In a 2009 effort to shed some light on dinosaurian combat, a paleontological team compared several skulls from Centrosaurus (pictured on the left) and the famed Triceratops. Scars consistent with locked-horn showdowns are, it turns out, quite common on Triceratops heads, but relatively rare in Centrosaurus remains. Perhaps this is because the latter herbivore—like its close cousin Styracosaurus—lacked formidable horns above its eyes and probably had to find other means of clashing with rivals.
“Possibly Centrosaurus wasn’t using its horns for fighting,” says Dr. Andrew Farke (who helped execute this study), “or, if it was fighting, it was concentrating its energies on parts away from the skull, like maybe flank-butting or something like that.”
3. Styracosaurus Appears in the Weirdest Western Ever Made.
Cowboys wrangle stop-motion dinosaurs in Ray Harryhausen’s epic creature feature The Valley of Gwangi (1969). At one point, predatory “Gwangi” (whose design was loosely based on T. rex and Allosaurus) takes down an enraged Styracosaurus with some help from a spear-toting horseman.
4. …But Was Cut from King Kong (1933).
Though animator Willis O’Brien had shot a thrilling action sequence with his poseable Styracosaurus model, this scene wound up getting scrapped. Fortunately, when the hasty sequel Son of Kong (1933) was churned out less than a year later, “Obie’s” Styracosaurus finally secured some screen time.
5. Scientists Have Been Divvying Up Styracosaurus.
What’s in a (scientific) name? Clarity, for starters. Once upon a time, Styracosaurus included three recognized species: S. albertensis, S. parksi, and S. ovatus. In 2007, though this dino got a classification makeover, with S. albertensis and S. parksi being merged into a single species thanks to their virtually indistinguishable anatomy. Meanwhile, S. ovatus was placed within an entirely new genus and is now calledRubeosaurus ovatus.
6. Styracosaurus’ Nose Horn was Shorter than Most People Think.
When studying fossils for a living, incomplete specimens can be the bane of your existence, and Styracosaurus’ distinctive nose horn falls into this category: Most of what we know about this nasal apparatus is based on fragmentary fossils. Though it’s traditionally been assumed to have been around 20 inches long, a closer examination reveals that the horn was around half that length (and possibly blunt-tipped).
7. Some Have Said That Styracosaurus Had Absurdly-Huge Jaw Muscles.
The flashy frills of ceratopsians (horned dinos like Styracosaurus and Triceratops) have inspired much debate over the years. Paleontologists Richard Swann Lull and John McLoughlin independently proposed a radical explanation about their function: Perhaps these huge, bony structures were nothing but attachment anchors for the creatures’ (presumably gigantic) jaw muscles. This idea holds that the frill was buried in flesh and bound to the dinosaurs’ necks and shoulders.
Today, most experts currently believe these frills were predominantly display-oriented features. However, there’s no doubt that ceratopsians packed some powerful bites; for more info, check out this entertaining write-up.
8. Styracosaurus Belonged to a Super-Ornamented Subfamily.
The centrosaurinae is a group of ceratopsians whose members lacked large horns above their eyes, had pronounced nose horns instead, and rocked short, well-decorated frills.
9. Crushed Skulls Distorted Many Early Styracosaurus Illustrations.
Fossilization can be a cruel mistress. One of the world’s most complete Styracosaurus skulls contains a crucial flaw: Its frill has been artificially bent by the elements. This specimen was unearthed in the 1910s and helped scientists understand what the strange animal looked like. Several academic paintings and sketches would be based upon this magnificent fossil. But, unfortunately, geological forces had, over time, unnaturally crushed the dinosaur’s frill, forcing it downward and making the apparatus appear as though it jetted out directly behind Styracosaurus’ skull. Thanks to a second skull that turned up later, we now know that this frill was held at a more upwards angle.
10. It’s Named After Ancient Greek Spear Shafts.
The steel spike at the end of a spear was known as a styrax in classical Greece, this term wound up inspiring the first part of Styracosaurus’ genus name.
Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. and Legendary Pictures Productions, LLC.
As the Jurassic Park franchise has demonstrated, trapping prehistoric monsters on an island with bite-sized tourists may not be the smartest idea (record-breaking box office numbers aside). On top of the safety concerns, the cost of running a Jurassic Park would raise its own set of pretty pricey issues. Energy supplier E.ON recently collaborated with physicists from Imperial College London to calculate how much energy the fictional attraction would eat up in the real world.
The infographic below borrows elements that appear in both the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films. One of the most costly features in the park would be the aquarium for holding the massive marine reptiles. To keep the water heated and hospitable year-round, the park would need to pay an energy bill of close to $3 million a year.
Maintaining a pterosaur aviary would be an even more expensive endeavor. To come up with this cost, the researchers looked at the yearly amount of energy consumed by the Eden Project, a massive biome complex in the UK. Using that data, they concluded that a structure built to hold winged creatures bigger than any bird alive today would add up to $6.6 million a year in energy costs.
Other facilities they envisioned for the island include an egg incubator, embryo fridge, hotel, and emergency bunker. And of course, there would be electric fences running 24/7 to keep the genetic attractions separated from park guests. In total, the physicists estimated that the park would use 455 million kilowatt hours a year, or the equivalent of 30,000 average homes. That annual energy bill comes out to roughly $63 million.
Keep in mind that energy would still only make up one part of Jurassic Park's hypothetical budget—factoring in money for lawsuits would be a whole different story.
Twenty-five years ago, director Steven Spielberg created a movie that was 65 million years in the making. With cutting-edge CG effects and a rousing adventure story only the filmmaker behind Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark could conjure, Jurassic Park, based on the novel by author Michael Crichton, went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time at the time (today, it maintains the 17th position). Now, in celebration of the original film’s 25th anniversary and with the fifth installment of the dino franchise about to hit theaters, it’s time to look back to where it all began in case you missed a few things.
Here are 18 details to look out for next time you take a trip to Jurassic Park.
1. A CAMERAMAN PROTECTED JOPHERY ... AND HIS CAMERA.
The film’s opening scene features the park game warden, Robert Muldoon, and a group of handlers attempting to transport velociraptors from a cage into their paddock, but it goes terribly wrong. Jophery, the “gatekeeper,” is thrown off the top of the cage as the alpha raptor attempts to escape.
In the shot when Jophery falls toward the camera before being pulled into the cage and devoured by a pack of hungry dinos, the camera operator’s hand can be seen in the bottom right of the frame making sure the stuntperson doesn’t fall into the camera.
2. LIFE FINDS A WAY ... IN ALAN GRANT’S SEAT BELT.
The scene when the helicopter carrying Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) descends into Jurassic Park features a clever and unorthodox bit of foreshadowing.
When the copter hits a bit of turbulence—with Hammond giving the group a spirited "Yahoo!”—the occupants scramble to click their seat belts. Grant tries to buckle up, but finds two “female” ends, making it impossible to snap in for safety. After getting some verbal help from Hammond, Grant grabs both straps and ties them together as they come in for the rough landing.
Using a bit of resourcefulness, Grant goes against the odds to find a way to make it work—just like the dinosaurs in the park are able to reproduce despite being bred as females.
3. CGI MADE THE MOVIE’S DINOSAUR SUPERVISOR “EXTINCT.”
A bit of cheeky dialogue between Grant and Malcolm as the group makes their way into the park perfectly showcases their dueling personalities. When mulling over the implications of a park filled with living dinosaurs, the paleontologist opines, "I think we're out of a job," to which the chaotician responds, "Don't you mean extinct?"
The line is a deliberate reference to something effects pioneer Phil Tippett, who developed “go-motion” animation for the film, said to Spielberg before the director settled on primarily using groundbreaking CGI for the movie (“I think I’m extinct”). Instead of leaving the production, Tippett stayed on to serve as a consultant by helping the CG animators create realistic movements for the digital dinos.
4. JOHN HAMMOND’S JEEP GETS GREAT MILEAGE.
Keep an eye out for the Jeeps that Hammond uses to buzz around and show off the park to his first guests. JP29 is the same truck used by the characters Gray and Zach to escape from the old section of the park in 2015’s Jurassic World.
Grant and Ellie’s JP18 truck can also be seen in the garage in Jurassic World when Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters, Owen and Claire, try to escape from the Indominus rex.
5. THE NEXT JURASSIC PARK WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN EUROPE.
When Hammond pitches the grand ideas of the park to the group in the dining room—during the bragged-about meal of Chilean sea bass—corporate-focused slides can be seen in the background that suggest Hammond anticipated Jurassic Park becoming more popular than both “sports” and "zoos."
They also hint at Hammond’s “Future Attractions.” He was also planning to expand internationally to Jurassic Park Europe.
6. MR. DNA’S VOICE SHOULD SOUND FAMILIAR.
The animated Mr. DNA sequence impresses Grant and the gang because the little cartoon DNA strand explains exactly how dinosaurs were brought back from extinction, but animation fans should be impressed for a different reason.
The voice behind Mr. DNA is voiceover artist Greg Burson, who also provided the voices at various points for famous Looney Tunes characters like Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Pepe Le Pew. Burson was also one of the voiceover artists to voice Hanna-Barbera characters like Huckleberry Hound, QuickDraw McGraw, Snagglepuss and Yogi Bear.
7. THE VOICE YOU HEARD WAS, IN FACT, RICHARD KILEY.
Hammond gets to utter the famous phrase, “Welcome to Jurassic Park” after showing off the newly non-extinct creatures to Grant and Sattler, but we get to hear it again during the tour from the car’s virtual tour guide. “The voice you’re now hearing is Richard Kiley,” Hammond tells the group. “We spared no expense.”
Hammond spared no expense because Kiley, with his distinct baritone, was an esteemed actor of stage and screen who won Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for Redhead in 1959 and Man of La Mancha in 1966, as well as three Emmys and two Golden Globes for his TV work.
Kiley was also mentioned as the tour guide in author Michael Crichton’s source novel, and, appropriately enough, voices the Jurassic Park Jungle River Cruise at Universal Studios in Orlando.
8. NEDRY IS A JAWS FAN.
While Hammond berates Nedry (Wayne Knight) in the command center for the park’s problems, keep an eye on the computer programmer’s computer screen past all the garbage, Jolt Cola cans, and candy wrappers: He’s watching Spielberg’s seminal shark attack hit, Jaws.
9. NEDRY DRESSES LIKE THE GOONIES.
It turns out that Jaws isn’t Nedry’s only Spielberg fandom, and that concealed dinosaur embryos in a fake shaving cream can aren’t the only thing Nedry is hiding.
The programmer’s wardrobe—with his Hawaiian shirt, Members Only jacket, and yellow rain slicker—is almost exactly the same as the clothes that Chunk, Mouth, and Mikey wear in the Spielberg-produced adventure classic The Goonies.
10. NEDRY’S DESK GIVES A NOD TO THE FATHER OF THE ATOMIC BOMB.
The photo on Nedry’s computer isn’t some stern, pipe-smoking father figure; the little mushroom cloud doodle above the photo should let you know that it’s none other than J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project.
The nod carries a symbolic, cautionary tale significance: Much like Hammond, Oppenheimer also used fundamental science for his own gain. Or, as Malcolm said, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."
11. THE PARK’S CUTTING-EDGE SECURITY CAMERA FOOTAGE IS JUST A QUICKTIME VIDEO.
When Nedry calls the dock worker while watching live security footage to coordinate his escape with the dinosaur embryos, the webcam seen on the screen is actually a Quicktime video instead of a live feed. The progress bar at the bottom of the desktop window, and the mouse cursor over the “Play” button, are dead giveaways.
12. JURASSIC PARK’S SCIENTISTS ARE GREAT AT GENETICS, BUT BAD AT SPELLING.
When Nedry breaks into the embryo chamber to steal the individual dinosaur types, two of them are spelled incorrectly. “Stegasaurus” should be Stegosaurus and “Tyranosaurus” should be Tyrannosaurus.
They’re not so great with numbers either: The faux shaving cream canister Nedry uses to steal the dinos off the island only holds 10 embryos even though during their meeting in San Jose, Dodson told Nedry to take 15 different species.
13. TIM MAKES SOME REAL-LIFE AND FAKE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS.
While fanboying out about getting to hang out with Dr. Alan Grant, Tim (Joseph Mazzello) presents alternate theories to Grant’s assertion that dinosaurs evolved into birds by citing a book by “a guy named Bakker.” This line refers to Robert T. Bakker, the real-life American paleontologist who helped shape the modern theory that some dinosaurs were endothermic (warm-blooded) and who served as an advisor on the film.
Tim can also be seen carrying Grant’s book, Dinosaur Detectives, a prop created for the film that supposedly features a foreword by Sir Richard Attenborough (the actor who plays Hammond), and co-written by Michael Backes, a real-life software developer who helped Crichton fact check the original novel and the guy who created the the animated computer graphics used in the movie's control room sequences.
14. OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE FROM WHERE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO APPEAR.
During Sattler and Muldoon’s daring escape with an injured Malcolm from a rampaging T. rex, the dinosaur comes so close to chomping on the driver’s side of their Jeep that the side mirror’s “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” message can be seen. In reality, such a safety warning is only required on the opposite side because passenger mirrors are convex as a way to limit blind spots.
15. THE MERCHANDISE IN THE GIFT SHOP IS REAL.
During the scene where Sattler and Hammond eat ice cream and debate the failure of the park, The Making of Jurassic Park book seen in the park’s fictional gift shop is a real book about the making of the movie, written by authors Don Shay and Jody Duncan.
16. THE RAPTOR IN THE KITCHEN NEEDED SOME HELP STANDING UP.
The raptors in the movie may be smart enough to open doors, but they can’t stand on their own two feet. If you look to the back left of the raptor that opens the door to the kitchen while hunting for Lex and Tim, you can see a hand steady the raptor puppet so it doesn’t fall over. Once the scene cuts to two raptors in the kitchen those shots are largely CGI.
17. LOOK CLOSELY FOR THE DINO DNA ALL SPELLED OUT.
As Grant, Sattler, and the kids hide in the vents in the climactic velociraptor finale in the Visitor’s Center, the letters GATC can be seen reflected on the skin of one of the raptors searching for her prey. These letters represent the nucleobases that form the base pairs of DNA—a nod to the building blocks of life that created the raptors in the first place.
18. THERE’S AN INCREDIBLE DISAPPEARING RAPTOR.
There's a glaring yet unnoticed visual effects "mistake" in one of the most successful VFX films of all time. This brings me comfort. pic.twitter.com/hldUTONqrx
Just in the nick of time in the movie’s finale, the T. rex snatches a pouncing raptor out of thin air and saves Grant and the gang. But if you look closely, a visual effects mistake causes the CGI raptor to disappear for a single frame and then reappear before the rex chomps down for the kill.