We love the Jurassic Park movies! It brought to life every dino-enthusiast's dream of the prehistoric world on to the silver screen and left us more enamoured about the giants that once roamed the earth. Can you guess the dinosaurs from the movies? Here is the soundtrack to get you going!
Make Spielberg proud!
Tyrannosaurus Rex is hands down the most iconic of dinosaurs ever discovered. The ferocious reptile has been part of huge scientific disagreements. There have been questions to whether Tyrannosaurs were predators or scavengers. The debate was settled only recently after T-Rex teeth were found embedded in a Hadrosaur tail. Now that Rex's reputation as a gruesome apex predator has been saved, here are some facts about the T-Rex.
Like most dinosaurs in Jurassic Park movies, T-Rex did not live in the Jurassic period, but in Cretaceous period some 65.5 million years ago. Most T-Rex skeletons are found in Mid-West of North America, which was once an island called Laramidia. A full grown T-Rex has been estimated to measure around 40 feet long , 20 feet tall, weigh 18.5 tonnes and run at speeds of upto 20 kph. One of the most striking things about T-Rex - apart from its short limbs - is its large jaw. A recent study by University of Liverpool showed that T-Rex had a bite force greater than any land animal ever, with the force being eight times stronger than that of a Lion.
Another dinosaur that featured prominently in the movies, the depiction of Velociraptor has come with a lot of creative freedom. In the movies, they are as tall as the humans but in-reality they were the size of a medium sized dog. In Jurassic Park and The Lost World, they look very lizard like , with the skin very dry and scaly.
However, the fossils discovered in Mongolia found feather quills on their forearms. Some scientists speculate that the velociraptors had flight capabiliity and rather looked like a large bird. The dinosaur that comes closest to resembling the movie version of velociraptor is its cousin Utahraptor - standing close to six feet tall and even possessing the ominous 9 inch claw.
One of the most widely adored dinosaurs, Triceratops are iconic for its three horns and a large frill fitted into its skull. Triceratops roamed the same territory as the T-Rex, often fighting as prey and predator and leaving battle scars on one another. Triceratops ate plants ; grazing on low-lying shrubs, grass and small trees. The beak was used to uproot or tear parts of plants. Triceratops could reach lengths of 30 feet and weighed close to 4 tonnes.
With a spelling to compensate for its size, Compsognathus [spelled komp-sog-NAY-thus] is one of the smallest dinosaurs ever found. It is one of the few dinosaurs that featured in the movie to actually have lived in the Jurassic period. There is no proof however that they ate large animals or hunted in groups. One fossil recovered from Germany showed a lizard in Compsognathus's stomach - which indicates what it most likely ate. They are believed to have been very fast and agile; with extremely good vision to hunt their prey.
The frilled venomous dinosaur that takes down the annoying programmer actually had no frills or venom. Dilophosaurus [dye-LO-fuh-SAWR-us] were also much larger in size; close to 5 feet tall and 20 feet long. The movie makers reduced its proportions so that the audience would not confuse it for velociraptors. Dilophosaurus jaws were thought to be too weak to catch prey and hence it was considered to be a scavenger. The most recent evidence points to it being a fish-eater; the shape of the teeth adapted to catch fish and the nose located at the top of the snout to help breathe when submerged.
A herd of Gallimimus run across the plain before one unfortunate member gets eaten by a T-Rex is one of the memorable scene from the movie. The most striking things about Gallimimus is how closely it resembles the modern day large birds - the Ostrich and Emu. They were light weight and adapted to run very fast. Judging by the long and thin snout they are considered to be herbivorous.
The dinosaur that replaced T-Rex in the third installment, Spinosaurus are believed to be the largest land carnivore to have ever roamed the planet. The signature sail on its back grew up to 7 feet in length. Spinosaurus are considered to be semi-aquatic, their long snout designed to catch fish and other sea dwelling creatures. However Spinosaurus couldn't swim , they hopped the bottom of shallow rivers and seas like a Hippo. The large sails could have been used to regulate body temperature and as a threat display to other predators.
Brachiosaurus [BRACK-ee-uh-SAWR-us] are the largest dinosaurs that appears in Jurassic Park and actually lived in the Jurassic Period. They could reach heights of 30 feet and like modern day giraffes fed on foliage unreachable to many other animals. It also has longer front legs compared to its hind legs - which is another evolutionary adaptation to feed on the best part of trees. It is however improbable that it stood on its hind legs with support of its tail - like in the movies - because the body structure wouldn't support it.
Parasaurolophus [par-ah-SAWR-OL-uh-fus] is another dinosaur with a very distinctive look - a horn like crest that runs from the top of the nostril and extends from the back of the head. The crest has hallow tubes inside that start from the nostril and run up its full length. It acted like an acoustic amplifier and was used in vocal communication.
Technically Pteranodon are not dinosaurs, they are Pterosaurs and lived with the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period. They are one of the largest flying animals to have ever inhabited the planet with wingspan of 20 feet. Pteranodon largely ate fish, with fish bones being discovered with its fossil. Pteranodon also sported a crest, though its functionality is up for debate. The males have a larger crest than female, and it is speculated it was used for mating rituals. Pteranodon walked on all fours, and had powerful flight muscles to soar at high speed of up-to 65 mph (105 kph). Image - Matt Martyniuk (Wikipedia Commons)
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