Monday, January 18, 2016

Media Showcase: Jurassic Park (Dinosaurs Pt3)

Number five: Compsognathus

                Compsognathus, an animal presented in the second film, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, as a small and tenacious carnivore that would swarm together to take down much larger prey. This behavior is unknown and could not possibly be known from fossil material so, why not? Compsognathus would most likely have been covered in a coat of feathers in life, for Compsognathus it would likely have been more like proto-feathers (Ancient predecessors to flight feathers, similar to the feathers seen on emus).

Different kinds of feathers: (Figure I: primitive bristle, Figure II: Primitive Proto-Feather "Dino-Fuzz", Figure III A: Advanced branched feather, Figure III B: Advanced feather seen in flight-capable animals) Figure I and Figure II would likely have been the feathers seen on Compsognathus.

          The real Compsognathus would have had this covering because it belonged to the family known as Coleurosauria. Most, if not all, Coelurosaurians had feathers. Jurassic Park: The Lost World was released in 1997, and the fossil finds that had preserved feathers (which provided evidence that many others likely had feathers as well) had not yet been found, so we will give them a break on this one. However, the arm and hand placement is incorrect for this animal and the hands would have faced inwards as previously stated and there is no excuse for this.

Number six: Corythosaurus

           Corythosaurus, seen in Jurassic Park 3 when the pack of Velociraptors runs into a herd of Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus in pursue of the human main characters. Corythosaurus is rather accurate, in fact, one of the most correct animals in the franchise. Nothing can be said negatively on its anatomy.

Number seven: Dilophosaurus

             This animal has been one of the most changed from its real-life counterpart. Dilophosaurus appears in the original Jurassic Park film in the scene in which Dennis Nedry is in the process of stealing dinosaur embryos ending with him being the main course for a remarkably flamboyant Dilophosaurus. The Dilophosaurus, as it appears in Jurassic Park, suffers from many anatomical issues. The head is way off; In reality, Dilophosaurus had a large and elongate skull with a unique notch near the end of its snout which made the tip bend downwards. 

Dilophosaurus Skull Note: the notch in the snout and the thinness of the head

          The Dilophosaurus in the film has a head shaped like that of a Tyrannosaur. Another inaccuracy is the size of the animal. The film’s Dilophosaurus is very small, about the size of a medium dog. This was done to differentiate the animal from the Velociraptors in the film. The real Dilophosaurus was a rather large theropod that could reach lengths of 20ft. 

The true size of Dilophosaurus (Art and Copyright belongs to PrehistoricKingdom)
         However, the contention of which I must concede is the addition of the frill. The animal in the film sports a large fleshy frill around its neck in the same vain as a Frilled Lizard; it uses this frill to display (in the film, it does this to its prey). This integument (outside characteristics to an animal’s body) is unknown in fossil material, but seeing as this would not fossilize it is possible for this structure to exist. However, evidence for spitting venom, which is a characteristic of the film’s Dilophosaurus, is able to be fossilized and has no evidence behind it. As with the other theropods, the Dilophosaurus should carry its arms facing inwards.

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