Since the first Jurassic Park movie came out, 20 years of scientific research have transformed the way paleontologists look at dinosaurs. But in Jurassic World (in theaters this week) the dinosaurs remain stuck in the 1980s.
Fact-checking movies for scientific accuracy only gets you so far — we often enjoy movies precisely because they're unlike reality, after all. But scrutinizing the Jurassic Park films, which span a period of 20 years, tells an interesting story about a revolution in the field of paleontology.
When the first movie was released in 1993, it was fairly forward-thinking. It accurately predicted that evidence would show birds evolved from dinosaurs. In the years that followed, discoveries in new rock formations changed the way scientists envisioned the appearance of many dinosaurs: with feather coverings, some of them probably looked more like birds than lizards.
How did Jurassic World adjust for the new research? Essentially, they didn't.
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