Much of the paper focuses on tracing out, in precise detail, the various tiny details of this particular specimen to make the case for the final species assignation. Heads and Swanson also soaked the butts—excuse me, "caudal ends"—of a representative sample of modern assassin bugs in water, so they could easily remove the genitals with forceps. When they compared those genitals to the fossilized sample, they were a match. This provides "strong evidence that the genitalia were similar in the group, and were probably under similar selective pressures for the past 50 million years," the authors concluded.

According to Pearson, despite being around for so long, fossilized insects from millions of years ago have the same basic body plan as their modern counterparts. "The pieces that change [over the course of evolution] are the tiny squidgy bits," she said. "So much of what we know about insects and how we classify them is about their genitals, because each species will very often have distinct bits that only fit in their species."

Heads said that this new fossil belongs to a branch of a family tree typically dated back 25 million years. Since this fossil dates back 50 million years, it's possible that one branch of assassin bugs diversified earlier than previously believed.

Swanson is now completing work for his PhD, which includes compiling a detailed review and catalog of all known fossil assassin bugs, fixing a few taxonomic errors made by other scientists in the past for good measure. According to Heads, among the most important potential implications of Aphelicophontes will be its use in calibrating molecular phylogenetic analyses of the entire Reduviidae.

"This is like reconstructing the family history or genealogy of the group, determining how the various genera and species are related to one another," he said. "Fossils like Aphelicophontes are extremely valuable in this kind of work because they provide us with a minimum age for a particular lineage, which informs estimates of divergence times and can provide important data about the acquisition of different morphological characters through time."

In addition, "Aphelicophontes tells us something about the paleoecology of the ancient Green River Formation paleobiota," Heads said. "Assassin bugs are important predators in terrestrial ecosystems, so it's useful to know that they were there as part of the ancient insect fauna."

DOI: Papers in Palaeontology, 2021. 10.1002/spp2.1349


Jurassic Park: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Velociraptor Behavior On Site B

Friday, February 5, 2021

The behavior of the Velociraptors of Jurassic Park varies significantly on the infamous Site B. What exactly makes these other raptors so unique?

When Jurassic Park came on the scene in 1993, audiences were in awe of what they saw in this tropical island theme park. Much like how John Hammond forged new paths for genetic engineering, Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg had pushed the boundaries of special effects to bring living, breathing dinosaurs to the big screen. Viewers never thought they would experience anything like it again.

Little did they know that, on top of Isla Nublar, Hammond had a second installation on Isla Sorna. Unfortunately (or fortunately), a hurricane wiped out the enclosures here, allowing the animals to run free. This inevitably leads some to exhibit different behavior than their enclosed counterparts. Among the most noticeable examples is the Velociraptor, the swift and sharp predator hailed as one of the smartest dinosaurs out there. These pack hunters already terrified viewers in the first film, but those on Site B come with several key differences that make them even more efficient as killers, even among the Spielberg pantheon.

10 - They Don't Kill Each Other... Or Do They?

In the first film, game warden Muldoon explains that they originally bred eight raptors. By the time that movie's events unfold, they only have three left. The large female killed the rest. In addition, these supposedly intelligent dinosaurs routinely snap at each other without provocation. By contrast, the raptors on Isla Sorna operate in large packs. The Lost World and Jurassic Park III show groups of six to eight members. The infighting of their predecessors is virtually nonexistent. Maybe it's true what they say: one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.

The Lost World novel by Michael Crichton paints a different picture, however. Velociraptors on Site B killed for the pleasure of killing. Their murderous streak wasn't reserved only for enemies but also for unruly pack members. The book presented the idea of a "psychosis" of sorts, which Dr. Ian Malcolm elaborated on. He explains that, since the animals weren't raised by caring parents, and instead within a lab, they don't display structured pack behavior, nor understand the importance of its preservation.

In fact, Dr. Sarah Harding witnessed a brutal example up close. She spotted a pack violently tearing apart a carcass and a small juvenile barely able to share in the meal. When the youngling finally managed to push its way through and snag a bite, one of the adults quickly put it down, making it a side dish.

9 - They Lay Eggs

Despite the fact that all the dinosaurs were bred as females, Alan Grant discovers a clutch of eggs as he wanders Isla Nublar, deducing that their frog DNA allowed them to change sexes to adapt. However, the raptors in the first film don't get out of their cage until the third act, and they can barely get along, let alone breed.

Luckily, the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna had plenty of time to procreate. In Jurassic Park III, the characters stumble on several groups of raptor eggs in a nesting area. The animals have clearly followed their instinct to reproduce, which ensures their species endures.

8 - They Run Away From A Tough Fight

When confronted by something dangerous or unfamiliar, animals have a flight-or-flight response. Flight is usually the safer option, especially for those that aren't at the top of the food chain. The captive raptors in Jurassic Park presumably never learned this, with one of them even challenging a T-rex toward the end.

On the other hand, Site B's raptors have lived in the wild for a while. They've had time to cultivate their survival instincts within the ecosystem. They know they're not the big boys in town. So, when they sense potential threats, such as a gas bomb or the sound of a helicopter, they'd rather retreat to preserve their numbers. Call them chickens if you want. At least they live to hunt another day.

Alternatively, leaked concept art for The Lost World showed a scene in which raptors chase down an individual on a motorcycle. It proved that, even faced with something unfamiliar, they would still engage in a fight until it proved to be too much.

7 - They Probably Don't Use Their Feathers For Anything

Even during the original Jurassic Park trilogy, the idea of dinosaurs as feathered animals was already coming into fashion. It was a focal point of the first film. As such, Jurassic Park III pays homage to these discoveries by giving some raptors a batch of quills on their heads. They're not as prominent as in ARK, but they're still visible.

However, a visual nod is all these quills are good for. The raptors obviously can't use them to fly or glide; they can't make the raptors look bigger to intimidate other animals; and they're not prominent enough to be a tool for mating. Unless they emit some pheromone viewers don't know about, these things are just here to please any paleontologists in the audience.

6 - They Attack From An Elevated Position

The raptors on Site B seem to have a penchant for pouncing. This is possibly due to the fact that they're not enclosed in a cramped cage like their Site A peers, but it may also be another callback to their flying relatives.

Modern birds of prey, such as hawks and eagles, naturally attack their targets from above. They'll dive bomb onto the animal and grab it with their talons, sometimes killing their quarry with the force. The raptors might prefer striking from a higher angle because of their evolutionary connection to these airborne predators. They may not be able to fly, but they sure can jump pretty high.

5 - They're More Organized

Alan Grant asserts that raptors were among the smartest dinosaurs to ever walk the Earth. However, the ones in the first film tend to barrel toward their targets without much thought for each other. They occasionally display their sharpness when they open doors and misdirect Muldoon, but their attacks mostly have the subtlety of a freight train and don't have much pack cooperation.

Those on Isla Sorna seem much more adept at hunting. They come up with complex maneuvers and use their environment to their advantage, such as when they covertly surround the humans in the tall grass. This shows a level of team coordination more in line with their reputation as pack hunters, unfortunately, for the herbivores. They've also given Turok fans many a headache for years.

4 - They Go Further Than Most Animals For Their Eggs

The animal kingdom is a cruel place. Not every creature has the same nurturing instincts, and many predators and scavengers get an easy snack by raiding nests or killing infants. When this happens, the parents generally abandon the lost offspring to focus on the remaining ones.

The raptors on Isla Sorna, however, don't take this sitting down. When Billy steals a couple of eggs in Jurassic Park III, the predators pursue the protagonists across the whole island. They even ignore other prey on offer, focused squarely on their rescue mission. Never say that they don't do anything for their kids. Too bad they never fought the Spinosaurus.

3 - They're Led By A Female

In some species, the female is naturally the dominant sex; they're more formidable and typically lead any groups that emerge. This trend pops up today in elephants, spiders, and several other animals.

It also appears to be the case with the raptors. In Jurassic Park III, the main female of the pack takes point when surrounding the characters. She's also seen barking orders to the rest of the group, telling them when to hold position or retreat. Viewers never have any illusions as to who's in charge.

2 - They're Sectioned Into Different Tribes

If viewers look past the running and screaming, they'll notice that the raptors in The Lost World and Jurassic Park III are slightly different. Their coloration is more orange in the former and darker in the latter. Plus, the third film gives them the aforementioned quills.

Isla Sorna is a big island, and viewers already know that InGen modified these animals' DNA. Jurassic World Evolution even lets players do this. The raptors probably sectioned themselves into different groups like lion prides or wolf packs, each with their own territory. The video game, Trespasser, may have been the first to establish Velociraptor tribes in canon. The known tribes include Tribe A (comprising of the "tiger stripe" raptors of the second film), along with Tribes B, C, and C Alpha (which have only appeared in the game). The quilled raptors from the third film could be a potential Tribe D. Why InGen was stupid enough to make this many raptors is anyone's guess.

1 - They Love Pranks

In Jurassic Park III, the characters explore the ruins of an InGen lab. It's here that viewers see several rundown containers, broken eggs, and corpses of animals that never made it to maturity. They encounter one fully-grown raptor specimen that's seemingly dead due to experimentation. Then, in a move straight out of Young Frankenstein, the predator springs to life and starts chasing the humans.

The raptors have never done this fake-out before or since. Considering how well-rehearsed it is, though, one has to assume that it's a regular tactic. The filmmakers probably only intended it as a cheap jump-scare, but it inadvertently paints these animals in a whole new light. If this is how they behave, viewers can never look at the raptors on either island the same way again. At least they're still more dignified than the Velocipastor.


Paleontologists Find 3.58-Million-Year-Old Ground Sloth Fossil

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Life reconstruction of Megatherium. Image credit: Sebastián Rozadilla.

Paleontologists in Argentina have discovered what they say is one of the oldest-known fossils of the ground sloth Megatherium.

Megatherium is an extinct genus of ground sloths that lived in South America from the Early Pliocene epoch (5 million years ago) through the end of the Pleistocene epoch (11,700 years ago).

The earliest and smallest known species of the genus is Megatherium altiplanicum from Pliocene of Bolivia.

But it is best known for the elephant-sized Megatherium americanum, sometimes called the giant ground sloth, native to Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia during the Pleistocene.

It was up to 10 times the size of living sloths reaching weights of up to 4 tons.

It was able to stand and walk on its hind legs, making it the largest bipedal mammal of all time.

Megatherium overlapped with humans in time as their fossils have been found with cut marks on them, suggesting that these creatures were on the menu thousands of years ago.

Footprints attributed to Megatherium americanum dating to around 14,000 years old have been found in Argentina.

These animals lived mostly in groups, but they may have lived singly in caves.

They probably had mainly a browsing diet in open habitats, but also they probably fed on other moderate to soft tough food.

There even have been suggestions that their long claws and strong forelimbs may have allowed them to hunt other animals.

The 3.58-million-year-old skull of Megatherium from the San Eduardo del Mar locality, Argentina. Image credit: Museo Municipal Punta Hermengo, Miramar.

Megatherium remains are very common in almost the entire Argentine territory, however, it is the first time that the remains of such high antiquity have been found, which is only comparable to a find made a few years ago in Bolivia,” said Dr. Nicolás Chimento from the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’-CONICET and his colleagues from the Museo Municipal Punta Hermengo, Miramar, the Universidad MaimónidesCICYTTP-CONICET, and CIC PBA-UNMDP.

The new, partial skull of a Megatherium was discovered at the locality of San Eduardo del Mar in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province.

The paleontologists found that the fossil belonged to a juvenile and is at least 3.58 million years old.

The 3.58-million-year-old skull of Megatherium. Image credit: Museo Municipal Punta Hermengo, Miramar.

“This constitutes the first undoubted record of Megatherium from the Pliocene of Argentina, and one of the oldest records for the genus,” they said.

“This finding blurs previous biogeographical proposals sustaining that the genus originated in the High Andes and later dispersed to the lowlands.”

“On the contrary, present finding, together with the record of coeval Megatherium species in the Pleistocene of the Argentine Pampas, suggests a more complex paleobiogeographical scenario and indicates that the diversity of lowland Pliocene megatheriines is still underrepresented.”

The findings were published in the Journal of South American Earth Sciences.


Nicolás R. Chimento et al. A new record of Megatherium (Folivora, Megatheriidae) in the late Pliocene of the Pampean region (Argentina). Journal of South American Earth Sciences, published online October 10, 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102950