The recent release of Jurassic World, the newest film in the Jurassic Park franchise, has sparked debate between scientists and film-makers.
Dr Dyke, a palaeontologist from the University of Southampton, says that the latest set of genetically modified dinosaurs should reflect the most recent scientific findings, rather than the dinosaurs that were designed for the original film in 1993.
Scientists recently discovered what appeared to be the remnants of red blood cells and connective tissue in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils. Analysis of these remains showed similarities between the cells from these fossils and those from a living emu. Biology students can look more into this analysis and what cells can tell us that fossils cannot.
New kinds of imaging and analytical techniques have revealed more about the skin covering of the ancient beasts, including that some dinosaurs were covered in feathers of various kinds.
Nicolas Campione, a researcher in Sweden, found from an analysis of fossils, developed into a family tree, that the first dinosaur was unlikely to have been feathered, but that feathers clearly evolved in the dinosaur lineage. Students applying for Human Sciences should look more into evolution, and why feathers might have evolved in this way.
Despite claims that the makers of Jurrasic World should have adapted their dinosaurs accordingly, Dr Jack Horner, who consulted on Jurassic World, disagreed. He believed that they couldn’t update the look of the dinosaurs due to continuity purposes.
The Jurassic Park franchise stems originally from two novels by Michael Crichton. English students should consider how literature is translates into films and whether literature should provide an accurate representation of scientific and historical ‘fact’ or whether something else is more important.