Jurassic Park was full of shit, and so were the dinosaurs.
It’s been over 23 years since Steven Spielberg boggled our minds with the jaw-dropping, terror-inducing dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Audiences everywhere looked on in amazement as Spielberg brought these prehistoric monsters to life and had people leaving theaters thankful for the millions of years separating our species. However, in the years since Jurassic Park’s release there have been a number of discoveries that have left dinosaur enthusiasts significantly less excited about the creatures. Science has determined that many dinosaurs had feathers and quacked, instead of producing the chilling roars heard in the films. Even T-Rex – the quintessential dinosaur, the apex predator – is now strongly believed to have been a bottom-feeding scavenger, weighing so much that it would take about 7 seconds to turn 45 degrees, never approaching speeds of around 50 miles per hour as suggested in Jurassic Park. All in all, these discoveries pale in comparison to what scientists at the University of Michigan have pieced together.
“What we found is that all dinosaurs were hardly giant lizards at all,” said paleontologist Howard Fleming, who led the research team. “In fact, they were neither giants by any standards, nor were they related to lizards. The largest dinosaur was no bigger than a medium-sized dog and the smallest was around the size of a pigeon.”
The size of a what?! A dog or pigeon does not sound nearly as scary or awesome as the dragon-like figures we are accustomed to seeing on the big screen. Hell, we’ve all seen the enormous dinosaur skeletons in museums, so what gives?
“Paleontology is a lot different than most people think it is. When fossilized bones are found, they are never in very good condition. These things are millions of years old. Often, the dinosaur remains are broken up into very small pieces and we have to put them back together. Using state-of-the-art technology, we are now able to scan all of the tiny pieces of bone into a computer and have it create an accurate 3D model of what the animal looked like. And, boy, were we off,” Fleming said.
Any hope that dinosaurs were cool all but withers away when you know that they were so small, but to make matters worse, Fleming and his team learned even more from the 3D models.
“It turns out a dinosaur’s main line of defense was not its dagger-like teeth or razor-sharp claws, but the power of smell, or, more specifically, the power of stink,” he said. “We found that dinosaurs had glands all over their bodies that produced a slimy coating over their feathers. This coating likely smelled putrid, like fecal matter, in order to change the mind of any predators looking for a meal. So, when we truly think of what a dinosaur looked like, picture less of a fast, aggressive dragon-like monster, and more of a chicken that just walked through a sewer.”
Many Christian groups have popularly theorized that dinosaur bones are fake or merely put in the ground by God in order to provide us with a fun thing to dig up. Fleming offered his own perspective on the matter to try and set the record straight for any theorists looking to use his team’s discoveries to bolster such claims.
“Look, these things existed, that we know for sure. If God is out there, he is most likely extremely embarrassed that we have discovered these outstandingly uncool creatures. Of course he wouldn’t mention them in the Bible, they are agonizingly lame. He was probably just trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug,” Fleming said.
What does this mean for dinosaur lovers and Jurassic Park fans? Well, it doesn’t look good for the dinosaur lovers. They will have to start thinking of the dinosaurs we all knew and loved as mythical creatures, too amazing for this world. For fans of Jurassic Park, fear not. The film is still as excellent and exciting as it was in 1993, and scientists unanimously agree that Jeff Goldblum is just as cool, if not cooler, in real life.