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Could Jurassic World Really Happen?

July 15, 2015

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Jurassic World has become one of the highest grossing films ever made. In fact, it broke box office records by earning over $500 million worldwide on opening weekend. There's no doubt that the film feeds our population's fascination with dinosaurs, and a little Chris Pratt never hurts! Movies like Jurassic World (not to mention the earlier Jurassic Park films) bring up a lot of questions, though. In reality, could we find dinosaur DNA and use it to recreate these creatures? 

Comparing the Movies to Real Life

Hello, Chris Pratt!Hello, Chris Pratt!Courtesy of Universal

Creation

You may remember that in the original Jurassic Park, scientists discovered dinosaur DNA in a preserved pre-historic mosquito that had been trapped in sap which had been solidified into amber. The scientists in the movie were able to extract the DNA and use it, along with frog DNA, to recreate dinosaurs. In real life, scientists have not been able to locate any dinosaur DNA, and as Jack Horner, the paleontologist who worked on all of the Jurassic Park movies as well as Jurassic World, says "DNA simply doesn't last that long." 

In Jurassic Park, this mosquito provided dinosaur DNA!In Jurassic Park, this mosquito provided dinosaur DNA!Courtesy of AP

However, studies now show that there are very likely traces of dinosaurDNA to be found in our everyday lives. Scientists now know that birds are descended from dinosaurs, which means that birds do carry some traces of dinosaur DNA. In the real world, this means that scientists like Jack Horner are working on recreating dinosaurs in some form or another. Jack Horner is actually experimenting with using chicken DNA to bring dinosaurs back to life!

Appearance

Another thing that may surprise you about the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park films is that, in the over 20 years since the original Jurassic Park was released, discoveries have been made that have changed how paleontologists imagine dinosaurs would look. Though, based on their skeletal remains, many dinosaurs would have had a similar shape as those in the film, it turns out that most dinosaurs (even those that didn't fly) were actually feathered! Scientists weren't aware of this during the making of the first movie, which explains why they designed the dinosaurs the way they did. 

Did you know that most dinosaurs were likely feathered? Did you know that most dinosaurs were likely feathered? Courtesy of National Geographic

Essentially, it is extremely unlikely that true dinosaurs will ever exist in the real world in the same way that they do in movies like Jurassic World. However, thanks to scientific experiments that are occurring today, it may not be that long before we see some form of dinosaur in our lives. I, personally, can't wait!

Imagine if this genetically modified dinosaur existed in the real world! Eek!Imagine if this genetically modified dinosaur existed in the real world! Eek!Courtesy of Universal

Have Your Say!

If you could see any dinosaur in real life, which one would you want to see most?