Errors in Jurassic Park
When I discuss errors in Jurassic Park, I’m to the first movie of the same title (1993) directed by Steven Spielberg, not the novel by Michael Crichton, which I haven’t read — although some of the errors I discuss may cary over to the novel.
First error: the name
Of the 7 dinosaurs featured in Jurassic Park, 5 lived in the Cretaceous Period, not the the Jurassic — including Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, and Triceratops, all of which played key roles in the film. The reason that Tyrannosaurus rex has an extra name compared to Velociraptor and Triceratops is that it is a species, while the latter two are genera. Thus, Cretaceous Park would have been a better name. Or better yet yet, Mesozoic Park, referring to the Mesozoic Era, which encompassed all three periods in which dinosaurs lived.
Second error: using frogs
Using frog DNA to patch missing parts in the dinosaur DNA is a terrible idea scientifically. The reason they did this is that the common reed frog can change gender, but only from female to male — and even this is controversial among scientists. And changing gender was key to plot, since the dinosaurs had been created all one gender, so they couldn’t reproduce.
So what animals would a scientist use instead? The answer is obviously birds! Birds are dinosaurs — they’re the dinosaurs that survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event around 66 million years ago that drove all non-avian dinosaurs to extinction. But avian dinosaurs are still with us and called birds. Which bird to use? Probably a large one like an ostrich, considering that dinosaurs are large.
Thus, I have demonstrated two scientific errors in Jurassic Park. First, they should have used a more accurate name. And second, they should have used birds instead of frogs.