Welcome to Jurassic World: A Dino-Primer

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By now, you might have heard of a certain movie opening in wide release. Jurassic World proposes itself to be a return to the glory days of Jurassic Park, a time when CGI was a cutting-age technology, and dinosaurs roamed the screens of the world. Since then, the franchise has suffered its share of ups and downs…but the dinosaurs remain an ever present fixture in popular culture.

This new edition of Jurassic Park boasts a staggering 18 different dinosaurs – a stretch from the first movie, which sported a colossal 7. If you didn’t grow up a dinosaur nut like certain fans did, you might find this to be an overwhelming amount of saurians. Fortunately, yours truly has pulled from the banks of memory and science to give you a rundown on what you might see on screens this weekend.

(The following descriptions are based in part off of the Jurassic World official website, and consequently may or may not make appearances in the actual film. They are rated, however, based upon their potential for destruction – where a rating of 1 is something on the scale of a housecat and a rating of 10 means that the dino in question will fuck your shit up. #caveat)

Ankylosaurus

ankylosaurus

There’s a rumor that subsequent Jurassic Park movies (in this age of franchises, of course there’s going to be more Jurassic Park movies!) will showcase dinosaurs being co-opted by military forces for use in combat. If that’s the case, the “armored tank lizard” would be a good starting point. Weighing in at 30 feet long, completely covered with scaly armor, and sporting a massive club tail, this bruiser would certainly wreck up a neighborhood. Early trailer spots confirm that they may play a game of pinball with one of the ‘gyrospheres’ – a theme park recipe for nausea and the latest case of being trapped in a terrifying glass bubble. Ankylosaurs are the shit – and deserve better than the brief cameo they received in Jurassic Park III.

Dino Destruction Rating: 5

Apatosaurus

The lumbering giants of this film, replacing the majestic brachiosaurs of the first film. I mean, they’re cool – anyone who ever watched The Land Before Time remembers “long necks” – but they’re basically the cows of Jurassic Park. They get thrown into herd shots so that filmmakers can be all like “hey, look, a herd of big dinosaurs, aren’t we cool!”

Dino Destruction Rating: 2 If it doesn’t step on you, it’s harmless.

Baryonyx

I always had a soft spot for Baryonyx, a giant fish-eating carnivore with wicked front claws. There was a Jurassic Park toy based off of the guy back in my childhood, and I always had hopes that one would make an appearance. Sadly, given that there are already three big carnivores competing for screen time in this movie, it’s not likely to make more than a cameo appearance.

Also, it eats fish. Let’s get real here.

Dino Destruction Rating: 4

Dimorphodon

Dimorphodonjw

A smaller, meaner pterodactyl. Anyone who’s seen the previews for the movie sees the scene where the pterosaurs break out of the park’s aviary and wreak havok. That’s cool if you’re a Pteranodon (see below), but dimorphodons are historically tiny creatures. They have a nasty set of teeth, but…well…picture a meaner, bigger hawk. You’ve got a Dimorphodon.

Dino Destruction Rating: 5

Edmontosaurus

See Apatosaurus, minus the size and adding in a duck bill.

Dino Destruction Rating: 2

Gallimimus

gallimimus

The original Gallimimus herd chase in the first movie is sheer visceral action. Then you remember that these guys are the bug eating horses of the animal world. Hell, their attraction is riding alongside them in an open air jalopy. Even going next to the apatosaurs means you’re hidden away in a glass-cased bubble.

Dino Destruction Rating: 1.5

Metriacanthosaurus

From scientific records, this is basically a pocket sized T-Rex/allosaur hybrid. However, given that T-Rex is a rather large animal, this means that pocket sized is equivalent to a Hummer. If a Hummer had teeth and legs and a mean disposition, I wouldn’t wanna get close. And this guy is a feature on the River Ride. Unfortunately, it’s also likely to just make a cameo, owing to Jurassic World seemingly pulling a page from “Too Many Cooks” and swarming the screen with dino-monstrosities.

Dino Destruction Rating: 6

Microceratus

Aw, sweet, a tiny little dinosaur that will actually fit in your pocket. That’s cool. Also, there’s actual dinosaurs in the park that you’re not in danger of squishing with your boot heels. Move along, please.

Dino Destruction Rating: 0.5 Because seriously.

Mosasaurus

DID YOU JUST SEE THIS THING EAT THAT SHARK HOLY CRAP IS THIS THING DANGEROUS NOBODY SHOULD GET CLOSE TO oh wait, it can only survive in water, so as long as you’re not actually in water or dangling above water, you should be fine. That sort of halves the beast’s destructive potential, you know.

Dino Destruction Rating: 5

Pachycephalosaurus

Basically the closest evolution has come to a walking battering ram. Even more so than, you know, rams. If the use of dinosaurs in military and industrial settings rings true, then picture this guy on a S.W.A.T. unit. Boy, that’d be cool.

…say, why didn’t they make that movie?…

Dino Destruction Rating: 7

Parasaurolophus

See Edmontosaurus, only add in a fucking obnoxious horn that could be used to bellow carnivores to death? I’m rethinking this ranking.

Dino Destruction Rating: 4 I mean, they won’t actually do that bellow its opponents to death thing in the movie. See again as to why this movie will be so much weaker than it could be.

Pteranodon

All I know is this thing absconds with a fully grown woman in the trailer. It’s a giant condor with scales, big claws, and a dangerous beak. This thing will wreak havok – and it’s CONFIRMED by the trailer.

Dino Destruction Rating: 7

Stegosaurus

The long held false theory is that the stegosaur had a second brain in its tail because it was too dumb to know how to walk with its back legs. This is false. Even with the second brain (more of a nerve cluster than anything else), it was still a remarkably stupid animal. This is another animal that gets injected into scenes anytime someone needs to see a dinosaur herd. Like that river scene. Hey, look Ma! Dinosaurs!

Bring on the baddies. Like our next guy…

Dino Destruction Rating: 4 – if only because that spiky tail can wreak havok.

Suchomimus

…or not.

I mean, Suchomimus is a cross between a T-Rex and a Crocodile, but even the Jurassic World website is all “it has a medium aggressive nature”, so like with Baryonyx, I’m not getting my hopes up for any major Suchomimus carnage.

Dino Destruction Rating: 4 – you see that? SAME RATING as a STEGOSAUR. FOR SHAME, SUCHOMIMUS. FOR SHAME.

Triceratops

triceratops

A classic. Triceratops remains a wondrous dinosaur, beloved so much that certain authors may actually believe the creature to be alive. (That is, they might if you don’t know what sarcasm is. And if you think this to be true, I have this bridge in Brooklyn that I might like to sell you.) Triceratops is another potential dinosaur with military applications. It’s as though nature bred a meaner rhino. In one trailer, we see it rising up and shaking its haunches. I get the feeling that in a stampede, this guy will get to do some damage. I mean, those horns.

Dino Destruction Rating: 7

Tyrannosaurus Rex

t-rex

One of two characters to return from the original Jurassic Park. (The other is B.D. Wong’s Henry Wu, who showed up for a hot second before disappearing) If you don’t know what T-Rex means to the Jurassic Park franchise, then I’d like to talk more to you about that bridge I’m trying to sell…

Dino Destruction Rating: 9 It’d be higher, but I get the feeling that this girl winds up being the hero somehow. Which is kind of a cop out.

Velociraptor

raptors

Speaking of cop-outs, the raptors have been trained to hang out with Andy Dwyer, which certainly means that nothing will go wrong, right?

WRONG. NEVER TRUST A RAPTOR. IT ALWAYS ENDS POORLY.

Dino Destruction Rating: 10

Indominus Rex

The main bad guy, a genetic hybrid, combining the DNA of T-Rex, Gigantosaurus, a ceratosaur, and apparently “Dancing with Myself” era David Bowie, judging by the trailers. This thing can talk to other dinosaurs. It has camouflage. It’s mean enough to eat its mate. It remembers things. It’s basically the raptors from the first movie only bigger and more CGI’d.

I mean, it’ll mess things up in the park, but you know that Andy Dwyer and his horde of raptors which only answer to him won’t –

– wait –

– it can talk to dinosaurs, and tell them what to do (not a spoiler, that’s from the trailer, yo) –

…well, this doesn’t look good for Star-Lord.

Dino Destruction Rating: 10.9999

So, there you have it. A boat load of dinosaurs, just in time to go out and check out Jurassic World, in theatres today. Hopefully, this has been of some service to you, and you have learned something about the dinosaurs of the movie.

If not, let’s talk seriously about this bridge in Brooklyn…

 

Travis J. Cook

Travis J. Cook

Travis J. Cook is the Editor-in-Chief and one of the original founders of the Addison Recorder. He writes about baseball, movies, and music, among other topics. He resides in a hole in the ground near Wrigley Field.

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