Even though I was disappointed by the delay of Jurassic World: Dominion‘s release, I received some historical news. It looks like humans won’t be cloning just dinosaurs anymore. Now, they are going to clone animals from all across prehistory. This development was heavily implied during Camp Cretaceous when it was revealed that Dr. Henry Wu was experimenting with Wooly Mammoth fossils. Further confirmation was provided when the film crew of Dominion posted a picture of a new creature wearing a COVID-19 mask. As a prehistory nut, I instantly recognized the animal as Lystrosaurus even though it was wearing a mask. Lystrosaurus is officially the oldest prehistoric life form in the Jurassic Park franchise because it is a creature that is older than even the dinosaurs. I am glad that the franchise is going in this direction because it is long overdue to feature prehistoric creatures that are not dinosaurs. I look forward to seeing these animals on the big screen in two years.
Possibly an even worse abomination than the Indominus Rex would be the Indoraptor from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The Indoraptor was the same size as the Utahraptor and even more dangerous. This creature was specifically bred to be a living weapon and it had a number of traits that made it well-suited for such a role. Like the Indominus Rex, the Indoraptor has supercharged killing instincts, which is useful when deployed on a battlefield.
There was a targeting system used to help the Indoraptor a basic understanding between friend or foe. This targeting system involved painting a target with a laser, which would allow the Indoraptor to identify the target. Once the target is painted, the Indoraptor’s handler would use a sound-based system that would serve as the attack command. When this command is given, the Indoraptor would be relentless in hunting down and attacking the designated target.
Due to having a lot more Velociraptor DNA than the Indominus Rex, the Indoraptor was both cunning and intelligent. This intellect was displayed when the Indoraptor pretended to be sedated in order to lure a mercenary into its cage. When the mercenary felt safe and tried to remove one of the Indoraptor’s teeth, the Indoraptor would strike. This demonstrated that the Indoraptor possessed a degree of sadism to go along with its intelligence.
The Indoraptor also possessed a very durable body. It was revealed to have a strong tolerance or immunity to sedatives. Its scaly skin is partially bulletproof. Shooting the Indoraptor would stun it, but the bullets would fall off its skin shortly afterward. Ultimately, it took the horns of a Triceratops skull to penetrate the Indoraptor’s hide.
In addition, it was revealed in the Indoraptor’s character profile that it also had night vision and echolocation. This would make it well-suited for stealth missions. As demonstrated when the Indoraptor bit a man’s arm off, its teeth are so sharp that it takes its victim’s blood vessels a moment to realize they were cut. This causes blood loss to be slower than normal, which is why we didn’t see much blood when the mercenary’s arm was severed. The Indoraptor’s claws are just as sharp, which was shown when it cut through the metal railing of a staircase.
One notable feature that sets the Indoraptor apart from the other dinosaurs from Isla Nublar is the fact that it is male. In both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, the dinosaurs were purposely female in order to control their populations. Later, the dinosaurs overcame this limitation by changing their gender. With the Indoraptor, it had higher levels of testosterone, which would have made it more aggressive like a bull elephant during the mating season. This increased aggression would have made the Indoraptor an even more brutal killing machine.
The really scary thing about the Indoraptor is the fact that it was just a prototype. Due to this, it needed to be refined in a number of areas. While the targeting system gave the Indoraptor some degree of following orders and telling friend from foe, it did not have the same level of discipline and obedience that Owen Grady’s Velociraptors had. Also, because of its status as a new lifeform, the Indoraptor had no idea how to behave. As Dr. Henry Wu said, the Indoraptor needed a parental figure to teach it how to behave. Once it learned these behavioral patterns, the Indoraptor would become more compliant with human commands. If the Indoraptor was completely refined to its full potential as a living weapon, I can only imagine what it would be capable of.
Overall, I felt the Indoraptor was a fictional dinosaur with a lot of potential, but I think it did not live up to that potential in the movie. I think the Indoraptor could have been a lot scarier than it was originally portrayed. Despite its intellect, the Indoraptor mostly behaved like a rabid attack dog instead of a calculating killer like Jack the Ripper. Even though it was stated that it had night vision and echolocation, those abilities were not featured in the film. Still, the Indoraptor had a strong presence on the screen when we first saw it. I can only imagine how much damage could have been done if there was a pack of Indoraptors instead of just the one.
One of my favorite fictional dinosaurs would be the Indominus Rex from Jurassic World. I think the Indominus Rex best symbolizes the unpredictability that comes from creating a new lifeforms from scratch. When you create an organism that has never existed before, you have no way of knowing what kind of behavioral patterns it would have or what it is capable of. I liked that it had fully functional arms, which is a stark contrast from Tyrannosaurus Rex’s small arms. Another trait of the Indominus Rex that I liked was the fact that it had the intellect of a Velociraptor, which gave it sophisticated problem solving skills. Because it had exaggerated predatory features, the Indominus Rex had overly supercharged killing instincts. This is best demonstrated when it slaughtered an entire herd of Apatosaurus and bit the head off an Ankylosaurus for sport by itself. Like the Abelisaurs that were used in its creation, the Indominus Rex was a cannibal, which was highlighted when it ate its own sibling. The Indominus Rex also possessed other abilities that set it apart from more traditional carnivorous dinosaurs such as infrared vision, camouflage, and avoiding thermal detection. Overall, the Indominus Rex was an unholy abomination that would have been the scourge of the prehistoric world if it existed in real life.
As the next Jurassic Park film, Jurassic World: Dominion, draws closer, I constantly think about what to expect. At the end of Fallen Kingdom, dinosaurs were released into the wild and others were auctioned off to parties around the world that want to create their own dinosaurs. The dinosaurs that escaped are one thing, but I think the dinosaurs that were auctioned off are going to be an even bigger threat to human civilization. The reason for this is due to how the parties that purchased them are going to abuse dinosaur cloning. As Ian Malcolm famously said to John Hammond, “Genetic power is the single greatest force the world has ever seen and you wield it like a kid who just found his dad’s gun.” Malcolm elaborates further by comparing genetic power to nuclear power. Once the world sees what it is capable of, many people will want in on it. There would be money to be made; LOTS of it! InGen’s failures with both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are just two example of how genetic power is not properly handled. Mankind can certainly create something from genetic power, but they have the arrogance in believing they can control what they created. Imagine what would happen if dinosaur cloning and genetic power became widespread on a global scale. You would have disasters like Jurassic Park happening all over the world due to humanity’s futile attempts to control Mother Nature. Overall, I expect to see the makings of a dinosaur apocalypse in Jurassic World: Dominion.
In Jurassic Park, Dennis Nedry was bribed by Biosyn to steal dinosaur embryos from the park. The Barbasol can Nedry used had enough room to contain 15 embryos and keep them alive for 36 hours. In order to access the embryos, Nedry implanted a computer virus that shut down all security systems in Jurassic Park. This resulted in the dinosaurs escaping from their enclosures and ultimately led to the park’s doom. In the end, Nedry failed to escape with the embryos and was famously eaten alive by a Dilophosaurus. The embryos themselves were buried underneath mud from the rain storm. However, I wonder what would happen if Nedry managed to escape and deliver the embryos to Biosyn. Would Biosyn use the embryos to create their own dinosaur theme park? Would Biosyn use dinosaurs as living weapons like Eli Mills tried to with the Indoraptor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? Would Biosyn use the dinosaurs for medical research? Or would they use the dinosaurs for a more sinister purpose? In the forthcoming film, Jurassic World: Dominion, it is rumored that Biosyn will return and will be one of the parties that get their hands on Dinosaur DNA. Due to this, we may see what Biosyn had planned for the embryos in the next film.
I revisited a dinosaur movie that I watched long ago, Carnosaur. Like Jurassic Park, it depicts dinosaurs being brought back to life. However, the way these animals were brought back was even more grotesque than in Jurassic Park. Even though the special effects and storyline were cheesy as heck, there was something about the movie that had me hooked. I did some digging around and discovered that Carnosaur was based on a horror novel written by Australian author, John Brosnan. The story of the novel was more complex and entertaining, but it costs an arm and a leg to buy it. To make it even more intriguing is the fact that the Carnosaur novel predated Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel by six years. Even though both of these dinosaur stories had film adaptations released in the same year, Jurassic Park received all the praise and high-quality special effects while Carnosaur received cheap special effects and practically faded into obscurity. I think it would be nice if Carnosaur received a high quality remake, but only time will tell if that will happen.
In addition to chickens, another bird that is a potential candidate to be reverse engineered into a dinosaur would be the emu. I found this video that truly highlights the dinosaur in them, waiting to wake up. Even though emus are still birds, there is still a considerable amount of dinosaur in them. I wonder how much of their prehistoric instincts would be awakened when their genes are reverse engineered. I will tinker with this concept further in my new dinosaur book.
In my new dinosaur book, I realized something. Even though being able to reverse the extinction of a species would be phenomenal, there will always be those who would oppose the very idea of it. Due to this, as my protagonist’s experiments grow and advance, certain parties will stop at nothing to destroy his research. These groups may be animal rights groups who don’t like the idea of altering an animal’s biology or religious extremists who hate science and the concept of evolution. Essentially, these groups will play a major role when things start going wrong.
One of the concepts I found intriguing about dinosaurs is that even though birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs, not all dinosaurs were related to birds. At some point in their evolution, dinosaurs diverged in two different directions: some dinosaurs that had ties to birds and some that had ties to reptiles. In my new dinosaur book, one of the retro-engineering experiments will revolve around trying to discover the missing link dinosaurs had between birds and reptiles. Now that I think about it, when the gap between these two evolutionary paths is bridged, the results might be very unpredictable.
As I brainstorm for my dinosaur story, I think back to the experiences I had with animals that had ties to prehistory. When I was a kid, my family own a cockatiel who was a skilled problem solver and frequently escaped from her cage. Her intellect reminded me of Velociraptors from Jurassic Park, who demonstrated similar problem solving skills such as learning to open doors. She even stalked the dogs while walking on the floor, which was also similar to how Velociraptors hunted their prey. I interact with birds every time I go to the pet store for dog food and I could see the same primal intelligence in their eyes; even the way they moved and bobbed their heads reminded me of predatory dinosaurs. I also own a desert tortoise, who reminded me of an Ankylosaurus due to being a herbivore and being armor-plated. One time, my tortoise got into a fight with one of our little dogs. The dog barked at the tortoise while the tortoise stomped his feet and hissed at the dog. This behavior reminded me of a Stegosaurus defending itself from an Allosaurus. In addition, when I think about my tortoise’s giant cousins in the Galapagos Islands, they more closely resemble the long necked sauropods such as Brachiosaurus in terms of appearance and eating habits. Even in zoos and wildlife documentaries, I get to see the undeniable dinosaur mentality in birds and reptiles waiting to wake up. When it comes to mammals such as lions and elephants, I could see the remnants of the saber-toothed cats and wooly mammoths lingering within them. When I remember these interactions and consider the retro-engineering experiment, I wonder how much of their innate prehistoric nature would be awakened as their bodies start to resemble their ancestors’. Part of me is frightened by the concept while the rest of me is fascinated by it. It will be something fun to tinker with as I brainstorm the story. While Jurassic Park talks about bringing dinosaurs back from extinction, my story will highlight that dinosaurs and the Ice Age megafauna NEVER truly became extinct and just needed to be woken up.