Paleontologist Explains Why Jurassic World is More Scientifically Viable Than Jurassic Park

Friday, 05 June 2015 - 4:41PM
Genetic Engineering
Weird Science
Friday, 05 June 2015 - 4:41PM
Paleontologist Explains Why Jurassic World is More Scientifically Viable Than Jurassic Park
When it comes to pulling a John Hammond and cloning dinosaurs, the scientific community is generally agreed that a real-life Jurassic Park isn't possible. But what about Jurassic World? In a recent interview with the BBC, Paleontologist Jack Horner argued that in terms of real-life scientific viability, the events of Jurassic World are far more likely than the events seen in its predecessor, Jurassic Park.



That added viability stems from the fact that Jurassic World features the creation of Indominus Rex, a genetic hybrid dinosaur that Horner argues is easier to achieve than a direct clone of a dinosaur, for the simple reason that we do not possess any actual dinosaur DNA.

"The cool thing about making a hybrid is that we can take a whole bunch of genes from other animals and mix them together to make a new animal, which is actually more plausible than bringing them back," said Horner. And, although Dino DNA is still important if you want to create a dinosaur hybrid, it's far easier to work around than if you wanted to resurrect one of the long lost beasts.

In fact, building on a theory put forward by Horner in his book, How to Build a Dinosaur, a team of scientists were recently able to successfully enable a chicken to grow a dinosaur-like snout where its beak should be, albeit accidentally. Such transgenic creations have far more in common with Jurassic World's Indominus Rex than they do with Jurassic Park's T-Rex, although they do still lack that key dino ingredient.

"We don't have dinosaur DNA but we can make transgenic animals," continued Horner. "We actually can take genes out of one animal and put them in another one. So actually, the new movie is scientifically more plausible." 

Of course, this isn't to say that in a few years time we'll all be flocking to a new dinosaur theme park. After all, there are many differences between Jurassic Park's dinosaurs and the ones that existed millions of years ago, so such movies are hardly a happy hunting ground for those who are looking for scientific fact. But it is always nice to see Science catching up with Science Fiction.

You can hear Horner's full comments in the player below.

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