Later this month, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will invite viewers back into the world of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park just in time for the 25th anniversary of the cinematic adaptation by Steven Spielberg. Both the film and the novel played a large role in the resurgent popularity of dinosaurs, both on and off screen.
But according to one prominent paleontologist, Jurassic Park didn't create that interest — it simply took advantage of it.
"Jurassic Park obviously had a big impact on the field of paleontology,” Mark Norell told SYFY WIRE. "I think that it really took advantage of a lot of the things that were already out there, and a lot of developing interest in paleontology in the late 1980s and early 1990s."
Norell is a paleontologist and a molecular geneticist who is considered to be one of the foremost experts in his field of study. Norell acknowledged that the Jurassic Park films don't hold up to scientific scrutiny, but he appreciates the movies on a different level.
"I think the whole Jurassic Park phenomena is not really about science," related Norell. "You have to realize that it's purely entertainment. In the same way, you don't get an accurate view of the universe from Star Trek."
During our discussion, Norell took the time to talk about some of the real scientific questions about dinosaurs, including their average lifespan. He also dispelled some myths about the Tyrannosaurus Rex before explaining the strength of its bite in detail. Let's just say that anything unfortunate enough to find itself within the T-Rex's mouth probably wouldn’t like the outcome. That said, Norell also pointed to scientific evidence of other dinosaurs surviving T-Rex attacks.
For more dino facts, check out the video below!