In some of my earlier posts, I considered the possibility of doing my own dinosaur theme park story, but I now know that I need to do something more unique than that if I want this story to succeed. This will not be a theme park story. Instead, I am thinking of basing this story on humanity’s desire to prevent their own extinction as well as our mortality as a species. By reversing the extinction of prehistoric species, they might hope to discover the secret of preventing humanity’s extinction. However, I have been doing research lately and I discovered that it is not just dinosaurs scientists are hoping to bring back, but more recently extinct animals as well such as mammoths and saber-toothed cats. They are not using cloning like in Jurassic Park, but other scientific methods that involve combining prehistoric DNA with modern animal DNA, resulting in the creation of hybrid creatures. In addition to highlighting the mortality of the human race, I will also be toying with the idea of invasive species and how they change and sometimes destroy the world around them. As a child, I have been a huge fan of dinosaurs and prehistory so this will be a fun way to connect with my inner child.
In Jurassic Park, they introduced the concept of salvaging prehistoric DNA from fossils and amber. I learned that this is only partially true in real life. A group of scientists tried to extract DNA like the scientists in Jurassic Park, but they used a different method than in the movie. In the movie, scientists drilled through amber to gain access to the DNA. In real life, scientists sterilized the amber before coating it in liquid nitrogen, which cracked the amber open. They did get DNA, but it was insect instead of dinosaur and it was only extremely small amounts. Later on, scientists cracked open Tyrannosaurus bones to find intact blood vessels and bone cells inside. However, like the amber experiments, there was only an extremely small amount of DNA that could be salvaged, which was nowhere near enough for cloning like in Jurassic Park. Still, these experiments gave me some ideas for my dinosaur theme park story idea. Even though the DNA samples were small, they may still be of use. For example, while retro-engineering birds back into dinosaur-like creatures, you could theoretically splice the embryos with whatever dinosaur DNA that could be salvaged, which could make them even more dinosaur-like. They still will be nothing like the dinosaurs that existed in the past, but they will be the next best thing. With the insect DNA from the amber, you could splice it into modern insects to make hybrids between prehistoric insects and modern ones, which would make good attractions for an insect house like what you find in any zoo.
Based on the information of the retro-engineering project, scientists won’t be able to bring back dinosaurs such as Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, or Stegosaurus. Instead, they can recreate dinosaurs from the Maniraptora family, which were feathered dinosaurs such as Archaeopteryx, Raptors, Ostrich dinosaurs like Gallimimus and Oviraptor, and Therizinosaurus. Once they complete the project and work the bugs out, we will be seeing “modern” versions of these animals. I will keep this in mind in the future as I brainstorm.
For those of you who are skeptical of the idea of bringing dinosaurs back, please feel free to check out this documentary from the Discovery Channel, which is how I discovered the project.
I have always been a fanatic of dinosaurs since the day I was born. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are real-life projects taking place that could potentially lead to a real-life dinosaur theme park. With this in mind, I will be paying very close attention to the progress of these projects in order to draw inspiration for my own story of a dinosaur theme park. I am thinking of making it a children’s story about a boy visiting this theme park with his grandfather while attempting to connect with his father. However, since Jurassic Park has been THE dinosaur theme park story for the 25 years, I will need to be VERY careful to not make it too similar. With this in mind, I will be keeping the story based on realism from the two real-life projects that are taking place.
In Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs were cloned by using frog DNA to fill in the gene sequence gaps or combined the DNA of various animals in order to create abominable monsters. The dinosaurs were either grown in vats or from eggs that came from who knows where. In my story idea, I will be using the concept of retro-engineering birds back into dinosaur-like creatures and the natural breeding of Ice Age animals using preserved DNA. These creatures will look nothing like the dinosaurs and megafauna that existed in the past. Instead, they will be colorful, exotic, and down-right bizarre. The “dinosaurs” will be dinosaur-like, but they will still retain traits of the modern birds they were made from. The megafauna will also be mixtures between prehistoric megafauna and their modern descendants. Overall, one could argue that these creatures will be the so-called “modern” manmade dinosaurs and megafauna.
For the moment, I still have five more projects to finish before I tackle this one, which will give me plenty of time to brainstorm ways for the story to be something new. I will keep you updated on any further developments. Wish me luck!
Years ago, I became aware of two distinct projects to recreate prehistoric creatures. It has been confirmed that it is not possible to find preserved dinosaur DNA in fossils, but there is PLENTY of dinosaur DNA in modern birds since they are their descendants. Over millions of years of evolution, the classical physical traits of dinosaurs were suppressed in birds. However, scientists have found a way to awaken those physical traits in bird embryos before they hatch. Once they work the bugs out of the system, they could create “modern” dinosaurs and they are starting with the chicken.
After successfully retro-engineering chicken embryos, they will look more like dinosaurs than birds. All of the inherent physical traits are in the chicken’s DNA, but they just need to be woken up. For example, they would develop long tails, hands instead of wings, teeth instead of beaks, and scales instead of feathers. Once they are done with chickens, scientists will be turning their attention to emus and ostriches. Then with a few more years of development, we would be seeing larger modern dinosaurs.
In addition to retro-engineering birds back into dinosaurs, scientists are also in the process of cloning the Ice Age megafauna such as the woolly mammoth. Compared to dinosaur DNA, megafauna DNA has been preserved in frozen specimens. They plan to use this DNA to impregnate modern elephants, which will give birth to elephant/mammoth hybrids. With enough hybrids, they would interbreed them in order to breed more pure-blooded mammoths. If luck remains on their side, scientists can find more preserved megafauna DNA and repeat this process with other animals. For example, they could clone the saber-toothed cat through lions, short-faced bears through grizzly bears, woolly rhinos through modern rhinos, and Megalania through Komodo dragons.
With all of this in mind, all of these projects have the makings of a real-life Jurassic Park. This would be a theme park I would go to. I can even envision a thirty-foot statue dedicated to Michael Crighton, who was the original visionary of bringing prehistoric life forms back to life, positioned at the front gate of the park. In addition to the Jurassic Park films and books, this park will be part of his ultimate legacy. The reason for this is because Michael Crighton ignited our imagination of what is scientifically possible.
I made an exciting discovery! It looks like some people have found the means to create a real-life Jurassic Park! Because birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs, some scientists are planning to retro-engineer bird embryos back into dinosaurs starting with chickens. Because I am a dinosaur fan, I hope this happens in my lifetime because seeing a living, breathing dinosaur has been on my bucket list. Some people would say that a real-life Jurassic Park could end badly like the movie, but if these retro-engineered dinosaurs are the same size as the birds they are made from, then they might be more manageable.