How Jurassic World 3 Can Have Feathered Dinosaurs Without Creating A Plot Hole

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Jurassic World 3 shows dinosaurs with feathers; however, this isn't a plot hole since Jurassic Park established that frog DNA was used to clone them.

A flashback sequence in Jurassic World: Dominion shows dinosaurs with distinct feathers, which contradicts their appearance in the rest of the franchise; however, this isn't a plot hole: the explanation was provided in the original movie, Jurassic Park. Director Colin Trevorrow's film nods to Jurassic Park with a scene that takes place back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, showing a mosquito landing on a T-rex before getting trapped in amber. It's a moment that references where it all started — but with one major change: the feathers.

The first preview for Jurassic World: Dominion appears as an exclusive before IMAX showings of Fast & Furious 9. The extended clip features a flashback to the dinosaurs' origins, 65 000 000 years ago. Fans of the Jurassic franchise will have noticed one significant difference: some of these dinosaurs are covered in feathers, unlike the more lizard-like versions first introduced by Jurassic Park. It's a stylistic choice that fits the established scientific beliefs regarding what some dinosaurs looked like, and serves as a reminder that these ancient creatures were the predecessors of modern-day birds.

Although this may appear to be a plot hole, the feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic World 3 preview can be explained through the franchise's established history. In Jurassic Park, John Hammond shows the park visitors an informational video that explains how the dinosaurs were cloned using blood preserved in amber. The genetic information isn't complete, however, so InGen's scientists used frog DNA to fill in the gaps.

Since the dinosaurs in Jurassic World were presumably cloned using the same process seen in Jurassic Park, it stands to reason that having frog DNA would alter their appearance. Perhaps the reason why the dinosaurs don't have visible feathers is because of that amphibian DNA — the very same DNA that allowed the creatures to switch genders in order to reproduce. Showing the original dinosaurs with feathers in the past allows Jurassic World 3 to acknowledge one of the biggest problems in the franchise while maintaining (and honoring) the established mythology.

It was a conscious choice not to give dinosaurs feathers in Jurassic Park. By the time the movie debuted in 1993, dinosaurs were known to be evolutionarily linked to birds — Alan Grant even mentions as much in the movie. The reason why the dinosaurs didn't have feathers in Jurassic Park was both practical and narrative. Although Spielberg was aware that the velociraptors, for example, should have feathers, Spielberg chose to go for a more classic look, believing the more lizard-like style was more terrifying. Plus, given the technology of the time, it would have been very difficult to animate the feathers in CGI.

There actually is some precedence for dinosaurs in Jurassic Park: the third movie in the franchise, Jurassic Park III experimented with the concept by giving the velociraptors quill-like feathers on the top of their heads. Jurassic World reverting to the classic design, however — a smart choice given how iconic the original designs are. Most likely, the final movie in the Jurassic World trilogy will show the cloned dinosaurs without feathers, but it may confirm that the appearance is different from the creatures that walked the Earth millions of years ago.