Recently Stephen Adamson wrote a post that showed pics of all the dinos that are going to appear in June's Jurassic World (as in, the one's that are in the actual theme park as attractions). And that got me thinking, why don't I do something with all this random dinosaur knowledge that bounces around in my head? It's a passion that I've had for as long as I can remember, and I'm pretty sure that Jurassic Park at least had something to do with its inception, so let's bring things full circle and give you a summary of all the confirmed dinosaurs/pterosaurs we'll be seeing.
Disclaimer: some of the dinos may have been genetically altered physically without being given different names, so they could end up being shown slightly differently in the film.
This tank of a herbivore would generally measure around 6.25 meters long, 1.7 meters tall at the hip and could weigh up to 6 tonnes. It's covered head toe in bone armor, with a large club at the end of its tail acting as a pretty effective defensive weapon, able to crush the bones of most any predator. This particular sub-species of Ankylosaur was prominent in what is now North America during the late Cretaceous period. You know what that means? It would have lived with the T-Rex as its greatest fear. However, that just makes this beast all the more formidable as it managed to thrive under he rule of the fearsome tyrannosaur due to it's ability to adapt in order to defend itself. So while this guys pretty peaceful, it isn't recommended that you tick one off, after all, it can take on a fully grown T-Rex without too much trouble.
Hailing from the late Jurassic period, where sauropods ruled the Earth, the Apatosaurus is your pretty standard example of the species. Over 20 meters in length, and weighing in at around 20 tonnes (give or take) it was far from the biggest of the diplodocidae. However, it does have a pretty sweet tail. It was probably able to swing it at speeds beyond the speed of sound, using it as a whip against predators as well as a means of communication with fellow herd members.
A predator that roamed Western Europe in the early Cretaceous period, he's one of the few known dinos that ate fish. The teeth are specifically shaped for catching, so it's mouth actually doesn't represent a massive human threat as it would take it a while to give anything fatal. Those claws and feet on the other hand? Well, let's just say that our characters should watch out for them. Despite being significantly smaller (a measly 9.5m long by 2.6m high), the Baryonix is actually related to the Spinosaurus, so this guy is a pretty formidable foe.
Let me clear this up. This is not a dinosaur. Dinosaurs are, by definition, land creatures and thus could not fly. So people, I beg you to stop calling these Pterosaurs dinos. Anyway, the Dimorphodon is pretty small at 1 meter long with a 1.45 meter wingspan. So I've no idea what these guys are meant to be doing in the film. It most likely fed on insects judging by its fast but weak jaw and tooth shape. As you can probably see, it could fly. So that's cool I guess.
Another dino from the late cretaceous North America, this species was slightly earlier than the T-Rex or the Ankylosaurus, meaning that its enemy was more likely to be an alternative tyrannosaur sub-species. Some of these specimens could reach lengths of up to 13 meters yet still weigh in at only 4 tonnes, allowing it to reach speeds of up 45 km/h despite their size. Edmontosaurs could also switch easily between a four and two legged stance, allowing them to use their size in different defensive and offensive ways. They are also fairly unique in the sense that they migrate unlike most other dinosaurs, but that's probably not something you'll ever need to know.
Fun fact: Gallimimus means "chicken or rooster mimic". Despite the fact that it's actually many million years older than any chicken or rooster. But for this guy, think 9 meter long by 2 meter high at the hip ostrich and you've pretty much got the idea. There genuinely isn't much more to these guys. They'll most likely just be in the background of the film.
Our knowledge of the Metriacanthosaurus is very limited, there have been very few decent sized fossils discovered. So pretty much all we have is speculation, which I don't want to put here as this is all about facts with substantial scientific backing. You can look it up if you're interested. However, the fun thing about us not knowing much about them is that the filmmakers can go absolutely crazy with this guy and no-one can complain. So I'm looking forward to seeing this guy in action if he has any kind of substantial role.
Living mainly in Asia during the late Cretaceous period, these little species of Ornithischia were only about 2 feet long and are pretty adorable. Despite their appearance though, they were actually quite hardy survivors, as they were herbivores during a time where plant life was scarce. So don't count them out as just cute little babies as these guys are pretty good at hanging in there in all weathers.
Another non-dinosaur due to it not being a land creature, the Mosasaurus generally inhabited rivers in North America during, you guessed it, the late Cretaceous period. Why are all these dinos from that place and time period? Anyway, these guys could reach a gargantuan 18 meters long. Yet, it would generally dwell near the surface of the water, as it had poor binocular vision (use of both eyes) and smell, meaning that it had to prey on other near-surface dwelling creatures, including other Mosasaurs. Also, watch out for the snapping power of those jaws and its large, conical teeth, as that bite could probably puncture pretty much anything.
Another animal that lived in North America during late Cretaceous period, this pterosaur was one of the largest of its species, with wingspans of over 6 meters. It has a toothless beak used to snap fish out of the water, probably while swimming. Yes, you read correctly, these guys are believed to have dived into the water and grab fish for dinner, similar to a gannet. however, unless these guys are genetically modified, don't expect them to be grabbing any people and lifting them up into the air, as those forelimbs are nowhere near strong enough to lift a human person. Still, I've got no problem with the filmmakers messing around with the facts. After all, they have a movie to make, and it is a science fiction, so who cares if its inaccurate, I'm pretty sure lightsabers are too, but you'll never hear me complaining about them.
Sizing up at around 9 meters long, 4 meters high, and existing mainly during the late Jurassic, I'm pretty sure you guys know the Stegosaurus. They are, after all, one of the most iconic examples of a dinosaur in pop-culture thanks to its memorable tail-plates and that deadly spiked tail. But what you may not know is that those tail-plates were actually used for combat. How they were used, we don't know but there is substantial evidence to suggest that they were a defensive weapon. Another thing you may not know is that the Stegosaurus had a second brain, most likely used to give it an advantage when attacked by predators. Yeah, just imagine if you got two brains, wouldn't that be awesome?
Living in the early-to-mid Cretaceous period, the Suchomimus is of the same family as the Baryonyx, but it measures at a larger 11 meters and about 4 meters tall. It's skull is similar to a crocodile, meaning that while the snapping power of its jaws is incredible, the opening strength is paltry by comparison. Meaning it wouldn't be too hard to clamp its mouth shut with one hand. But similarly to Baryonyx, those claws are the real danger here.
The Triceratops is another one of those dinos that you've probably all seen or heard of before. That crest and array of horns make it pretty memorable and have made it a common pop-culture go-to dino. These guys are estimated to have reached sizes of 9 meters long by 3 meters tall, and to have weighed up to 12 tonnes. What you may not know about the Triceratops is that contrary to common portrayals, they probably didn't travel in herds. They are more likely to have just travelled in small family groups. They're tough creatures, due to having to co-exist with the T-Rex, forming a rivalry between the two dinos that's almost legendary.
The T-Rex. You all know him, the fearsome predator that has become an iconic staple of the Jurassic Park series. So lets just stick to the less-known facts about this dino. Despite not being the largest predator to walk the Earth, the T-Rex does have one of the most powerful bites out of any terrestrial animal ever. There are also more than 50 known sub-species of Tyrannosaurus Rex. But one thing you may not have known, is that this carnivore was most likely feathered. Yes, you heard me, feathered. There has actually been quite a lot of complaining done by many people about how many dinos are always portrayed with scales despite it being inaccurate. And as a guy who loves dinosaurs and has spent far too many hours on the subject, I have to say that I don't care. See, a dinosaur is a lot less cool, and a lot less scary if it just looks like an over-sized Turkey. Which would subtract a lot of the essential tension in these movies. I prefer my dinos scaled, and moves are where we get to bring fantasies to life, so by all means sacrifice accuracy for a much better movie, both visually and atmospherically.
So that's your breakdown of all the dinosaurs we'll see in the new par in [Jurassic World](movie:32752). Are you looking forward to it, or are you scared that it'll tarnish the original? Whatever your thoughts, let us know down below, and until next time guys, enjoy your lives!!!
P.S. for more geeky goodness, please check out my YouTube channel over at Eneition.