Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Jurassic Park

Go To

All sequel movie/book-specific Headscratchers have been moved to their appropriate pages. If you want to ask a question specifically pertaining to one of those, please do so on the appropriate page. However, any questions which relate to the first film/book or across several works may be asked on this page.

    open/close all folders 

  • This is something that's been on my mind for a while. Why didn't Hammond or Masrani have anybody who was going on board with either the Jurassic Park or Jurassic World projects as either guests or employees sign waivers? Then there wouldn't be any worrying about all these lawsuits.
    • There almost certainly were waivers for Jurassic World, and would have been for Jurassic Park. Doesn't absolve the owners and operators of all responsibility. They still have to supply a reasonable expectation of safety to their patrons. The waivers are to cover guest stupidity (keep your windows rolled up near the Dilophosaurus) or sheer random chance (if there's a mass breakout for no real reason and pterosaurs are pterrorizing main street. . . oops). But if you fail to provide basic passive security for your dinosaur exhibits or let a few yahoos in your company test their proof-of-concept weaponised genetic abomination in your park, you deserve to get litigated into oblivion.
    • Waivers are actually kind of useless against injury lawsuits. They mostly make people believe they can't sue you, when in fact there's usually still a way for them to sue you.

     The gaps in DNA 
  • This may seem like an out-of-nowhere question, but, why didn't they just fill the DNA gaps in the dinosaur DNA with DNA from other fossils of the same species?
    • DNA doesn't really survive the fossilisation process, in any practical sense. Truly ancient fossils aren't really an animal's bones: they're the stone-hard mineral deposits accumulated over millions of years where bones (and, occasionally, softer tissues) used to be. And you can't pull usable DNA out of stone. This is why InGen was using mosquitoes preserved in amber as their source of DNA. (In real life, DNA chains will survive for no more than a tiny fraction of the 65-100+ million years since the dinosaurs lived, whether in fossils of their bones or within mosquitoes in amber that once sucked their blood.)
      • Then why not use DNA of the same species collected from other amber finds?
      • Even finding one amber-preserved specimen of a given species' DNA is implied to be astronomically rare. You could probably check every piece of amber in the world and not find enough samples from the same type of animal to reconstruct its entire genome.
    • Wu explains in the novel that, because 90% of DNA is identical across all life in the planet, he was free to fill the gaps with pretty much whatever he wanted. The downside being the dinosaurs are less dinosaurs and more genetic chimeras. It's been stated that the geneticists should have filled the gaps with "nonsense" DNA that couldn't risk introducing another animal's genes into the dinosaurs, but. . . chalk that up to theme of arrogance and not really thinking about what you're doing.

     Mating calls 
  • Headscratcher from the book: During the tour, when they pass the Othnielsaurus and Hypsilophodon enclosure the dinosaurs are hiding in the tall grass, so the car plays a sound clip to call their attention: a mating call...but as far as they know, all the animals are female. How did they know what a male's call sounded like?
    • All the dinosaurs in the park are females. It's possible that, when they were first starting the research, they cultivated both males and females, before deciding to limit them to females in the park specifically.
    • Even if there are no males around, the females might still go into estrous and make a mating call. Though if they're playing the female mating call for a pack of female dinosaurs, it's no surprise none of them respond.

     Why didn't they shoot her? 
  • In the opening the Big One attacks the gatekeeper and Muldoon orders her to be shot. We hear gunfire and than after the opening it appears she is still alive. How is she still alive? It's not like they could have missed at that range or anywhere for her to go afterwards.
    • Who says that's the Big One? It could be any of the park's eight original raptors, or a ninth that Muldoon doesn't count because it never joins the pack. Because they shoot it, as ordered.
    • It's definitely the Big One. In a rare Establishing Character Moment where we don't even see the character.
      • It's definitely NOT the Big One, otherwise why would Muldoon not bring up this incident (and how she figured out how to bounce her transport cage) to Grant and Co. when listing the Big One's deeds and how dangerous she is. You'd think he'd lead with "She killed a man before".
      • Because that's the single worst thing he could say to a bunch of people his boss brought on to endorse the park. Yes, he's cynical, but not actively looking to sabotage the situation.
      • He also could have just meant shoot her with the tranquilizer guns.
      • Actually, Muldoon talks about taser guns/rifles earlier, so they're trying (emphasis on trying) to taser her.
  • It can be assumed that they didn't listen. They're shown trying to taser it, and it's never shown what their Tranquilizer guns sound like
  • Hammond has instituted strict rules against harming any of the creatures. Presumably none of the guards present are armed with anything more powerful than a stun gun.
    • At least several of them were holding M-16 assault rifles.
    • They tried to work her back with the tasers, but it wasn't working. As Geoffrey's arm is slipping out of Muldoon's grasp, and Muldoon shouts "SHOOT HER!", you can hear loud gunshots as they start shooting, but by then it's too late.
  • The simple fact that shooting something fast and trying to avoid being shot isn't easy, even if it's close to you. Add in the fact that it was in a container with very few openings, and that to increase their chances of getting a shot the guards would have had to basically go right up to the container (y'know, the thing that has a big vicious dinosaur in it that's currently eating one of their friends) and stick their barrels through one of the slats. In real life, men with guns have missed large caged predators from a similar distance with much better shooting conditions (specifically, the Tsavo man-eaters).
    • It'd be even trickier if they're trying not to shoot Geoffrey. They can't get close enough to tell if the man is dead or alive inside the crate, so don't want to be the ones to finish the job Big One started.
    • I always assumed they definitely killed the raptor. I don't think it's "the Big One" but a fourth raptor they were trying to introduce into the pen to replace one of the raptors "the Big One" killed. That makes the most sense to me. Besides, why, unless we're to intuit that they shot and killed the raptor, would they have gunshots playing over the shot of Jophrey's hand slipping away? That shot conveys two things: Jophrey dying at the same instant they begin unloading their guns into the dinosaur killing him. They both died. For what it's worth, the comic adaptation has them successfully kill the raptor and save the worker (though it can't be canon for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that it's not Muldoon supervising the transfer in the scene and the worker is a light-skinned guy named Jose).

     Dinosaurs love juicy humans. 
  • Why do the dinosaurs in all the films seem to have a desire to eat humans exclusively, to the point of pursuing them for miles over several days? They expend far more energy chasing humans than they would get from actually eating them. One of the most outrageous examples occurs with the Spinosaurus in the third movie. Immediately after killing a T. Rex, instead of doing what any carnivore with so much as one brain cell would do and chowing down on the tons of fresh meat in front of it, it chases five humans across the island for the whole movie. WTF?!!!
    • The Spinosaurus DID chow down on the Tyrannosaurus. After he killed the rex, the movie showed the humans running away and the Spinosaurus leaning over his kill and growling at them in a "Go away"-like way. They didn't see it again until the next day, after it had eaten and slept and went to patrol its territory.
    • Humans are tasty. In the Spinosaurus example, it's like getting your Big Mac order, then seeing free cookies being given away next door. Screw the Big Mac.
    • Assuming you've never seen, tasted, or ever heard of cookies before. The Spinosaurus didn't show at all in the first or second movies and consumed no humans in the third. Therefore, it would have no idea what they would taste like and wouldn't behave like that.
    • Consumed no humans? Did you miss an awful scene involving a cellphone ringing inside the Spinosaurus? He ate at least one.
    • He ate two humans. The first one was Cooper (the guy the other mercenaries were perfectly content to leave on the island in their panic to escape.) He got snatched up in the Spino's jaws right before the plane crash. The other guy was Nash. He was dragged out of the crashed plane by the Spinosaurus.
    • It pains me to defend the travesty that is JP3, but... Michael Crichton did actually make a thing of this in one of the books (the first one I think). When discussing how viciously the raptors behave toward their human visitors, Malcolm speculates that a lot of carnivorous animals will only attack humans once they have come to associate us with being a relatively easy meal, and wonders aloud as to when the raptors learned there was a benefit to attacking humans... foreshadowing the carnage to come later in the book. So, I guess somebody determined to defend the third movie could claim that Park workers presumably staffed the island at some point, and the Spinosaur could have eaten a bunch of folk before the movie started. I can't, however, remember which island the film is actually set on, so please excuse me if they did address this on-screen.
    • The island is the same as in The Lost World, Isla Sorna – hence Alan Grant's incredulous exasperation that he's been brought along to act as a guide to somewhere he's never been before.
    • I always thought that it ate the people in the boat in the first scene.
    • The dinos just scares them off, thinking that they are Compy or something, who will stole the T-Rex carcass. That's what I think.
    • Or the Spinosaurus was primarily a fish-eater, as current theories claim, and it killed the T. rex out of territorial imperative rather than for food. Its elongated jaws weren't sturdy enough to disassemble a giant carcass. Humans, conversely, are small enough for it to swallow whole.
    • New studies suggest that Spinosaurus, with its crocodilian-like jaws, may have fed on small and medium-sized prey like a crocodile: holding the prey and flinging its head back and forth to rip up the meal, and tearing pieces from the carcasses of large carrion with the same method. With evidence of Iguanadon bones in the gut regions of related animals like Suchomimus and Baryonyx and a Spinosaurus tooth in the wing bone of a Pterosaur, Spinosaurus may have been the equivalent of a Cretaceous grizzly bear, dining mainly on fish, feeding on carrion when possible and hunting other dinosaurs when the opportunity arose.
    • That still doesn't explain all the chasing. It's one thing to eat a free cookie, it's another thing to chase it for hours on end, especially considering, size wise, these cookies are on the smallest end of the scale. It doesn't make even a little sense.
    • I was under the impression the Spinosaurus just happened to come across them every time they encountered it.
    • Yeah, they were in its territory for the bulk of the film and just had the rotten luck to keep running into the thing. Hell, the one time they're chasing the satellite phone's ringtone, they look over at the Spinosaurus and it looks just as surprised as they are.
    • That was a Carnotaurus, a smaller carnivore with small horns over its eyes, not the Spinosaurus. The Spinosaurus makes its entrance from the water later in that scene.
    • A size-chart comparing dinosaur sizes, from one of the earlier JP3 DVD boxes, claims it's actually a Ceratosaurus. Check Disney's CGI film Dinosaur if you want some Carnotaur action (or go to Disney's Animal Kingdom and enjoy the ride).
    • Also, I think we're confusing two different scenes here: the Ceratosaurus shows up the second time they're looking for the satellite phone, while digging through Spino's poop. The first time is with the phone still inside the Spinosaurus, a la Peter Pan's crocodile. Moving on...
    • Blame the keepers, maybe: if the predators were hand-fed by humans early in their lives, they may have come to associate humans with food, same as crocodiles fed chum by tourists will. They weren't chasing the humans because they were innately vicious, they were chasing them because they were expecting the humans to drop them a nice tasty half a cow.
    • A major theme in the novel (and a more minor one in the film itself) is that the humans don't do anything to understand the dinosaurs, and many of their capabilities are a total mystery to the researchers (Raptor intelligence, Dilophosaurus venom, and even the reproduction of the animals). It is likely that they did not supply the water bodies in Isla Sorna with large fish, not knowing that Spino was a piscivore, which the Spinosaurus feeds on, thus forces it to go into direct competition with the dominant, pack hunting T-rexes. Spino, despite being the most powerful dinosaur on the island, is primarily a predator of human-sized terrestrial animals and large fish (which again are non-existent), which may explain why it was more interested in humans than both the dead Rex and the carcass it was just feasting on. Because Hammond's geniuses failed to supply the Spinosaurus with its natural diet, it targeted the next best thing (fossil record indicates Spinosaurs took on animals around human size), avoiding large dinosaurs and instead going after the humans.
    • The implication from the film is that the spinosaur has possibly taken to swimming offshore in search of marine fish. How successful this strategy is is not seen.
    • In the case of the raptors, they are just going for the easiest prey. In JP they are both incredibly clever (and not instinct reliant like the other predators) and also capable of revenge. It may have been both a 'take that' to the human masters and also their reaction after learning humans were softies.
    • The Dilophosaurus attacked Nedry, who was in its immediate location, thus justifying the attack. The Rex in the first film attacked the humans only because they were right in front of it, and in the second took them on because they stole its kid. In the 3rd, the Rexes in the island may have gained some instinct that humans = trouble from The Lost World.
    • In the majority of chase scenes, the dinosaurs chase humans either because they're the only things made of meat around, or the humans start running and thus probably kick in the dinosaur's predator instincts. Further encounters with the same dinosaur after that can be chalked up to the fact that the dinosaurs aren't really chasing the humans per se, so much as their paths are simply intersecting again by chance. We in the audience see it as "chasing" because 1) humans tend to see patterns in everything and 2) we know it's a movie and that we're watching the central characters.
    • A major theory among the Jurassic Park community is that Spinosaurus goes through musth, making them more aggressive.
    • The question is how did the Raptors learn humans were such easy chow. The Rex and Dilos could be explained as territorial kills and then scavenger instinct taking over once they smelled meat. The Mosasaur was hunger, and like a shark, liable to eat anything in range, and the Compys are scavengers who will eat just about any dead animal. But the Raptors will always go after humans when given the choice, so somewhere they figured out humans are easier to kill than any other prey on the island, but where did they learn this?
      • This is explained in the book. Before the raptors were put into their holding pen (the one we see in the movie), they were kept in an actual enclosure. But they kept getting to and mauling the construction workers, which is how they learned that humans were not only easy prey, but probably tasted good, too.
    • Best not to think about that one too hard...
    • "How did the Raptors learn humans were such easy chow"? In the movie, literally the very first scene is a raptor learning that humans are easy chow by dragging him into its enclosure and ripping him to shreds.
    • Maybe the Raptors aren't going after humans because they're easier, but because they're more fun...
    • In the second film, the humans were going through their nesting grounds. It may have been a mix of protecting the young, defending the territory and a late night snack. The third film, they don't even eat the one mercenary, they just break his neck when they realize the humans figured out he's bait. They were only after them because they knew they had their eggs.
    • And also, of course, Rule of Drama. For all the possible explanations outlined above, at the end of the day if you're a storyteller you're going to get more tension out of a flesh-eating dinosaur chasing after the human characters because it wants to eat them than a flesh-eating dinosaur completely ignoring the human characters because it has no idea what they are or what they taste like.
    • Some supplementary material from after Jurassic World heavily hints that the Spinosaurus is one of Wu's less ethical genetics projects, a "First Draft" for what would eventually become the Indominus rex. This would explain its extreme durability and aggression. Raptors have an insanely high prey drive even compared to other dinosaurs in the series, and the rexes are shown to be highly territorial.

     Animal cruelty 
  • How would the park not have been charged with animal cruelty for its practice of feeding live animals to the dinosaurs?
    • Live animal feeding is used in some zoo and conservation settings in real life. The only point of contention is that the goat is tethered, rather than turned loose in the T-Rex paddock to be hunted naturally.
    • Complete and total lack of jurisdiction, which is probably one of the bigger reasons that Hammond chose to purchase a couple of actual islands "off the coast of nowhere" in order to make his park. Unless what he's doing affects the residents/citizens of places with governments, there's not a lot anybody can or will do about it.
    • It's possible at least some of the dinosaurs won't eat the animal if it's not alive or moving (particularly the T.Rex, as it can't see motionless things.)

     Sunglasses at night okay, travelling at night not okay. 
  • Why do the people in the first film insist on travelling only in the daytime? The T. Rex is a reptile, and therefore cold-blooded. With the size of its body and the metabolism that it would need to support that, the T. Rex couldn't travel without the Sun's warmth. In fact, at night it should be nearly helpless because there is no energy coming from the Sun to support it. So how did it move around so much? And why did the "dinosaur expert" insist on sleeping at night, robbing them of the inherent advantage of being warm-blooded?
    • At this point of time, it is a matter of debate whether dinosaurs were indeed cold-blooded. In the novel, Alan Grant was of the belief that most dinosaurs were warm-blooded, and was proven correct.
    • Debate, really? I, a dinosaur enthusiast, haven't heard any cold-blooded dinosaur theories taken seriously since the early 1980s.
    • And yet there the OP is, saying it outright.
    • Currently the bet is on the theory that the dinosaurs were not warm-blooded in the same sense as the mammals and birds today, but in practice their metabolisms along with body-mass kept their temperature relatively stable. So yeah, in practice they had none of the limitations of the modern lizards, as far as temperature goes.
    • In other words, the dinosaurs were endothermic animals that probably could deal pretty well with nighttime temperatures.
    • In short, you fail biology forever.
    • As of 2008, modern biologists are working against the use of the terms 'warm-blooded' and 'cold-blooded' because they are incredibly vague and an increased understanding of how animals maintain body temperatures has revealed a variety of methods. So the moral of the story is that you're never safe from dinosaurs. Ever.
    • And even if some dinosaurs are warm blooded and others are cold, the ones that are most likely to be warm blooded...are raptors and rexes (specifically the dinosaurs known for sure to have feathers). Not to mention that the general palaeontological consensus is now becoming that not only all dinosaurs were warm blooded, but so were their close relatives, the dinosaurimorphs and pterosaurs. Especially the pterosaurs. (And yes, I know about Sordes).
    • And anyway, real world science notwithstanding, it's pretty much canon in Jurassic Park that all dinosaurs are warm blooded.
    • I'm sorry, but I think this would be obvious. What kind of creatures are humans (by nature)? Diurnal ones. Under what circumstances does human vision work best? By light. Ergo, what would be the best time to travel and be able to SEE WHERE YOU ARE GOING? By. Daylight.
    • Even with a high metabolic rate, eye-socket diameter suggests few dinosaurs were nocturnal. The humans were doing what mammals had always done when dinosaurs were around: lay low until daytime, when the big mammal-eating monsters are sleeping.
    • Notwithstanding: "don't go into the long grass!"
    • Grant in the first movie is travelling in hostile terrain with no map or knowledge of the park, provisions or weapons and with two very scared children in tow. What he trades in safety at night, he gets back in being able to see the ground. Two o'clock in the morning wandering into a raptor nest with two kids would not be fun...
    • Exactly— plus they've already had a long, exhausting, frightening day full of literally unbelievable danger, discomfort and near-death experiences. They would have been stressed, hungry, cold and damp, and bruised and battered at best. And Grant (and presumably the kids too) had only just arrived on the island that day after a long and probably not exactly smooth helicopter flight from the mainland, not to mention travelling to Costa Rica itself shortly beforehand. They would have every excuse for being absolutely out on their feet by this point.
      While pressing on through the night would be useful for avoiding diurnal predators, this wouldn't counter the arguments for stopping when they did: they were no better equipped (as diurnal creatures ourselves) to deal with nocturnal conditions, they were shattered, they were lost in unfamiliar and potentially lethal terrain, they did not know the night-time habits of raptors, etc., there could be further storms that would catch them in the open, etc. Holing up in the relative safety and shelter of the convenient large, climbable tree with practically a bed in its branches was the only sane option.

    • Plus, large dinosaurs might had been quite nocturnal

    It's your fault, old man! 
  • Why did the guys in the first film regard the park's failure as the old man's fault? It was the fat guy who shut down the park's systems that ruined it, the systems themselves were flawless.
    • The system was far from flawless - in fact, it was exceptionally poorly designed. It relied wholly on "active" systems requiring constant power (the electrified fences) in a tropical area where hurricanes were not unknown, operated by a centralized, clunky computer system that Nedry was brought in to debug (he complains about this noticeably the first time we see him in the film). To make matters worse, the electrified fences were open to the touch of people who could get out of the cars - can you say "lawsuit" for when some idiot inevitably gets out and touches them? In real life, zoos always, always have a number of "passive" barriers (like concrete walls, raised and/or lowered pens, and the like) so that if the power goes out, the animals don't just get out and run around freely.
    • Hammond tells Gennaro that the concrete moats around the paddocks are in place - this is a line taken from the book. However, it is never explained how in the film that the dinosaurs bypass the moats and get loose from their paddocks. We don't even see any moats surrounding the fences.
    • The park was still under construction when the first film took place. In fact, bringing the lawyer along to tour the place was probably intended so he could point out where safety features needed to be added.
    • As for why Hammond gets blamed, it's because he was the one who cut corners, resulting in the above Disaster-Waiting-To-Happen system.
    • He didn't "cut corners". He spared no expense. He states as much multiple times.
    • He says that, yes. That doesn't mean he actually did it. Case in point: He doesn't "spare no expense" when it comes to paying Nedry. "Sparing no expense" would also mean properly manning the park.
    • The book makes it more clear, that the system had several flaws that made restoring and keeping order impossible after the fat guy's partial system shutdown.
    • Also in the book, it is clear that the system was already failing (dinosaurs were breeding, escaping, etc.) long before Nedry cut the power.
    • The whole story was, to an extent, meant to be an Aesop about arrogance and nature and playing god and so fourth, and from that perspective, it was all Hammond's fault.
    • Also in the book Hammond was an asshole. He had many many opportunities to make the park safer (including advice from his consultants to genetically engineer the Raptors and T. Rex to be slower, more passive, etc so they'd less of a risk in the event of escape) and ignored it.
    • Of course, in the book, Hammond gets his comeuppance when he falls down a hill, breaks his ankle and subsequently gets eaten by compys (a version of the death Peter Stormare gets in the second movie). I was most surprised to see Hammond turn up in the second film, and wondered what went on in the second book that it was allegedly based on, which I had not yet read!
    • And Fridge Logic says that, while he may appear to get off lightly (i.e. alive) at the end of the first film, Hammond faces a laundry list of charges since logically he's liable for the deaths and injuries to everyone associated with the park's failure, ultimately. That he's seen in the second film confined to his bed, as opposed to a cell, implies infirmity may be the only thing that kept him from trial/prison.
    • Also, if you design a system where one guy can unleash hordes of carnivorous dinosaurs by throwing a switch, it's safe to say you screwed up somewhere.
    • The guy who designed the system was the one who threw the switch. He obviously could have, but didn't want to/engineered a backdoor.
    • Who says they ever figured out what Nedry had done? The park was evacuated and abandoned, Nedry was dilophosaur chow, and the rival company that he sold out to was hardly going to ask InGen if anyone had retrieved a can of shaving cream from that debacle. All they know for sure is that Nedry put an unapproved backdoor into the park's computer systems, but that could've just been him being a Jerkass, not a saboteur. The storm could've knocked out the power grid.
    • Actually, the novel specifically mentions him wearing protective gloves to handle the frozen embryos. In the film, however, it apparently only takes a glorified grocery freezer to keep dino embryos fresh.
    • There was no time, in either movie or book, for anyone to check for fingerprints to track down Nedry's activities during the blackout. In the movie, everyone escaped as soon as they could; in the book, Muldoon realizes what Nedry was up to immediately after finding him, so there's no need for further investigation. The lab was also not equipped for forensic analysis anyhow, and it likely got blown up along with the rest of the island.
    • In the novel, Dr. Wu notices the logged entry during the outage, when the techs were at supper, and checks to see if anything was changed (such as missing embryos). He informs Arnold of this, who discovers how Nedry crippled the system (whiterabbit.obj - a code that disabled the security systems). The movie did skim through this, as well as Nedry's reason for the theft.
    • Nedry, who has financial problems, goes missing. Security measures fail. Nedry's got his "Ah-Ah-Ah" virus going. Dinosaur embryos go missing. Doesn't take a genius to work out he's responsible and probably selling out. Nedry never shows up again. Ever. After travelling into a park filled with carnivorous dinosaurs now able to roam about freely. Doesn't take a genius to work out he was eaten.
    • As for the original question, Hammond's the boss. Head honcho. Numero uno. And the buck ultimately stops with him. Yeah, his underlings might have been incompetent or cut corners, but he's the one who hired them and put them to work and signed off on what they did.
    • As much as Hammond mentions "I spared no expense" there is a quick conversation between him and Nedry, it's mentioned that Nedry was the lowest bidder for the position, with Hammond refusing to renegotiate his price, if Hammond had paid Nedry just a little more, maybe he wouldn't have caused the whole debacle, I think when Hammond mentions "I spared no expense," he means he spare no expense on the entertainment side of things, not being much into the whole "system" part, he wanted dinos and rides and attractions and wonder, he didn't care much for the tech specs, and generally figured a semi-decent programmer could do the job without much trouble, unlike Book!Hammond, the issue wasn't that he was irresponsible because he was a Jerkass, he was Irresponsible because he cared too much about the spectacle and didn't care about the little things needed to make the spectacle safe.

    When a girl dinosaur and another girl dinosaur love each other very much...wait a minute. 
  • How come the dinos were able to breed in the first movie when they were all female? The handwave makes zero sense, frogs do not change gender (Yes, I checked. Their gender is permanent and determined at birth).
    • If that is the case there are other ways of that being possible, even if the dinos in the movie couldn't have been altered this way. When an organism that reproduces asexually has a child it copies its own DNA, so all the organisms of that type would be genetically identical. Assuming all dinosaurs of each species were made from the same mosquito-butt DNA then they would be genetically identical. Species with little or no genetic variation are vulnerable to disease. Now when an asexually reproducing species is hit by disease, some of their species must change to males in order to reproduce sexually and have genetic reproduction if they want to survive, thus making genetic variation. If the all female dinosaurs were hit by some illness, or if they found they couldn't reproduce, they would change to suit an effective way of reproducing, so perhaps some changed. I dunno, just a theory.
    • Obviously, they adopted.
    • There are some species of frog and other fairly simple lifeforms that can change gender during their life cycle. It is highly unlikely that dinosaurs could adapt this trait, however, even with repairs to the genetics. It just isn't that simple. However, within the story of the movies, that's the official explanation and there's nothing we can do about it.
    • From where?
    • Hyperolius viridiflavus ommatostictus, the common reed frog, common throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It's only been observed in captivity, but if there's an all-female population some of the females will change into males. It was first reported in 1989, while Jurassic Park was being written. Crichton probably heard about it, said "Hey, that sounds cool" and put it into the book as his explanation.
    • Actually, there is something we can do ...
    • My guess? The scientists assumed the dinosaur's gender was decided genetically like it is in mammals and birds when in reality it turned out it's decided by external factors like temperature seen in animals like crocodiles and alligators (not too far fetched since they are sort of related). With internal genitalia and no sexing done to double check they were just releasing specimens of both genders assuming they were all female. Stupid of them...but scientists tend to make stupid mistakes in Crichton's writings. Maybe they presumed the lack of external penis was an indication there were no males?
    • Dinosaurs do have penises. Both crocodilians and the more primitive bird families, ratites, tinamous, chickens, turkeys and other galliformes, and geese, ducks, and other anseriformes all have penises. Its only in the "more advanced" birds that the penis is lost. So the dinosaurs, even if chimeras of croc, bird, and dino, would have had a penis. Apparently the scientists supposed to be checking up on these things should have taken a course in basic biology.
    • Not to mention that they ought to have been maintaining meticulous health records on every single one of their animals, if only because InGen's vets were breaking new ground and every last dinosaur was worth a fortune. Even simple palpation of a tranquillized female's belly could've detected the presence of an unknown abdominal mass, which X-rays would identify as eggs.
    • Should have. Doesn't mean they did. There's a lot of things they should have done that they didn't, and a lot of things they shouldn't have done that they did. That's the whole reason the park collapsed.
    • As mentioned, the novel implied that, since all island surveillance and security was automated, the park administrators simply left the dinos to their own devices without much in the way of check-ups or strenuous medical examination unless one of them ended up sick, and collapsed. Then, the dino's absence of movement registering on sensors would have them sending a team out to see what was wrong. So, apparently, all pregnant female dinos stayed healthy enough to lay their eggs before anyone got to them with a stethoscope. After all, there was one vet, and a maximum of 20-odd operating personnel on the island at all times as a matter of course, and over 250 animals.
    • Ian Malcolm asks if someone goes out and "pulls up the dinosaurs' skirts" to sex them, in response to which Dr Wu airily states that there can't be any males since they engineer their chromosomes to make them all turn out female. As so often is the case in the books/film, they just didn't consider alternative outcomes to their plans, regardless of how slapdash and potentially flawed their procedures may have been.
    • The dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park Series are not true dinosaurs, instead species manufactured through a mix of dino and croco DNA. Thus, it is more than likely the JR dinosaurs have this feature.
    • The thing that always baffled me is why the hell did they use frog DNA anyway? There's no logical explanation except that it 'makes the plot work'.
    • The books explained this one a bit: the lead geneticist (Henry Wu, played by B.D. Wong in the movie) basically realized that, since 90% of DNA is the same in all creatures, he could use anything to patch most of the holes in the DNA. So, he did. Probably a case of Artistic License – Biology, but my genetic chops are not up to the task.
    • Actually it is part of hybrid/chimera science. While there's some science fiction involved, some of it does follow through quite well. In a hybrid you have to have two different animals mating/inseminated to create a new animal. In this the genes mix and what's dominant usually wins. Take for example sheep/goat hybrids, most come out with a goat's coat. However if you make a chimera, you mix and match the embryos and it's basically a cellular free-for-all. (in real science, it would have taken a young dinosaur egg, not just a DNA though). But to use the other example, if you mix and match a sheep/goat, the chimera coat can be part sheep wool and part goat hair depending on which cell coded where. Even more fascinating is the genital area is usually defined by just one cell. Meaning that animal could produce either purebred sheep or goats depending on which cell developed into the genital. In JP, the F1 generation lab made were chimeras, and the ones that got that frog DNA into their genitals switched gender. They essentially bred the hybrid frog/dinosaur (whatever else) right into the population. Depending on which cells made their systems. In real life though it would be unlikely for those hybrids to take, let alone be born, but the actual general process of how you can breed like this, isn't that far-fetched. (Assuming though you could keep getting generations healthy and fertile, which really could be right down to pure dumb luck)
    • Chicken DNA would've made more sense than frog, given birds' close kinship to dinosaurs. We already know a fair bit about the chicken genome because of agricultural research; the novel Carnosaur, a cheesy horror novel that used the same idea as Crichton's, used modified chicken ova to create dinosaur zygotes, implanted into ostriches as surrogate mothers.
    • We do share 90% of our genetic code with rats, who are not even our closest cousins amongst the non-primate mammals (that distinction goes to tree shrews and colugos). Imagine how close birds might be to raptors, especially given that some consider birds arose from within Deinonychosauria. Still doesn't explain why they were butt-naked though.
    • More importantly over 95% of the DNA in any animal is "junk". It codes for nothing. It is just there to leave gaps between genes reducing the rate of mistakes, as mutation fodder, and as a place for viruses to insert their genetic material. They could have (and should have) just filled these gaps with a random assortment of nucleotides, rather than using frog DNA and allowing an unwanted gene to be expressed (not that that could actually happen, there would be completely different pathways to change the gender of a frog and a dinosaur). Also, how the hell, not knowing what functional dinosaur genes look like, did they isolate the functional 5%?
    • Just because overconfident scientists decide every couple of years that we now know everything doesn't make it true. I work on RNA interference, a mechanism which was completely unknown till 1998, but which is fundamental for all multicellular organisms. Think of the whole genome thing as coding both ingredients and recipes: flour and eggs are found in many, many foods; it's the way you cook them that makes each food different.
    • This is tackled a little better in the book where they make it clear that they don't exclusively use frog DNA, but any of numerous DNA patterns they think will fit, but since it's just the magic frog DNA that somehow caused a problem, that's the only they used in the movie.
    • In the book they used DNA from several different animals. It was only four dinosaur species, Velociraptor included, that they used frog DNA for, and they were the only ones that bred.
    • Why use frog DNA and not some reptile DNA? Frogs are amphibians and so much less likely to be compatible with dino-DNA; but then again the whole thing clearly runs off nonsensoleum, so what the heck, why not?
    • Female Komodo Dragons can lay eggs to produce male offspring, with the theory being that this ability is in case they find themselves on an island with no males.
    • This is possible because komodo dragons (like many reptiles and birds) use ZW chromosomes, rather than the XY chromosomes humans and most mammals use. Basically the ZW is the reverse of XY; the females have two different chromosomes (ZW) and the males have two of the same (ZZ) with Z only-sperm and ova that having either Z or W. However just having ZW chromosomes is not quite enough, female komodo dragons also have the ability to duplicate the chromosomes in their ova if not fertilized normally, thus making some of their offspring Opposite Sex Clones. Which really brings the decision to make the dinosaurs all-female into Head Desk territory (in response to both the author and the fictional scientists) since ZW is so prevalent in the dinosaurs' avian descendants and could have been present in the reptilian ancestors as well! There's absolutely no need to introduce "magical" Gender Bending amphian DNA; if dinosaurs had ZW chromosomes they had an innate potential for creating an entire breeding population from a single unfertilized female!
      • From my limited experience keeping reptiles, it's usually easier to house an all-female population of reptiles together in a confined space rather than an all-male population. Not to say that female-to-female aggression doesn't exist, but males will quite often fight each other to the death. I'd say that this was a sane precaution against your attractions constantly duking it out thunder-dome style. (Actually, that would be pretty sweet, too.)
    • The second movie might help resolve this problem, as Hammond apparently did let the dinosaurs on the free-range island reproduce. Perhaps a lab tech mixed up a batch of male embryos, intended for the other island, with a batch of females for the park? It'd only take one male to inseminate the rest of a given species' population.
    • Grant may have been completely wrong. They could all be female and be reproducing through parthenogenesis.
  • Why did they need to make the dinosaurs all female instead of all male? The only explanation I can think of is that Hammond wanted to make the park kid-friendly and not risk the off-chance that any kid would see a dino-erection.
    • The doctor explains this. All the embryos are, by default, female. They need a particular stimulus at a particular stage of development to become male. Making everyone female means just not doing something; making everyone male means being absolutely certain to do something with every single dino. You'd have to do a lot more, and pay much closer attention, to make them all male, and run a much higher risk of something going wrong sooner.
    • They may have hoped to be able to use the adult female dinosaurs as living incubators for future generations of cloned embryos, rather than having to grow them in artificial eggs all the time. Also, male vertebrates are often more territorial than females: a male who can claim an exclusive territory is likely get the chance to mate with additional partners, whereas mating with multiple males isn't all that beneficial to a female's rate of reproduction.

    The Lysine Deficiency 
  • How did the dinos survive without the protein they were genetically engineered to lack? If you mess with genes to create a protein deficiency, there is no way that that protein will be produced.
    • They can't produce lysine, an essential amino acid. The scientists in story Failed Biology Forever by forgetting that many animals, humans included, can not produce their own lysine. They have to get it by eating foods containing lysine, which is also how the dinosaurs survived without supplements. It's a bit puzzling that they'd deliberately engineer a lysine dependency as a security feature given that most vertebrates already have it and survive just fine in the wild anyway.
    • I got the impression in the book that the scientists only shoved this in so they could tell everyone "Oh, look, see, we're doing stuff so if they escape, it'll be fine!", assuming that most people wouldn't know about the inability to produce lysine being common and therefore would be impressed.
    • Lysine can be produced by quite a variety of plants, and it's unlikely that you can get rid of all specific lysine-producing plants in a whole island, unless you use such means as.... Agent Orange. Even if you can, plants seeds have such... marvelous ways to reach such a place. See Krakatoa, for example.
    • Inability to produce needed biological chemicals is a common method for handicapping bacteria used in genetic studies. If Hammond hired only specialized bioengineers to create his dinosaurs (specialists, who'd never studied botany or animal nutrition) they may not have realized that what constrains microorganisms in a petri dish won't suffice for vertebrates that can roam around and sniff out the nutrients they lack.
    • The book even makes this fact clear by making a point that the dino's that had escaped the island were destroying a lot of farm crops of foods rich in lysine.
    • Dinosaurs may be able to produce lysine themselves. With several million years of evolution, like the shark, dinosaurs would have come to be a near-perfect animal. Though not as intelligent as mammals, and still rather limited in some aspects, genetically, they would be highly efficient and advanced. In reality so little is known about these animals, how could we possibly expect them to show the usual behaviour of a present day species. Wu himself admitted that he and his scientists didn't really know what to expect from dinosaurs. His job was to simply clone them, and any other aspects were secondary. He described himself as a clock master; he tinkered around with his creations. He really had no idea of what to expect from organisms that went extinct 65mya. It would be upon cloning, that the scientists would have found lysine codes in the DNA, and wanting a way to control them, deleted these codes. The scientist knew that the dinosaurs would still be able to receive lysine by eating sources around them, but the herbivores were also genetically altered so that they couldn't chemically produce lysine, unless it's an InGen lysine tablet like the ones that were stated to be in use in the novels. Dodgson speculated that if pets were made, they could be made so that they can only eat InGen Petfood, so we know it's plausible for the animals to be engineered without the ability to even produce the enzyme, unless fed directly by an InGen supplement. This way, if there ever were to be a mass break out, even on Sorna, the herbivores would die without the lysine, and the carnivores wouldn't be able to receive lysine if they ate the herbivores, and starve to death themselves. But the problem, like all mass produced products, would be a sacrifice of quality in the face of quantity. The cloning process would become sloppy, and not only did diseases develop, but there were no longer any checks on whether or not the lysine contingency was working. When some of the animals bred, the DNA was no longer controlled. The lysine enzyme was once again either not withheld, or would be able to be produced by the dinosaurs themselves. I would like to believe the former, but either is likely.
    • That explanation fails Occam's Razor, though. From an evolutionary perspective, not being able to manufacture certain amino acids, as long as you get sufficient amounts of them in your food, is an advantage because you're no longer using energy to create building blocks you have no use for. In other words, unless your primary source of food can't provide you with enough of that amino acid, weaning yourself off it is a good thing. Most vertebrates are so high up the food chain that they get their food either from plants, or from other vertebrates that, at some point, ate plants themselves to survive. Plants synthesize their own lysine. Ergo, vertebrates get lysine from eating plants or from eating things that eat plants (and, in addition, from the bacteria living in their guts). It makes little evolutionary sense for dinosaurs not to be lysine deficient by default (crocodiles and sharks, who lived in the Jurassic age, are), and it makes even less sense, even if they weren't by default, for them to suddenly stop working when their very environment (modern plants and bacteria) produce it in abundance.
    • This appears to be a bit of Adaptation Decay from the novel. In the novel, the lysine deficiency was treated more as a way of keeping the dinosaurs docile and dependent on their human handlers, since they were engineered to be deficient in lysine, they were consequently being fed with food rich in lysine, and in theory if they were denied this food they'd quickly starve. It was intended to be a form of control; the dinosaurs escape, they get deprived of lysine, they starve to death. Of course, even in the novel this ended up not working, since it's heavily suggested that a bunch of escaped dinosaurs have just started hunting out food which is rich in lysine in the wild. The movie, however, appears to simplify this by treating the lysine deficiency as more of a potential genetic "kill-switch" than a way of fostering dependency.

     The Dilophosaurus venom 
  • It's explained on the tour in the first movie that Dilophosaurus venom, once spat into its prey's eyes, can cause both blindness and eventually paralysis. If the venom is just being spat into the eyes, how exactly can that cause paralysis? Wouldn't the venom need to be transferred into the bloodstream via a bite in order for that to paralyze the dinosaur's prey?
    • Nope. Skin contact is more than sufficient for many toxins, there is absolutely no need for venom to be injected directly into the blood to enter the bloodstream. Especially if it hits somewhere like the eyes. Note how much of the venom (or rather, venom-soaked mucus) there is and how sticky it is... it's clearly meant to be extremely hard to remove, giving it more time to sit in place and do its job. The paralysis would be important since if it attacked something larger than itself, when the prey was blinded, it would probably just go charging off wildly; the Dilophosaurus could follow it and wait for the paralysis to kick in.

    The T-Rex pen and the Pit 
  • I have one simple question. In the first movie, after the Tyrannosaurus attacks the vehicles, Grant and Lex start scaling down a large pit. This is the same spot that the Tyrannosaurus walked on top of to leave the enclosure. Where did the pit come from?
    • I'd have to see the movie again to be absolutely sure, but I'm pretty sure the big drop was across the road from the T-Rex pen, not on the same side.
    • As I recall the scene, opposite the T-Rex pen was jungle and the bathroom where the lawyer gets eaten.
    • Yeah, that was just a straightforward goof.
    • Obviously, the T.rex can climb trees and stand on their topmost branches. Why else would the park designers put up a goat at road-level if they didn't think Rexy could get to it?
    • It wasn't a goof. Steven Spielberg deliberately started with a flat surface with a goat chained to it and then switched it to a deep pit. He knew it was inconsistent but thought it made for a more dramatic escape and thought most people wouldn't notice anyway.
    • Incidentally, most zoos do have large pits like that in open enclosures. Although, they are specifically designed so that the animal can't cross it. So if the park designers had done their job, even if the electrical fences had gone down, the T-Rex wouldn't have been able to escape.
    • Fixed link
    • To the best of my memory, the link basically said that the spot where Grant and Lex climbed down was a different spot from where the goats was and where the T-rex climbed over, demonstrated by the position of the cars. Something like that.
    • Basically the Rex pen had a moat that started between the two cars and ran away from the road, the Rex can go out over the ground near the rear car, then when it was attacking the first car pushed it forward and over so it was over the moat when it went over and in.

    Automated Cars 
  • In the first movie, why the hell didn't the cars have drivers? That would seem to me to be a basic safety precaution, having someone there who could drive the car manually. It would also be preferable from a customer-service perspective, since the drivers could also function as guides. And it would give palaeontology students summer jobs. Everyone wins!
    • Remember Hammond's Catchphrase: "We've spared no expense." Hammond made a fully automated guide and guide vehicle simply because he had the money to do so, and probably because he thought it would be cool.
    • To flaunt his cash, simple enough.
    • It was done in a move to both flaunt the state-of-the-art automation of the park and save money on payroll. Therefore having automated cars with no drivers was a way to kill two birds with one stone.
    • It also cuts down on the number of people who'd know about the park before Hammond was ready to reveal it to the world at large. They were trying to be secretive.
    • Also, an automated car could seat four paying tourists, instead of three and one driver. So Hammond would then also need to buy 25% more cars to transport the guests. "Spared no expense" my ass.
    • I look at it rather as movie-Hammond thinking, "with a set number of cars fitting a fourth park-goer instead of needing a driver, I can show off my dinos to 33% more people per tour!"
    • No, it was about cost-cutting. Hammond made a lot of poor decisions because the park was, overall, a rushed job to maximize profit out of his dinosaurs. He hired the wrong people, he paid no attention to any of the science involved in what he was doing, and one of his recurring failings is that he tried too hard to make everything automated to avoid having to pay any ongoing salaries. Numerous times throughout the film (and even more frequently in the novel), various characters call him out on the remarkably poor design of his park. "Spared no expense" was a pointless piece of hyperbole that made him sound better; a lot of other characters beg to differ with that phrase, and that line begins with Dennis Nedry and ends at Robert Muldoon.
    • "Spared no expense" was also referencing the luxuries of the park. Hammond skimped on the necessities and rolled that cash into the luxuries, to make it as appealing a place as possible to visit. The money he saved not having staff was spent on Richard Kiley voiceovers and gourmet ice cream.
    • Considering that Hammond argues with the lawyer that everybody should enjoy the park, I don't think it was all about profit. One has to remember that the park was expensive. All the money went to making the dinosaurs. That's a lot of money, and it was admittedly the hard part. After that was done, Hammond just thought he could put these creatures on display like in a safari park and be done with it. He was excited about making the park look good to as many visitors as possible - as he says, he plans to charge a reasonable price because he wants everybody to see the dinosaurs - and let's face it, one visitor with $10,000, or 1,000 visitors at $10?
    • That's Movie!Hammond. Book!Hammond actually has Gennaro's line about "we can charge whatever we want," and goes on to state that a high price tag is actually a draw for most tourists, especially American and Japanese ones. Book!Hammond was all about making money, and there's even shades of it in the film, where even though Hammond is a much more likable character, he laughs along with Gennaro's "coupon day" comment. Movie!Hammond may want "everyone in the world" to see his dinosaurs, but that doesn't mean he won't bilk them for every red cent he can get.

    Tim the Invincible 
  • The character from the first movie my friends and I like to call "Tim the Invincible". In the course of the film he, a small boy, is terrorized by numerous dinosaurs (arguably, enough to put anyone into shock), thrown into a tree inside a car, dropped at least 50 feet inside the same wrecked car, and electrocuted by a fence meant to stop dinosaurs. (I seem to recall there were other examples, but it's been a while since I've seen the movie.) His injuries by the end of the movie? A forehead bruise and a constant whimper. He's walking and conscious, and no one seems even a little surprised that he's not dead. Does. Not. Compute.
    • Every heard of an electric dog fence? It doesn't have to kill, paralyze, or throw the dog to the ground, just has to zap it enough to keep it back. If that sort of fence is just slightly numbing to most humans, it makes sense that a dinosaur fence would knock out a person but not instantly fry them to death.
    • Electrical Engineering student here: It IS possible to take a high-voltage shock and survive (though it will hurt like a motherfucker), because its not the voltage the kills you, it's the CURRENT (or amperage) It only takes 10 milliamps to kill you, because the current runs through your heart and stops it, but if you get an obscenely high current going through you, the current actually dances across your skin without actually going through your body. That could be why Tim was able to take the hit from the fence and keep on ticking, although if I recall, Grant had to give Tim CPR to get him conscious again.
    • A lot of people will cite plot devices, but I'm going to go ahead and chalk it up to in-movie coincidence. Sure, a bunch of grown, trained men and women die and the kid survives, but was there ever a point where the kids defied physical or biological laws for the sake of survival? The electrical fence might qualify, as I'm not sure how powerful it would logically be when reactivated. But that aside, their survival had more to do with them not being placed in the exact same situations that got others killed. Locked in a car with a dilophosaurus, out in the open under a T-rex's nose, trapped in a room with a velociraptor, etc...
    • Three Words: Improbable Infant Survival.
    • There's a little something called Character Shield. That means that, no matter how defenseless he may be, the hero never dies (unless a cynical counter-culture guy is directing). That's why Tim survived: merely because he was a "good guy".
    • That kid was an idiot. I was watching the film again and noticed during the aforementioned electric fence that Tim is small enough to fit through the fence holes. He could have easily gone through one of them and been on the other side long before the other two reached the top of the fence.
    • If I remember, those fences were covered by chicken wire.
    • The gap seemed smaller down low than at the higher levels, makes sense I suppose for that to be the case as if the power goes out not many dinosaurs would be able climb up or reach the upper levels of the fence. Those that ARE large enough to reach the upper level of the fence are big enough to just knock the darn thing over.
    • The chicken wire might've been there to keep terrified goats from breaking their leashes, ducking through the fences, and infesting the island.
    • The fences weren't meant to kill the dinosaurs, merely stun them. They never mention the amperage of the fence, only the voltage— meaning that 50,000 volts (or whatever it was) might not have been enough to kill the kid, if the amperage wasn't particularly high. Of course, the electrified fence was a crappy way of keeping the dinos in their habitats, but it's pretty much established in-universe that they did a terrible job of designing the place. If anything, it's the stupidity of the people who built and designed the place that is difficult to swallow, rather than the resulting damage.
    • Exactly this. This is one of the areas where the film fails to explain plot points from the novel that only make sense with proper explanation. The fences were too weak to properly do their job of keeping the dinosaurs inside. They were meant as a deterrent, but John Hammond cut the voltage to dangerously low levels because he was worried about the safety of his precious dinosaurs. The fences are one of several places where John placed protecting his financial investment in the animals above the lives of the people in his park. So, in short, the answer is yes, a fence too weak to do more than fry little Tim's hands would be completely ineffectual at holding back the dinosaurs, the fence itself is a worthless p.o.s., and shame on John Hammond for thinking a voltage that low was a good idea.
    • Possibly he was more worried about the fences killing the humans on the island. A lot more people have been killed by accidental electrocution than by dinosaurs, even in the JP Verse. In which case, Tim's survival is only to be expected: the fences were set to as high a voltage as they possibly could be without making them instantly lethal to a human.
    • Tim was not "invincible." He's bleeding out of his ears, his hands are heavily wrapped in bandages, and he's reduced to a slow limp. Look at him when he's fleeing from the raptor in the kitchen: he's hopping along at a very slow pace, precisely because he's been battered and beaten to hell and back. He definitely didn't get out unscathed.
    • Humans survive massive shocks from electric fences, and even lightning strikes. Sometimes we die, sometimes we don't. Tim nearly did die - Alan Grant gave him CPR when his heart stopped, remember? Tim survived, difficult to believe but not impossible, since the fence was meant to stun and repel dinosaurs, not kill them. And he was seriously hurting after that shock and that fall.
    • Here's a bit of possible Fridge Horror (I don't have a copy of the movie handy, so someone please fill me in) that ties into this, though - before Grant started performing CPR, did he check for a pulse? Tim may have just been dazed by the shock and fall, and Grant performing (presumably correct in-universe) CPR on him would have broken his ribs and only made him worse off. Kid can't catch a break.
    • I believe from memory that Grant did check for "signs of circulation" ie. breathing and movement, which actually put him way ahead of doctrine at the time, since this was just recently adopted as Red Cross practical first responder protocol (since most people don't actually know how to check for a pulse under emergency conditions anyway, and will mistake the pulse in their own thumb for a pulse in the victim's throat). In fact I think he said the line "He's not breathing!" I could be wrong. And as far as CPR breaking ribs, the above troper is 100% correct. In my law-enforcement job I get re-certified in CPR yearly and we are reminded that the least we will do is break ribs, possibly fracture a sternum as well, but that's a hell of a lot better than being dead- in the rare instance that CPR is successful and the patient survives. Most don't. Sad but true.
      • This scene came up in the movie just as I was reading this. Alan runs to Tim and kneels by him, presses his fingertips (not his thumb) towards Tim's neck and close to his face, then does indeed say "He's not breathing".
      • Grant is a field paleontologist who works on digs for extended periods in the badlands of Montana, out among the rattlesnakes and rockfalls, and hours from the nearest hospital facilities. It's entirely to be expected that he'd know more first aid than the average couch potato.

    Dinosaur Steaks 
  • When I saw the first movie in a theater, during the scene where Hammond offers his investors to discuss matters over lunch, my friend (a jovial guy who watches Mystery Science Theater 3000 regularly) riffed the following line: "Oh yeah, we are having brontosaur steaks!". Back then I laughed, but now I realize that the only non-dinosaur animals on the island were used to feed the dinosaurs, so...
    • I distinctly remember Hammond mentioning "Chili and Sea Bass" (or Chilean Sea Bass) as a lunch entree.
    • It was Chilean Sea Bass. What, did you entirely forget the possibility that they could have food shipped in?
    • They get food shipped in, clearly. The freezer they trap the raptor in is full of food. That's even how they got it to go in there in the book, with a trail of frozen steaks...
    • Is your friend one of those people going to the special hell?
    • Hammond may have spared no expense, but I think butchering a bronto would be a little bit over-the-top, even for the guy who built a dinosaur theme park.
    • He spared no expense, but he's not a moron. No point in spending a billion dollars to clone an Apatosaurus and then kill it for T. rex food. It is likely, however, that any dead dinosaurs were cut up and fed to the meat eaters. Some zoos do that (after necropsy and research) and it would be even more likely with animals as hard to dispose of as a dinosaur.
    • Maybe by the time of Jurassic World, they'd do that. Before the park actually went public, it'd make more sense to preserve each and every carcass, eggshell, shed scale or lost tooth the dinosaurs produced, because Hammond would expect every museum, university, and dino-crazy billionaire's kid on the planet to be frantic to get a hold of such rarities, at any price, once he reveals what he's created.

    Herbivore Park? 
  • After getting terrorized and nearly killed by dinosaurs, most people agreed it was a good idea not to open any park where there are huge dinosaurs, as too many things can go wrong. Makes sense on the surface, until Fridge Logic kicks in. Why not open a park that has only herbivores? Even Grant, one of the most vocal about the dangers of dinosaurs enjoys the times he has with the herbivores. Everybody loves a brachiosaur and a triceratops (unless it's trying to gore you, but that's no more dangerous than a rhino and we already have those).
    • In all honesty, just because you're not directly under it in the food chain doesn't mean it's harmless. Remember the stegosaurus scene from the second movie where the screaming lady got to close to the baby and triggered Mama Bear mode?
    • There's a significant different between a rhino's 700+ pounds trying to gore you, and a triceratops 4+ tons trying to gore you. The implication is that the larger something gets, the more dangerous it is, which is literally true. However, proper domestication methods...
    • Triceratops is supposed to have weighed 6-12 tons, which is coincidentally about the same as an elephant, yet few zoos have trouble with elephants, and elephants have trunks as well as their tusks.
    • Captive elephants kill or maim their keepers rather frequently, whether in anger or out of sheer clumsiness. It's one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.
    • Also, the largest elephants get is about 6 or 7 tons, meaning a 12-ton Triceratops is pretty much twice the size of the largest elephant. That's not really "about the same."
    • Do you know how long it takes to domesticate a species? A lot generations.
    • Not when you have genetic superpowers, like in the books/movies. If they had spent years researching their methods and learning how to create non-aggressive dinos instead of trying to recreate the original creatures ASAP, they might have managed to make smaller, friendlier animals, something they still could have used the research to do after the first film. Instead, the idiots made an even worse error by bringing a 100% wild, born and raised, t-rex back to the States.
    • Not so long in this case. The number of generations full domestication takes is dependent on just how young you're prepared to allow human contact, sure if you wait till adolescence before allowing human contact it'll take forever to domesticate them. But if you start when they're a few weeks old (and they could have done that because the first generation had no parents to be protective of them), or younger, it shouldn't take too many generations. Look at lions, they're lethal if you try to go near them in the wild, but there have been more than an few who were almost domesticated, and that was at only the first or second generation.
    • That's taming, not domestication. Tame means an individual wild animal was raised to be compliant around people thanks to how it's been treated; domesticated means it and its ancestors have been bred to be compliant from day one, without having to be taught.
    • Additionally, tame wild animals have a much higher chance of behaving dangerously than domesticated creatures. A tame lion is still considered a wild animal, and any sensible person working with or studying them will tell you that it's foolish to think of them as domesticated.
    • Domestication can happen fairly quickly if the species in question has the proper traits and only the very friendliest animals are allowed to breed. The Russian silver fox experiment did this: they had individual foxes in the program that were labeled "elite" (i.e. "behaving as fully-domestic creatures and likely to have pups that will do the same") within six generations, the number of these domestic foxes going up with each subsequent generation. Somewhere around 80% of the foxes are "elite" after 50 years. But there's no telling how well this would work with any given dinosaur species, or how long it would take. Likely more than 50 years.
    • Indeed, there's no guarantee it would ever work. There are no truly domesticated reptiles, and the herbivorous dinosaurs under discussion weren't nearly as closely-related to birds as the carnivores, so may simply be too dominated by instinct to develop an affinity with an alien-to-their-era species.
    • Herbivores in nature are, on average, more violent and aggressive than carnivores. Carnivores have to worry about getting as little as a skin lesion infected, and thus crippling their ability to hunt. Herbivores don't have as much problems as they eat plants, which don't run away. Look at nature...which African animal kills the most people? It's not the lion, leopard, or's the hippo. Not to mention it says in the book that herbivores can be pretty bad-ass too (the pachy scene). A herd of cows? Go right in. A herd of bison? Be wary, but go in (which is kind of stupid in my opinion, seeing as bison can run faster than a human and are very aggressive). A herd of African buffalo? Stay the heck away from them.
    • But you can see bison and hippos at a zoo. And you don't want to pet them, just watch them. A major problem in all 3 films was "crap, how do we escape the bloodthirsty and for no reason (more or less) aggressive T-rex/Raptors/Spinosaurus". The Stegosauruses in The Lost World just bothered them because the "scientists" messed with their kid. Don't go playing with a buffalo calf while his mother watches you. A herbivore zoo would probably be much safer, not the safest thing in the world, but if they happen to get out of their cages stay away from them and they won't be following you over the whole island trying to eat you. I suppose.
    • There is an old sayingnote : carnivores run for their supper; herbivores run for their lives. When it is time to fight, herbivores aren't going to half-ass it.
    • Also, note that ceratopsians like Triceratops apparently were likely omnivores in the style of pigs and hippos. Who's to say that a Triceratops wouldn't eat a person?
    • One could simply make a park full of small herbivores. I remember reading in a book that it's estimated that a majority of dinosaur species were no larger than sheep are now, (which would make sense from an ecological standpoint). One could easily fill a park with small herbivores with little worries about safety. Sure, people would prefer to see the big dinosaurs, but if a park offered the chance to see living, breathing dinosaurs, who would honestly turn that opportunity down?
    • Depends on how small you mean by "small herbivores." Even the books themselves point out that herbivores can be more destructive than carnivores for a variety of reasons... and a few spooked trikes can do a lot more damage than a single rampaging rex.
    • Two words: invasive species. The threat of herbivores escaping is as bad if not worse than the threat of carnivores escaping, for the simple fact that triceratops and stegosaurus have no natural predators left in the world. Left to their own devices, they would breed uncontrollably and overtake any territory that they can reasonably survive in, with disastrous ecological and ultimately economical results.
    • Although those species would have an extremely hard time escaping to the mainland, would be too large and visible to avoid detection (and hunting/eradication) in most environments, and probably would not breed prolifically enough to infest anywhere significant. They're not rabbits. All this assuming they weren't instantly poisoned by alien plants, or otherwise offed by the atmosphere, bacteria, etc.
    • Plus, the most important reason they didn't do a herbivore-only park: T-Rex sells.
    • The funny this is in the book it was suggested that they engineer the dinosaurs to be more docile and passive to their human controllers, but Hammond being a cheapskate shut down the idea because it would be added cost.

    How did the Velociraptors get out? 
  • I understand the T-Rex getting out, all she had to was lean on the wires and they collapse under weight. Granted if they were built to contain a beast of that size, they should be stronger, but that's a different thing. How did the human sized dinosaurs smash their way through metal bars?!
    • As mentioned below, it was shown in the book that they could chew through steel with relative ease, due to their immensely powerful jaws. After making small holes in the middle of each bar, it's not unreasonable to assume that they could ram the bars afterward, bending them outward as shown.
    • Just climbed out, maybe. They're nimble little bastards. Of course, in the book they were only in a chain link enclosure and had a bite force near a hyena's. It's been a long time since I saw the film, but I sort of remember a shot of the cage with what looked like regular fencing essentially blown out. Without any power to the electric fence and the time to work at it, I suppose it isn't out of the question that they managed to gnaw or slash their way out.
    • The book stated that they could bite (well, chew) through steel bars relatively quickly.
    • A major issue in the books is that the raptors have been attacking different points of the fence, systematically checking every area for a sign of vulnerability. This was a way that the author showcased their intellect. I can't remember if they go in depth on this detail in the movie, but I remember them at least mentioning the raptors hitting the fence. The electrification was what prevented the raptors from taking the fence down. Once they discovered it wasn't electrified, they bashed it down with their combined strength.
    • Yes, Muldoon does specify that they never attack the same place twice, and "they remember."
    • What bugs me is just how high off the bottom of the enclosure that gnawed out section was. Where the Raptors somehow hanging from the ceiling while working on that bit?
    • Maybe so. If you're built to clamber up the sides of hadrosaurs and rip their sides open, while the darned things are bucking and kicking and trying to crush you up against the nearest tree, a stationary cage ceiling wouldn't be that much of a challenge.
    • Not to mention the part right near the end where the protagonists are trying to escape a raptor by crawling through the duct work and the raptor not only leaps up right beneath the girl and holds her panel aloft (perfectly balanced on its head), but also hangs in the air for around seven seconds like that with no visible means of holding itself up.
    • It didn't "leap straight up." It was standing on a desk just beneath the panel, and straightened up to knock the ceiling panel up. When Grant kicked it, it fell down off the desk to the floor.
    • Once again, this is explained a bit more in the book. The raptors are described as disturbingly intelligent: they attack the fence again and again, but, as the resident zoologist Muldoon explains, they never attack the same spot in the fence twice. Presumably, when the power went out, they just continued their cycle of attacking the fence, realized the power was off, and off to the races they went.
    • That was all said in the movie as well.
      Ellie: I thought you said the fences were electrified?
      Muldoon: Yes, but they never attack the same place twice. They were testing the fences for weaknesses, systematically. And they remembered.
    • In the book the raptors had somehow gotten out very very early. Tim sees one free during the initial tour. We don't know the gestation takes for raptors but we know they had a breeding colony not to far away in the book. The bigger problem for me in this is that the raptors had tested the cage, presumably most if not all of it. Unless raptors can hear electricity (which is plausible, I turn off the lights in my office because whatever sound fluorescent lights make bugs me.) then why would they attack the cages once the power is down? They already know what will happen.
    • While not stated directly, the below bullet hampers on at the beginning the raptors probably did get out before to attack the guy who died at the hospital. Given that the Park people would not have thought there could have been more then they expected, they probably stopped looking once they tracked the right number in the pen, leaving some free to keep breeding and be able to be out for Tim to see during the tour.
      • This is explained in the book. The computer had an automated program that kept track of all the animals in the park. They could input how many animals were expected to be found, and how many actually were. The downside of this is that it would only alert them if the animal died. If there were, in fact, more animals than they were expecting (which was exactly what happened with the raptors), the computer would not count the surplus. Thus, some of the raptors were able to breed and escape without anyone realizing it for a long time.
    • Some species can detect electricity e.g. sharks, platypi. As you mention, high voltage electricity can also generate a buzzing noise and many animals have much better hearing than humans.
    • In the books, the raptors were constantly attacking the fences, even when they knew that the power was on. Most of the animals were conditioned to avoid the fences; the T-Rex, for example, only realized it could escape when it discovered that the fence was unpowered by accident. The raptors, on the other hand, were excessively stubborn and constantly attacking the fences whenever a human got near, probably because they'd already managed to escape at least once, killing three workers (including the one at the intro to the book). The raptors in the movie were probably acting similarly to the ones in the book; they may have simply realized power was out by paying attention and then got loose. After all, they're smart enough and dangerous enough that the pack leader realized she could knock open the loading crate if she attacked at the right time. It may have simply been a case of them sensing something was different (or merely following their usual routine of 'testing' the fences), making an attempt to escape, and discovering that the electrified fences were out.

    Displaying the Raptors 
  • How was Hammond intending to put the Raptors on display? The characters couldn't even see them under the canopy of their enclosure and they required an enormous amount of resources just to keep them from escaping.
    • Assuming they didn't come out of hiding, lure them out with food. Remember the goat for the Tyrannosaurus Rex? Same principle.
    • I'd assume that as with the book, the raptor pen was only a temporary holding place. In the book it was mentioned that they first put the raptors in a normal enclosure but being the crafty little buggers they are, they kept escaping and mauling the personnel (and also breeding in the wild, but that was only found out later), so they moved them to the specially designed pen until they could figure out how to fix the security issues.
    • Or they will put them in semi-aquarium display; the viewers will walk around the cage to see them.
    • I can answer this one; if you listen carefully to Hammond and Ellie's conversation that takes place in the background while Grant and Muldoon are discussing the Raptor-specs, Hammond's telling her about the viewing area on the ground level of the raptor compound. He mentions some dandy reinforced steel frames, which unfortunately doesn't change the fact that those frames are pretty much just holding windows...
    • Had the frames held three-inch thick bulletproof glass it wouldn't have been a problem.

     No Back-up Plan for Power Outages? 
  • When the power goes out, all hell breaks loose. This was a tropical island, and thus would yearly hurricanes. What the hell were they planning on doing when the power went out without any sabotage?
    • Put the cables underneath the grounds. That's the precaution.
    • Exactly. This is a common anti-hurricane feature on a lot of structures - it's not practical in places like California that suffer relatively frequent earthquakes, but in places like Jurassic Park, it's a lot easier (and more aesthetically pleasing) to have subterranean lines than power lines strung over the roads.
    • And why didn't they have hurricane-proof shelters on the island for the park personnel? Animals have to be fed, so zookeepers are often among the last people to evacuate because of hurricanes. You'd think that one of the first things Hammond would have built on the island would be facilities for a skeleton crew to remain behind, ready to feed the dinosaurs the moment a storm abates enough for them to go outside. The technicians, yes, they can run for the mainland, but letting his billion-dollar menagerie starve on account of a little bad weather would be cruel and stupid.
    • In the book at least, one of the ongoing problems mentioned is an automated feeding system, which is dispensing unneeded medication to the animals and continually sounding alarms when the medicine isn't available. And considering everything else was automated out the butt...
    • In the film, Nedry says in one scene that the park is designed to be run by six people locked in the control room for up to three days, if necessary. (He doesn't actually say how, but it can.)
    • Short answer: they weren't. The place was very poorly designed.
    • They did have shelters. That is where they go while they are waiting for Arnold to turn on the power.
  • Here's the thing, though: it wasn't a power outage. Nedry deliberately sabotaged the park so that he could move the embryos. Presumably they had taken such precautions as underground cables in the event of a hurricane, but that didn't matter when the power was shut off at the source (except for the raptor fences— as Muldoon said, even Nedry knew better than to turn those off). The "power outage" was Nedry's cover for corporate espionage; the storm just provided convenient cover for him (at first) while simultaneously throwing a monkey wrench into the whole plan, since it made him get lost, get eaten, and be unable to turn the power back on, which was his intention. An eighteen minute window, in and out before anyone realizes he's gone.
    • He didn't even need the storm, the bugs in the system were sufficient cover. "Some of the minor systems might go on and off, nothing to worry about."
    • In the novel, there was auxiliary power to cover for if the main power failed, but it was a poor backup which didn't supply enough to run the electric fences, and only warned the users once as opposed to continuously after the system reboot.

     Why not just shoot the computer room raptor? 
  • In the first movie's climax, when they get into the computer room, a raptor tries to push the door open, and they all panic and try to push the door closed. But they have a shotgun... why not let it open the door a little and SHOOT IT IN THE FACE?
    • It moves too fast. If they let the door open, there's a possibility the raptor jumps down on them and kills them. Then proceeds to kill everybody else as they are now defenseless. Although, there is no reason why they couldn't have asked one of the kids to pass or nudge the gun to them.
    • Actually, if I recall correctly, Alan did shoot it. A shot can be heard off screen and when we cut back to the scene, Alan drops the shotgun on the ground and the raptor hasn't gotten through the door as they run away. As I was also curious about this at one point, I counted the raptor deaths with the amount Muldoon said they were holding, and it matches up.
    • The shotgun jammed, which is why Alan left it. When it's lying on the floor, you can see a shell jutting at an odd angle from the stock.
    • Which raises another question, why do they use shells? With things like dinosaurs, a shotgun shell wouldn't be much use against anything very big. Surely shotgun slugs would be far better, a single good size round would be more effective for penetrating heavy scales. A shotgun makes sense, because it is harder to jam (Alan really buggered that gun up), but why use shells?
    • The gun Grant was using was a SPAS-12, a pump/semiauto shotgun that was known to have problems cycling rounds in semiauto mode. Whenever the gun appears in other movies, it's always used in pump-action mode because it can't cycle blank shells at all. When Hammond hears the shots over the phone, they all occur in rapid succession one after another, so it's pretty safe to assume that Grant was firing in semiauto mode and the gun jammed on its own.
    • Based upon the large single holes in the glass that were left after Grant attempts to shoot the velociraptor, they were using slugs. Which raises yet another question: how can a shotgun loaded with shells be firing slugs?
    • All shotguns use shells. The shell can be loaded with shot, lots of small spherical pieces of lead, or slugs, one big piece of lead. You can't tell by looking at the shell what type of shot is used, and based on the holes in the glass it seems like the shotgun was firing slugs.
    • Weren't there only three Velociraptors? One was locked in the freezer by the kids, and the other two were killed by the T-rex.
    • Yes Alan did shoot the raptor, AFTER Lex debugged the operating system and got the auto-locks activated. The question should be, why didn't Alan and Ellie tell Tim to stop being Lex' cheerleader and get the damn gun for them? All he did was stand behind her by the computer. In fact, before he even stood behind her, if one watches the scene where Lex first sits down in front the computer and says "I know this system.", you would see Tim in the background just standing in front of Alan and Elle pulling his hair, and jumping up and down. They could have said to Tim, 'Stop jumping up and down and give the us the damn gun!"
    • We even have a trope for this. Tim is playing the Neutral Female role to perfection by reducing his usefulness to that of background furniture.
    • They were panicking and not thinking very clear. The goddamn raptor was inches away from them actively trying to get in, so their only thought likely was 'Must hold the door, must hold the door'. Tim probably was panicking too, though he could at least look for a way to make himself useful.
    • Mostly because they're scared. But also raptors are insanely fast... it could theoretically kill one of them in the time it took Alan to try to just shoot it. Add in the fact that they could theoretically be like alligators... shoot it in the face and all you'll do is piss it off, shoot it in the body and it'll still function just fine long enough to tear you to pieces. They might only be vulnerable to being shot where their spine meets their skull.
    • My opinion was that they were too concerned for the children, to call Tim over. Even with two people holding it, the door was opening and closing erratically, which would have made shooting through the gap hard. The Raptor would have gotten through at any moment. You want a small boy who's barely standing anywhere near by then? The gun was needed because they knew it WOULD burst through. And either way, admit it, there's something horribly wrong with shouting "TIM! THROW ME THE GUN!"
    • The only thing wrong with that phrase is stupid handling of the firearm. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Grant, for example, telling Tim to make himself useful by picking up the gun while keeping his hands far away from the trigger and hand it to him. Was I the only one whose parents hammered how not to shoot yourself in the face with a firearm into their heads as a child? There is no way that shotgun could possibly be more dangerous than the raptor that was trying to knock down the door.
    • Meta-explanation: Children of Tim's age don't get to handle deadly firearms in Spielberg movies, ever. It might give real kids who watch his films very dangerous ideas about what's safe to play with.
    • Perhaps he could have had a walkie talkie...

     No blood on the cow sling 
  • In the original film the velociraptors were shown being fed by lowering a steer in a sling into their enclosure. The destroyed sling is then retrieved. But the sling was absolutely pristine in terms of viscera. I would have expected the sling to be covered in blood and pieces of steer guts given how raptors kill their prey. Did they lick it clean when they were done?
    • Sure, why not?
    • Once it got a whiff of those things, the steer probably tore its way free of the harness itself. It didn't get far, but far enough so that its blood didn't splash on the straps.
    • Actually, with the advent of high-definition screens, there is plenty of blood on the sling. It was just hard to see the dark red against the mid-tone blue on older screens.
    • On a related note, why in the world did they use a steer with horns as raptor food? They made such a big deal about Hammond not wanting to risk his dinosaurs' health with better electric fences and so on, so why give them a prey-animal that was actually armed and dangerous to kill? Granted, the raptors were killing machines, but the steer still could've gotten lucky; heck, even mice have been known to seriously injure the snakes they were being live-fed to.
    • They probably didn't cover the straps with gore for a few reasons: firstly, there really isn't that much gore in the movie to begin with; deaths are violent but non-explicit, happening behind shaking palm fronds or the like. There's some bloody limbs (goat leg and the arm of Samuel L. Jackson) but not much else. The film's rated PG, after all. Secondly, isn't the fact that the straps were picked completely clean with only a bit of blood more disturbing and brutal than if a bunch of intestines and bones were hanging off it willy-nilly? It shows the raptors as particularly thoughtful and thorough killing machines, not sloppy. And as for the steer in question having horns, well, the animal handlers weren't proven to be the most thoughtful people in the world during their run on the island. Also, apparently cows can have horns too. Just because they're born with horns doesn't mean they'd be inclined to use them.
    • What I meant was: why not feed them a de-horned animal? Steer or cow, it's not going to make much difference in the price of the feeder-animal, and it'd help guarantee that Hammond's precious raptors won't get injured taking it down. Heck, it'd even be safer for the keepers who handle the livestock and load them into the harness.
    • Maybe the staff are trying to kill the bastards without being too obvious.
    • Or Hammond himself believes that, even inside that cramped and low-visibility enclosure, it's better to have the animals keep a good hunting instinct and that includes (given the intelligence of the raptors) being able to think about the threat of the horns and come up with good hunting strategies to avoid them. It looks like at least by the time of this steer's death, they're doing well with that.

     Dumb Goat 
  • Why didn't that goat run like fuck?
    • It was chained up.
    • It still should've tried to flee, but getting a sufficiently terrified response from that goat probably would've gotten the filmmakers accused of cruelty to animals.
    • Its also possible that the goat was not familiar with an animal like the Rex and thus showed no fear. Like how dodos and other animals were wiped out because of their lack of fear of humans.
    • Similar to the above point, it may have just been a domesticated, docile goat with no idea what would be happening. Also to emphasize the lack of activity in the T.rex paddock earlier on.
    • It may have been sedated.
    • Animals tend to evolve to be overly-skittish (i.e., falsely believing there is danger is much more advantageous to falsely believing there isn't danger). I would imagine the goat would be terrified of the T-Rex regardless, since it's a big thing with sharp teeth making noise. More likely the T-Rex just didn't take too much time to come upon the goat and chomp it, all of which happened off-screen so we didn't see how the goat reacted to the T-Rex.
    • The goat has been put in a clearing where it can see most of its surroundings. It can probably smell or sense that there is a very big carnivore with a hankering for a nice bit of lamb somewhere in the jungle area. It's going to stay right here thanks very much. If the film rex is anything like the book one though it's much faster and sneakier than expected for its size and the actual attack is over in seconds.
      • That goat simply had nothing left to lose. Already buried under a mountain of debt, no job and trapped in a loveless marriage, he'd very recently received some very bad medical news. His life was an unending string of defeat and despair with death as the only way out. Rexie did him a profound mercy.
    • We don't actually see the point at which the T.rex hunts the goat. For all we know, that goat tried to run like hell as soon as Rex showed up, but we never actually saw it.

     All Guns, No Shooting 
  • My main problem with the series has been this: guns are shown to be in abundance, but are NEVER used effectively.
    • I think someone was trying to keep the franchise somewhat family-friendly because kids are the biggest fans of dinosaurs and families bring in the most cash for the franchise.
    • And I wonder who, in the first film, you would expect to use a gun effectively? The paleontologist? The adolescent girl? The computer programmer? Muldoon is the only character in the whole movie who has even the remotest reason to have ever used a gun at all, let alone a semi-automatic shotgun.

     How many slugs are in that shotgun, Grant? 
  • A continuity error or research failure; in the first movie when Grant fires the SPAS-12 shotgun at the raptor, we only see four very small bullet holes in the glass in the next shot. So, either the shotgun was fitted to fire single rifle-style bullets, or we're only seeing four of the pieces of shot from one of its rounds. Either way, it's messed up...
    • Presumably the SPAS-12 was loaded with a solid slug, akin to a deer slug in hunting rifles. After all, I would assume the dinos have thick skin, and scatter shot isn't so good against thick skinned animals (thus the reason for deer slugs).
    • Yeah, slug shot is very common when you're hunting large game.

     Where'd that T-Rex come from? 
  • The ending of the first movie has always bugged me. The T-Rex isn't exactly a stealthy animal. The characters can always feel it coming because of the earth tremors it causes with every step, and it tends to roar and growl a lot. And yet it somehow manages to smash through the wall of the visitors centrer walk past one of the raptors and the humans and eat the other raptor without anyone noticing it's there. Did it suddenly learn ninja skills or something?
    • From what I read in another trope, Rexy can actually be VERY sneaky when she wants to be. The reason you could hear her footsteps when Ellie and Muldoon were out looking for Grant and the kids was that they were in her paddock, and because she's highly territorial, she's stomping around and roaring, basically telling them to get off of her lawn. When she's in hunting mode, she's a lot more stealthy, which is why they didn't hear her coming at the end, or notice her when she first appeared in the storm.
    • Maybe it didn't approach, but was already snoozing in one of the adjacent galleries when the heroes and raptors came running into the lobby? It woke up when it heard the racket, smelled those pesky raptors, and lunged out to chomp on these annoying little rivals. It'd already dined on lawyer and some of the smaller dinosaurs, so could've seen the main building as a nice sheltered cave in which to take a nap and digest its meal.
    • You know, that's the best explanation I've ever heard for this scene – while the unfinished building accounts for how the animals are able to infest it at will, the 'wall' of plastic sheeting doesn't exactly provide enough soundproofing to mask the tyrannosaur's approach. I've always thought the soundtrack should contain some subtle thumps so one could at least pick them out among the background noise if you knew what you were listening for. However, if one decides it was having a snooze right nearby then that would help negate that flaw!
    • I figured the characters were too worried by the immediate threat of the raptors to notice the shaking ground warning sign of the T-Rex.
    • Presumably at the same tyrannoninja training school that enabled the one in The Lost World to move so amazingly quickly and quietly from the San Diego docks to being all alone in silent sleeping suburbia, without detection and in no time at all...
      • If "Tyrannoninja" does not make its way into the American lexicon (or at the very least become a film on the Sy Fy Network), I will lose all faith in humanity.
    • I'm the troper who coined the word in the above comment- I'm not American, but I hope that it might make its way into the global lexicon eventually!
    • It didn't smash through the wall, the Visitor's Centre was still under construction and those hanging tarps covered a big gaping hole in the side of the building. (I have a picture to prove it.) After the raptor escaped from the shed it was hunted by the Rex which followed it into the building.
    • This site explains how the Rex got in.

     Stop the Automated Cars! 
  • If the tour in the first novel/movie is automated, why does it stop while the characters examine the sick dinosaur?
    • Because they got out of the car and the guys in the control room hit the emergency stop button? Being automated just means it can run without supervision, not that it can't be overridden. In the movie (don't remember the book), they show Hammond and others watching in the control room, and one of the characters says, "How many times have I said we need locks on the car doors?" when they got out. I'm pretty sure they did override the tour and turned it around because of the storm, as well.
    • In the novel (where it was the Stegosaurs instead of the Triceratops that were sick), they were expecting Ian and Company to get out of the cars and go see what the resident veterinarian was up to. The line was approximately "Well, it looks like the cars have reached the southern area. I'm sure they'll want to see what Dr. Harding is doing with the stegos." So in the book the locks or lack thereof was never brought up, and it even made it sound like anyone could get out of the cars and walk around with the herbivores.
    • Because Hammond (or Muldoon, but I'm fairly sure it was Hammond) yelled "Stop the tour!" when they got out of the cars, and then Muldoon starts bitching about needing locking mechanisms on the doors. Generally, when you yell "Stop the tour!" and hit the button to stop the tour, the tour stops.

     System Ready (But Is There Any Power?) 
  • In the first movie, after they figure out that they're losing control of all of the systems, Samuel L. shuts down the power. Then he flips the switch and gets... nothing. Not even lights or emergency systems. So how can the computer be on to display "System Ready"??
    • It's probably just that the computer network is ready to operate, but the actual park subsystems that it's hooked up to are still turned off. Like, say, turning your PC tower on after a blackout but forgetting to switch the USB printer and scanner on too.
    • I've wondered about this, and here is my WMG. When he turns the power back on and gets nothing but the "System ready...", it means only that "dumb terminal" is ready and the main computers were not powered up. Since the computers controlled the power grid, there would need to be an active terminal to bring up the main computer to turn the power on for the rest of the park's subsystems (after the breakers were turned back on, anyway). I can't remember how many CM-5 machines they had, but they would require a lot of power to run - ergo they had their own circuit breaker in the movie. I figure that the terminal was on a dedicated circuit that was "always on" regardless of the breakers for the control room being off. As to what the previous troper mentioned, it would be more like turning your monitor on and it saying "No signal" when your computer is still off. As to why they had no emergency lighting, probably bad design and No OSHA Compliance. Again, this is just my WMG because I'm combining computer capabilities shown in both the book and the film.

     Lex and her flashlight! 
  • What the hell was Lex doing, shining a spotlight at the face of a T-Rex?
    • She's just a kid acting on fear. She probably didn't know what she was doing.
    • The amount of time she spends flailing the light in every direction, and then continues shining it at the huge carnivorous creature right outside, while utterly failing to just switch it off (or even cover the end, or merely point it downwards) is eternally frustrating, but one has to assume utter panic grips her and infuses all her (in)action throughout this sequence.
    • We have the benefit of being an audience. She, while not a dinosaur expert, at least knows that one by reputation and would be shitting bricks. It's easy to criticize her as an outside viewer, but in her shoes as a ten- or twelve-year-old, you would probably be doing much the same thing.

     Nedry is only kinda dumb? 
  • Nedry knows the Velociraptors are extremely dangerous creatures. He makes the effort to ensure that his electronic sabotage does not disable their fences. Why, then, didn't he do the same for the Tyrannosaurus? Its fence wasn't in his way, and it's every bit as dangerous as the raptors (if not more so, given that it can destroy vehicles).
    • Precisely because it wasn't in his way, one could argue. Even in the unlikely circumstance of the tyrannosaur discovering the power was down and staging a breakout during the less-than-20-minute-window his plan should have taken to execute, he had no reason to be anywhere near there.
    • Nedry not only needs to escape, but he needs to divert suspicion so he doesn't end up in prison. If he only shuts off the fences in a beeline for the dock, it leaves an electronic trail right to him later. If he shuts down all the fences, he can pretend it was some kind of general system failure and he was off looking for a candy bar or whatever his alibi was. That way he only gets fired instead of prosecuted.
    • He wasn't planning on having an alibi at all. He was planning on leaving on the boat at the dock and taking his shaving cream can to Dodgson. I don't think he could be prosecuted for anything he did there, either; a privately-owned island is outside the jurisdiction of any nation that would prosecute him.
    • Just because the island is privately owned doesn't mean it isn't subject to the laws of the country that sold it - Costa Rica in this case.
    • Don't know about the movie, but in the book, Nedry is NOT going to flee on the BioSyn boat, he has it planned out to return to the control room and fix everything in a few minutes.
    • He's not leaving on the boat in the film, either. He mentions an intermediary while meeting with Dodgson ("your guy on the boat"), and he's seen pleading with this intermediary to give him more time later on.
    • Plus Nedry didn't take precaution to not shut off the Raptor-fences, it's probably because they're not part of the perimeter fence (which he does need to shut off).
    • Actually, Nedry did keep the Raptor fence on. It was the complete shutdown of the system that allowed them to get out.
    • As a troper an entry or two above stated, it is precisely because they are not a part of the perimeter fence that the velociraptor pen remained on. It was not a conscious decision on Nedry's part. And he stated to Dodgson that he had an 18 minute window in his work schedule, meaning that no, he was not leaving on the boat.
    • Nedry was just going to drop off the can and be back in a few minutes (he had an "18 minute window") and restore everything. How he was going to explain being drenching wet from his trip to the vending machine is anyone's guess.
    • As a matter of fact, the storm is precisely why Nedry's plan was ruined... The island didn't have a good harbor, so the boat he was going to pass the can to was going to leave with or without him. You can tell because of how panicked he sounds when he's trying to get his guy on the boat to "just give him fifteen minutes." Thusly, he's forced to drive in a hurry (a sheer impossibility, given the driving force of the rain massively reducing visibility) which is why he had the accidents that ultimately resulted in his death.
    • His in-movie stupidity aside, the book version of Nedry notes that he can't just shut down the cameras - with the way the network is tied together, he has to shut down the fences and just about everything else in order to get away with his theft. He was going to pass off the can and then get back and fix everything, but came down with a bad case of dilophosaurus. Then Arnold screwing with the system, while trying to fix it, only made things worse.
    • It also stands to reason that the dinosaurs would have learned by then that fences=PAIN OH GOD THE PAIN, so they'd stay away from them. The T-Rex was lured to the fence by the goat and coincidentally found that the fence was no longer functioning.
    • Stated as such in the book. When the characters in the control room realize the fences are off, they speculate that probably nothing will happen, since the dinosaurs have been in their paddocks long enough that they know not to touch the fences.
    • Furthermore, the velociraptors were kept in a holding pen that was not part of the actual park. In fact, the raptor holding pen was quite close to the visitor center and lodge. It stands to reason that the raptor pen would have been on a different electrical grid than the park proper; remember, the power stayed on in the control room and lodge even after Nedry opened the electronic back door.

     Electric Fences and Zoo Animals 
  • I was under the impression that animals held behind electrified fences in zoos need only touch those fences two or three times before learning (permanently) not to approach them again. I can buy the raptors, as they’re extremely intelligent animals (not to mention that they had constantly been testing the fences for weaknesses) but why would the the other species be so willing to attack the fences once they were de-electrified? I was further under the impression that when power outages de-electrify fences in zoos, the animals rarely attempt to do so. Anyone?
    • Rule of Plot, and maybe they realized that the "Humm" sound electric fences emit had stopped and something was wrong with them. Perhaps the shock was not that great to the massive dinosaurs.
    • The fences had little lights that blinked constantly to indicate they were on, and the raptors in the movie (and especially in the book) are implied to have been intelligent enough to realize this was an indication that they were not on anymore, or at least that something had changed. As far as the actual electric charges in the fence, the way that zoos that use them do it is that the charge is different for animals of different size, and knowing Hammond's greater concern for the cost of his "creations" than for safety, the charges on all the fences, except perhaps the perimeter fencing around the main compounds were probably significantly lower than they should have been. Put an electric charge on that fence high enough, and not even the raptors will touch that fence more than once. More than likely, on the containment fencing, it was just high enough to be unpleasant, not unbearable, lest they risk damaging Hammond's precious animals. As far as how the other animals figured out, perhaps they saw the raptors and decided to try it themselves?
    • Plus electric fences are more about causing a painful shock rather than anything that could cause injury. I have actually been shocked by a fence and felt no effects after about two seconds other than an adrenaline rush. Maybe the animals went for that.
    • In the book, the fences carry a charge of 10,000 volts (I don’t know the amperage). 10,000 volts isn’t really that big of a charge for large animals. For comparison, a stun gun delivers a charge of about 5,000 volts.
    • And a small static shock you receive when shuffling your shoes on the carpet and then touching something? About 20,000 volts. So volts means jack when it comes to danger, but higher numbers scare people (10,000 volts sound more impressive than 5 amperes...).
    • In the film, the only dinosaurs that we know escaped their pens are the T-Rex and the raptors. Grant and the kids start off in the T-rex paddock and cross over into one of the herbivore areas. Nedry had to pass through the Dilophosaurus paddock on a service road to reach the east dock.
    • Or maybe the raptors busted through those cages too, in order to hunt the other caged dinosaurs.
    • Or maybe it just never came up because, as already stated, the only dinosaurs we know escaped their pens are the T-Rex and the raptors.
    • I always thought that it was because the T-Rex had come for the goat. She might've brushed up against the fence then and found to her surprise that she could go out on holiday.
    • In the book, the raptors attack the fence constantly. One of workers notes that they do it all the time, and don't seem to be terribly bothered by the shock. They appeared to be both impressively stubborn and patiently waiting for the fence to go down. It is implied in the books that the raptors had been mauling and killing workers periodically, so they were likely aware that the systems keeping them trapped were fallible as well - especially considering that they were breeding and escaping to that cavern near the docks.
      Also, in the book most of the animals did avoid the electrified fences. The only ones to break out initially were the rexes, the raptors, and the compys, though I think the compys were allowed to free-roam so they could clear out the faeces. The rexes are implied to be smarter than everyone else expected (and she was aware that the fences were keeping her from attacking the brachiosaurs) and it did grab the fence by accident, at which point she realized the fence wasn't electrified (she did something similar in the movie, as you can see her arm grabbing the fence). The raptors (aside from the ones in the pen by the main building) were already on the loose before the power was out.
    • The storm might've knocked debris onto some of the sections of fence too. When the dinosaurs came to sniff at the fallen tree branches, they discovered that touching the wires didn't hurt anymore.
    • In the book, two paddock fences were in fact damaged by debris. One for the dilophosaurs and one for the herbivores (which seemed to largely share a single paddock).
    • It's mentioned that the raptors are constantly attacking the fence, testing it to see where weak points are so they can plan a way to get out.

     Why doesn't Tim get the gun? 
  • In the first film, when Allen and Ellie are trying to hold the door closed to keep the raptor out, she's trying to drag the gun closer with her foot. Is there any reason they couldn't have told Tim to hand them the gun? He was the only one who didn't have his hands full. He was just watching his sister trying to "hack" the computer.
    • Tim was too busy hopping up and down with his fingers in his mouth on the verge of panic.
    • It likely had to do with content; people in Hollywood, when not making a straight up action flick, are generally not fond of portraying guns positively, and absolutely hate having children even touch guns.
    • Too Dumb to Live
    • Think about it. Really, honestly, think about the consequences of putting a shotgun in the hands of a small child that is already in a panicked state, in the middle of a dangerous situation. The last thing they need is for Tim to pick up the shotgun, the raptor throws itself against the door and screeches in the window, Tim screams, and shoots Dr. Grant in the face.
    • He would have to be touching the trigger in order to do that. I'm not even certain the gun was primed to fire anyway. Seriously, I knew by the time I was seven not to touch the trigger of a gun when anything I didn't want to shoot was in front of me. I wasn't allowed to even touch a disassembled gun unsupervised then, but the extremely deadly situation in the film would have been an easy exception.
    • You were also never at any point trapped in a room with a Velociraptor intent on ripping you to shreds trying to barge through the door trying to eat you. Under which circumstances, I can almost guarantee that seven-year-old you would have had less nerves of steel and consequently less flawless gun handling. So you can probably dial down the self-satisfaction slightly.
    • He could've at least push it closer to Dr. Sattler and she'd picked it up herself.
    • He is a small child who, in the last twenty-four hours, has been attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, been knocked over a cliff in a car, had to flee down a tree while said car toppled down on him, been electrocuted, been chased by the same large killing machine that is currently at the door, and has had nothing but a few mouthfuls of cake to eat in the last twenty-four hours or so. The fact that he's upright and sane is a testament to how tough he is, complaining that he didn't assist in Grant going all Action Hero on a raptor is just nitpicking. He's supposed to be and act like a human being, not an RPG character. "3 HP remaining. Click on the shotgun, then click on Dr. Grant to open the trade window."
    • The above, and also they didn't want a small child anywhere near that door. The Raptor could have burst through at any moment. They'd have to let go of the door to fire the gun anyway, thus letting it in. The gun was needed because they knew the Raptor WOULD burst through and they needed to defend themselves. Whenever you ask this question, finish it with the answer "Because Tim is 8 years old."
    • Also, are you really questioning why Steven Spielberg would be at least a wee bit hesitant to showcase an untrained eight-year-old handling a loaded shotgun in a movie he knows every movie-going kid on the planet is likely to be acting out scenes from?
    • Yes, there is a possibility that Tim might accidentally shoot himself or Grant when handing the shotgun over, but isn't it preferable to take the risk? A risk far more minimal than the one they take by not having him get the gun and throwing everything behind them holding the door long enough for Lex to finish? What is more important: what will happen or what might happen? And evidently nobody arguing against Tim getting the gun has ever heard the old saying that desperate times call for desperate measures. That, and everyone seems to be acting like Tim simply touching the gun is the equivalent of him picking it up and firing it himself. Of course, the only satisfactory explanation for why Tim doesn't get the gun is an out-of-universe one. Nobody's provided a good in-universe explanation. I don't buy "the adults are too concerned Timmy might shoot himself" due to the aforementioned desperate times thing; the one thing that can kill the raptor is lying where they can't get it and the only person who can retrieve it is a child. I'm sorry, but it's worth the risk.
    • The in-universe explanation why Tim doesn't get the gun is because he's a scared, injured child and isn't thinking clearly.

     Nublar Raptors vs Sorna Raptors 
  • At the end of the first novel, we see that the raptors on Isla Nublar have formed a stable, seemingly even caring pack dynamic. But in the second novel, the raptors on Isla Sorna are essentially completely insane, attacking and killing even members of their own pack, because "they didn't have parents to show them how to act." Then what about the Nublar raptors?
    • I have admittedly not read any of the novels but... didn't you just answer your own question? Two different raptor groups living on two separate islands.
    • But neither island group had parents to show them how to act, so why did one group turn out fine and the other not?
    • It's been a long while since I have read the second novel, but as I recall, the point was made that the ecosystem wasn't an accurate representation of behaviour because of the presence of a prion disease in all of the carnivores. The raptor nest in the second novel is representative of a gathering of youths, none of which reach full maturity. I suspect that a group of untrained adults (as in the first novel) would do a better job instinctively rearing their young than the all-dino cast of Lord of the Flies.
    • The Nublar raptors were raised "properly." All of them spent some time in the nursery growing up under the careful care of a human, so they learned about the importance of parents nurturing their young from humans. By contrast, the Sorna raptors were factory-bred and had no one to care for them in their initial months, not even humans in nurseries. They grew up like you'd expect an intelligent creature to grow up without any sort of social structure to develop within. Interestingly, there actually appear to be two distinctly different groups of raptors on Nublar. The ones nesting in the flood-control complex on the south side of the island appeared to have developed the functional pack dynamic, while the group contained in the pen on the north side of the island act like a slightly less insane version of the Sorna raptors - they attack their own wounded, kill and eat the baby raptor in the nursery, and are incredibly vicious and aggressive, possibly as a result of having hunted and killed humans repeatedly.
    • It's also possible that the Sorna raptors' violent behavior might have been related to the Mad Cow-esque prion disease that all the dinosaurs on the island were infected with and doomed to eventually die from.
    • Ahhh... here's your answer to this one: [1]
    • A related issue: whether the Sorna Raptors' aggressive insane behavior is a result of lack of parenting or the prion disease, it begs the question... why aren't the T-rexes similarly affected in their behavior? Shouldn't they be showing the same lack of care towards their offspring that the Raptors do?
    • There weren't very many T-rexes on Sorna. I recall only hearing about five, two parents and three offspring. So they may just be naturally protective of their young, and their close relations keep big fights from breaking out. T-rexes are also treated as far more even in temperament than raptors.
    • Also the raptor's intelligence may be an ironic factor. I haven't read the books, but in the third film Dr. Grant even speculated the raptors could be sentient. For a sentient or at least very intelligent beings nurturing is very important. T-rexes are big and dangerous, but they are essentially just animals acting instinctively. The Sorna raptors were too smart to follow their instincts, but they weren't socialised, so they were just violent. The troper above mentioned "Lord of the Flies", it's a good example, as raptors are closer to humans then to other dinos in their behaviour.
    • A lot of elements of The Lost World novel are essentially Fix Fic for the original. Probably, someone pointed out to Michael Crichton that, without adult raptors to show them how to behave, the "wild" raptors on Isla Nublar shouldn't have had stable, caring pack arrangements. So the wild raptors on Isla Sorna don't.

     Why did Tim get electrocuted? 
  • The electric fence that zaps the kid in the first film - why does it electrocute him even though he's not in contact with anything other than the fence? My very simple understanding of electricity leads me to believe that nothing should really happen, the same way that birds can quite happily sit on pylons and the cables they support. Furthermore this fence is meant to deter large dinosaurs (and indeed we see the kid get thrown off the fence with the power of the shock) but after some CPR it's like nothing happened to him, not even any surface burns on his hands.
    • He created a circuit between two conducting lines in the fence.
    • I have seen the corpses of squirrels that tried to cross from one live power line to the next, accidentally touched both wires at once, and got fried.
    • Tim was not okay after the shock. He's bleeding out of one ear, one of his hands is bandaged with Grant's handkerchief (probably the aforementioned "surface burn" on his palms you mentioned,) and he develops a serious limp (look how useless his leg is when he's trying to hop away from the raptor.) All these injuries appear immediately after the shock and remain for the rest of the movie, and they're only the visible ones; who knows how bad his internal injuries are, the ones the movie audience can't readily see.
    • I find it interesting how the Animal Paddock fencing manages to turn back on, considering how many holes Rexy put into it on her trip to the VC.
    • Electrical fences IRL aren't a single circuit, they're segmented (otherwise they'd be a bitch and a half to maintain and power.) There are even individual switches for the various paddocks across the park, so if the T.rex tears a hole through her own paddock's fence, the triceratops' fence is unaffected.

     Did Malcolm inadvertently kill Gennaro? 
  • Ian got Gennaro (the lawyer on the toilet) killed. When the T-Rex made its first appearance, Malcolm distracted it with a flare to lead it away from the children. But once the dinosaur was chasing him, he lead it straight to the outhouse, where minutes before he saw the lawyer run to. ("When you gotta go you gotta go.") There are some plausible possible explanations for this (maybe he thought he could hide there with Gennaro, or maybe his glasses were fogged and wet and he couldn't even see where he was running). But did they ever actually explain that?
    • Or maybe he was scared out of his mind and didn't really know where he was running. His brain was just telling him "RUN MOTHERFUCKER, RUN!" not where to go.
    • As Rincewind would put it, the important thing isn't where you're running to, it's what you're running from. He had a T. Rex bearing down on him to eat him. He's just bolting in a straight line away from it.
    • It's possible, as you said, that he wanted to hide in the restroom with Gennaro. He just didn't expect a shed placed next to the T.Rex paddock, in an island filled with dangerous animals and located in a typhoon area, to be built out of balsa wood. However, what bothers me about this event is that, when Rexy crashes her head into the restroom, Malcolm is already perched, monkey-like, on her snout, and he does this strange Spider-Man leap off her nose. It just looks awkward. Since she later butted her head against the side of the Jeep, it would've been more believable if she had slammed her head against him too to make him an easier prey to catch, resulting in his injury.
    • Wait, "perched, monkey-like, on her snout"? Where the heck did you see that? I'm pretty sure that just headbutting him is exactly what the Rex did.
    • Look at the scene again. It's fairly noticeable at normal speed, but frame-by-frame makes it extremely obvious that the actor is riding on the nose. Malcolm's feet are planted on either side of her nose, his knees bent and his arms above his head, while she's crashing her head into the stall (ouch. It means that she pushed him through the wall.) When she stops moving, he bends his knees for a split-second before extending his legs and jumping off (a possible explanation is that, in filming, the stuntman is holding onto a cable with his hands, and the cable pulls him off the Rex animatronic to get him out of the shot.) A Jurassic Park T.Rex's headbutt would smash into him from the side, or strike his back, not go up between the legs of a small, shorter animal whose legs are in motion, close together, and shorter than her snout is tall. The composition of the shot is just contrived and awkward, and it effectively looks like Malcolm is nimbly jumping off the Rex's nose after being put through a wall.
    • This, to be fair, is probably just a consequence of the director and SFX team trying to make Malcolm getting the snot smashed out of him by the T-rex look halfway convincing with the practical model and doing the best they can with what they've got. The idea is clearly supposed to be that the T-rex is shoving Malcolm into the restroom with her snout as she crashes into it, but that was almost certainly the best or only way they were actually able to depict it under the circumstances; it's not a literal T-rex, after all, and Jeff Goldblum isn't likely to consent to genuinely getting seriously injured just for a movie effect, so they didn't really have much choice than to get him to squat on the head while some crewmembers pushed it into a wall and hope that, with the wonders of camera positioning and movie editing, it would look halfway convincing on the screen. And really, the fact that you have to "frame-by-frame" it in order to make it "extremely obvious" is testimony to the fact that it actually isn't that noticeable at all without close, repeated viewing, and that they did the best they could to make the effect as natural and seamless as possible. But they're not literal magicians. Acting like the filmmakers were genuinely trying to give the impression that Malcolm was sitting the T.rex's head despite this making no sense and then complaining that this doesn't make sense seems somewhat disingenuous considering that it's clearly not what they're actually going for and that what they're actually going for is incredibly obvious within the context of the scene. At some point we just have to accept this is a result of limitations of the production process and give the creators credit for what they were attempting within the limits placed on them rather than acting like the fact they didn't get it 100% flawlessly perfect is a plot hole that needs to be pedantically taken apart.

     How does Grant know raptor behaviour from fossils? 
  • Okay, I can buy that Grant might know from fossils that the raptors had large brains and were pack-hunters. But how in the hell could he predict their distraction/flank hunting tactics? In-universe, I mean. Narratively it's obviously Chekhov's Skill.
    • Well, are there any more modern animals that hunt like that? He could be inferring that previous large-brained pack hunters will hunt similarly to modern ones. Or he made an educated guess and/or was trying to freak out the kid.
    • Well lions do, but I can't recall ever hearing about it with regards to wolves, painted-dogs or hyenas.
    • Yes, wolves do hunt using distraction/flanking attacks. They do use disruptive attacks (charging a few wolves into the herd while the rest attack from the flanks) but distraction is a technique that wolves use as well.
    • Absent a very strong record from fossils and footprints you can't really know their exact tactics. Grant has at most an educated guess. A better question is how the heck he thinks he can actually state that a velociraptor will start to eat by slicing open the belly and leaving the prey alive (especially since we never see that in the movie) or that a Tyrannosaurus Rex doesn't hunt by eyesight. He probably isn't working with a lot of strong evidence for either.
    • That's what palaeontologists do. They make guesses. Compared to a lot of other creatures at the time, velociraptors were small, but they were fairly clearly built as predators. Makes sense they'd be pack hunters, and they'd probably behave quite similarly to pack hunters today. As for the T-Rex motion-based vision, it was apparently a hypothesis at the time, since disproven, based on studies of a T-Rex's braincase, that a Rex had the same basic visual cortex as a frog, who can also only see movement.
    • This is all true: Grant is clearly operating on nothing better than inference and guesswork. His absolute certainty in his pronouncements about raptors' hunting, tyrannosaur visual acuity, etc. does stand out for being implausible. Perhaps it just enabled him to screw with the annoying kid's mind in the Badlands more effectively than saying "well, it might do this". And later on it was more useful to immediately state a single, definite course of (in)action in the face of a glaring Tyrannosaurus, say, than stand there debating the veracity of his sources.
    • Heck, near the end of the novel, the narration all but outright says Grant is just gambling on his knowledge with his poison egg play.
      "Grant had spent his whole life studying dinosaurs. Now he would see how much he really knew.
    • However, that play did have some basis in evidence. Earlier in the book it was mentioned, that he had once uncovered the remains of a raptor in the middle of a hadrosaur nest, and therefore it was assumed that raptors would eat the eggs of other dinosaurs.

     Why do Grant and Tim climb straight down the tree? 
  • I can't believe this isn't on here already. All these technical and existential problems are getting pointed out when the most obvious hasn't been mentioned. Lord have mercy. When Grant and Tim are climbing down the tree and the car starts following after them, why don't they just move to the other side of the tree? Instead of trying to beat the car to the bottom and run out of the way, just move to the side and let if fall past them. Morons!
    • I agree, this is so annoying. And it happens in just about every movie where people are being chased by a car. Just jump to the goddamn side, you idiots! There really should be a trope for this.
    • CinemaSins calls it "The Prometheus School Of Running Away From Things."
    • It's not stupid, it's instinct. Humans, like a lot of animals, are hardwired by evolution to move away from threats, be they fire, predators, rockslides, whatever. The quickest way to get away from the perceived threat is to move in a straight line away from it. Moving laterally goes completely against human instinct; it doesn't move you away from an oncoming predator as effectively, and the predator can turn and close the distance more effectively. This is also why humans will instinctively attempt to run upstairs or otherwise get to an elevated position if a threat is perceived, because we're descended from tree-dwelling primates, and first instinct among tree-dwellers is to get up into that tree when threats approach.
    • I can't believe people are still making this argument. All the trope pages about small reference pools and opinion myopia and it still happens. Lord have mercy. They don't take the sane, rational course of action that you think you would have taken because they're not safely ensconced in their living room watching these events on television. They're in a tree and about to have a car fall on them, so they panic, instead of pausing for a moment to reflect on what would be the most rational thing to do. It's called good writing.
    • Going down is a lot faster than going sideways. Had they taken the time to clamber onto adjacent branches, or even to find suitable branches to one side or the other, they'd have had a facefull of Jeep before they were even halfway around the tree trunk.

     Why are the dinosaurs so tough? 
  • Why do they always seem to portray the dinosaurs as seemingly made of iron? I mean, sure, busting through the wire fence in the first movie okay, but in the second the rex rams a bus and comes away unscathed (buses are meant to survive rolling after all, and the engines in most of them probably weigh as much as a rex), and in the third Pterodactyls are seen carrying people around, despite most of the evidence suggesting that could carry very little more than themselves.
    • It makes the movie more exciting, and it always looks cool.
    • Plus it's just Joe Johnston ruining a monster movie forever.
    • In the case of T-Rex vs bus, it helps that the bus and the Rex are both in motion. The force equations mean that a running Rex ramming a speeding bus makes it less of a "running into a brick wall" situation; some of the bus's weight is being displaced by forward movement. Also, the Rex is on overdrive under a crazy chemical cocktail, so therefore if it felt pain, it didn't really have to react to it.

     No radio tags for the dinosaurs? 
  • Not sure if I might have missed this, but were the dinosaurs (at least in the first film) radio-tagged? The herbivore may not have required it, but I can't see not wanting to know where the predators are at all times.
    • Not mentioned in the movies, so it can be inferred that they weren't. In the books, the Isla Nublar facilities used a combination of cameras and motion sensors to keep track of the animals in the island, not radio tags. In fact, if they had thought of radio tags, they would've noticed the whole "animals are escaping their pens and building nests elsewhere" thing a whole lot sooner.
    • In the books, they tried using radio collars on the raptors (I think Hammond wouldn't let them use them on any other other animals) but the raptors were smart enough to chew them off.
    • Which doesn't explain why the raptors' tags couldn't have been implanted inside their body cavities, as is commonly done for Real Life animals that can't carry an external tag (e.g. beavers or otters whose hydrodynamic shapes would be impaired).
    • That raises another question. In the second novel, the animals that were set free on Isla Sorna were all radio-tagged so that the LAN’s monitoring system could keep track of them. The idea was to set them loose for a time, and round them up later. The question now becomes obvious: since all the animals in the original park had been released and recaptured on Site B, why didn’t they leave the radio tags in place as part of the monitoring systems on Isla Nublar? There would have been no need for the obviously fallible motion-sensor arrays, and there would not have been any way in which the velociraptors, for example, could have escaped notice when they went to their nesting site.
    • Hammond didn't want to fit the "show" animals with radio tags. Remember, every issue with basic park management created problems.
    • But the radio tags were stated to be only 2 cm × 2 cm (i.e., the size of an adult man’s thumbnail). It's unlikely a casual visitor to the park would notice a tag that small on an animal as large as the dinosaurs in the park. Furthermore, in the book, it's revealed that the animals have identification markings tattooed on them — Muldoon reads this information off the sole of a hind foot of a hadrosaur that had been killed by the T. rex. So in summary, Hammond is willing to allow for ID tattoos on the animals, but not for them to retain the radio tags, once they’ve been integrated into the park environment.

     Why is the raptor cage in the opening scene manipulated by hand? And other OSHA non-compliance 
  • The opening scene of the first movie. Seriously, a cage that needs to be pushed into place by hand, isn't secured or clamped by the raptor enclosure to prevent it from moving once it's set, and worst of all it has to be opened by a guy standing on top of it? There wasn't even a forklift stationed at the rear end to act as counterweight, keeping the animal from pushing it! Combined with the electrical fences that are in plain reach of both staff and public (such as Nedry pushing open an otherwise-electrified paddock lock with his bare hands, or basically any idiot guest being able to get out of the easily-opened vehicles and grab a fence), the dangerous, windshear-riddled helicopter drop and ascent into and from the park, and the poisonous flora everywhere, the park didn't need dinosaurs to be a massive class action lawsuit waiting to happen.
  • There appeared to be some kind of mechanism to lock the cage into place. Note the stoplight-esque light on the left of the pen and Muldoon saying, "We're locked" when they push it in far enough and the light turned green. A lot of good it did, though.
  • As with most of the other complaints about the design decisions, this was a result of Hammond cutting costs. Every other thing you brought up was discussed on this page already.

     Malcolm against cloning? 
  • Why was Malcolm against Hammond's idea of cloning endangered species?
    • He isn't: he's against Hammond's idea of cloning long-extinct species.
    • Because a) dinosaurs are not endangered, they're already extinct (in fact, when Hammond objects that Malcolm wouldn't have an issue with InGen cloning condors, Malcolm emphatically states that it's not the same thing,) and b) he explains why all throughout the book, and gives the cliffnotes in the movie itself. Basically, it boils down to ethics, the inability to create a truly controllable system, and the hubris of InGen's scientists.
    • Malcolm is the mouthpiece of Michael Crichton, and Crichton had many issues with science and scientists. Really, the way he portrayed all of the people working on Jurassic Park was quite Strawman, and Malcolm was letting him vent about his feelings towards them.
    • There are at least two good reasons he had: one, dinosaurs are the ultimate invasive species. They died out 65 million years ago, so there is no telling what kind of effect they'd have if they escaped into the wild (as they did in the novel). Two, dinosaurs don't belong in the modern world, and it's not because of any philosophical or ethical reasons; they're not built for it. The Mesozoic era's atmospheric conditions and climate were incredibly different from today's. One major difference is that the oxygen content was much higher. In the novel, the triceratops was a stegosaurus, and it was breathing like a human does on Mount Everest - gasping for air because it couldn't get enough oxygen. The sauropods defecated like elephants (their digestion is very inefficient), but whatever bacteria that decomposed their faeces in the Mesozoic had gone extinct, and sauropods are ten times bigger than elephants, so there was a huge waste management problem before park management (very, very luckily) found that compys eat faeces, and their faeces readily decompose. Unfortunately, the compys turned out to be some of the dinosaurs that were breeding, and escaped to the mainland to claim invasive species status. The only way for InGen to prevent these problems was not to clone dinosaurs in the first place OR clone them in much more secure, cautious, and isolated ways and locations, but instead they cloned them as fast as they could and then threw them out into a poorly secured island only 120 miles from one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. So, even if Malcolm is an Author Filibuster, he had some valid points, too.
    • As Malcolm said in response to Hammond's "condor" analogy, "We're not talking about a species wiped out by deforestation or the building of a dam - dinosaurs had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction." So in fact Malcolm is not against cloning endangered species, just the ones that have been extinct for 65 million years. He wouldn't frown upon cloning condors because they are a viable, modern species with a niche in the current ecosystem, and Man is responsible for their extinction; whereas dinosaurs cannot be supported by the same ecosystem anymore and have already been discarded by natural selection and evolution.
    • You could just as easily argue that condors had been 'discarded' because the encountered a predator dangerous enough to completely wipe them out - humans. There is no universal moral guidelines concerning evolution that say 'this animal had its chance and no longer deserves to live' and certainly nothing that decides whether a certain species lives or dies. Resurrecting a species because it was hunted to extinction or resurrecting one for profit and excitement doesn't mean zip to natural selection.
    • You can also counter-argue that there's nothing 'natural' about the ability of humans to wipe species out, certainly beyond the point where we were hunting them for food: it's kind of the point that our adoption of advanced weapons, hunting for sport, changing the atmosphere and natural environment through urbanization, industrialization and so on, means that systematic killing, the breakdown of food chains and habitat destruction go way beyond anything that is necessary for the survival of the species in competition with others. So in that case one can say cloning a species to maintain its existence merely partly balances out this unnatural effect.
    • I actually disagree that Malcolm was Crichton arguing against "science going too far" because people made that same claim when he wrote and directed the movie Westworld as well (which is relevant as the movie is basically a proto-JP), and he went on to clarify that science isn't the problem, it's corporate greed prioritizing profit over rationality and safety. Maybe the thing Crichton was trying to say was that you shouldn't play God not because "dinosaurs are extinct and we need to respect that" and more because "rich CEOs like you will find a way to fuck it up and create disaster."

     How did the juvenile T. rex get out? 
  • This is for the novel: before the adult T. rex breaks out and attacks the cars, a shadowy form runs between the cars. None of the characters really see what it is, but later assume it's the juvenile T. rex, and that guess is implied to be right when the juvenile attacks. Fair enough; but how did the juvenile get out? The fence is in perfect condition until the adult breaks out.
    • The fence right next to the cars, yeah. But the juvenile could've broken out through another section of fence in the paddock.
    • Then what, did it just stealth its way along the road? And if I remember correctly, when the JP crew is doing its repair work, it only mentions one section of fence down at the T. Rex paddock.
    • It's feasible that the juvenile may have either burrowed under the fence to escape the paddock that way; it wouldn't leave any other broken fence segments and, if in deep enough foliage, would likely go unnoticed by the repair team, or if there was a river in the enclosure, the fence may have rusted enough in that section for the juvenile to swim under and go around the fence until it reached the road (which, if done a half-hour before the cars got there at a leisurely stroll, would leave it plenty of time to slip between the two safari cars and into the darkness of the forest before the adult could bust the fence down and cause havoc).

     Scene Discontinuity? 
  • The first scene of the first movie, with the guy getting eaten by the raptor at its pen... happens before the following scene where they've just dug out the mosquito from the mine. This isn't a flashback either, it has Gennaro specifically mentioning the accident.
    • Speaking of that mosquito, why the hell did Hammond get it polished into a cane knob and carries it around? That mosquito alone is worth billions of dollars. You'd think it'd be in a vault somewhere. Hell, Nedry would've had an even easier time stealing the cane, and even if there wasn't any blood left in the mosquito to clone new dinosaurs from (which, granted, would make sense - they'd drain it out completely and keep the blood well preserved and protected), once the park presumably became successful, he could've made a fortune selling the cane to a collector. If Jurassic Park became as popular as Disneyland, this would more or less be analogous to stealing an original animation cell of Mickey Mouse drawn by Disney himself.
    • BioSyn don't have the technology to clone dinosaurs; only InGen have that tech, and they're keeping it under wraps. That's why BioSyn needs to steal embryo samples; their problem is a lack of dino cloning tech, not a lack of mosquitos in amber.
    • It's not the same mosquito. The one he has on his cane is a symbol to him.
    • Of course it's not a flashback, and it's not an error. It's a perfectly valid timeline. After all, the JP technicians didn't use a mosquito. They dug up and used a LOT of mosquitoes, and they're STILL digging them up. Did you think all the dinosaur DNA for all the various species in the park could have come from just one bug? The one that was dug up from the mine, might yield something, or it might just be a mosquito in amber with no blood in it. Plus, it makes more sense that, even AFTER the park is completed and operational, InGen would continue to dig up more and more samples in order to increase its supply. Hammond's cane is just decorative; it could also be just a worthless sample that he had polished and set on a cane, or it could be a sample that has already been used and is no longer useful.
    • Or it could be a specimen of amber that dates to a period after dinosaurs went extinct, that Hammond won't have any use for unless he decides to create Eocene Park.
    • It's even mentioned in the novel, that Hammond and In Gen have pretty much cornered the worldwide market for amber, much to the confusion of everyone else.

     Too many mosquitoes in amber? 
  • One thing that I just realized a short while ago, and frankly I'm surprised I seem to be the first. How are there so many perfectly preserved mosquitoes lying around? I mean, there are quite a few species between the two islands, and finding a millions-of-years-old animal that's perfectly preserved in amber isn't an everyday occurrence, let alone one that contains usable dinosaur blood. Are we to assume that there was an improbably wide variety of dinosaurs within a relatively small area, and every single mosquito in the area drank the blood of a different species, then sat on a tree and got trapped in sap? Or are they digging up these fossils all over the world? How do they know where to look? How do they know that every bug they find has dino DNA? How do they know beforehand which dinosaur the blood belongs to? Why are all of the dinos on the island famous stock dinosaurs (save for the raptors, but as a result of the movie they've become Stock Dinosaurs...), and never any lesser-known or virtually unknown animals?
    • The book explains both subjects. Early on, an investigator comes to interrogate Grant about InGen and Hammond (due to the funding he receives from them.) He states that Hammond has all but monopolized the international amber market, which baffles the government because it isn't particularly precious and has no strategic value. We're meant to infer, once we learn about the mosquitoes, that Hammond was stockpiling all the amber he could get his hands on because preserved mosquitoes were so incredibly rare, and IIRC the book goes as far as explaining how finding a mosquito with usable DNA was rarer still . That's why there's hardly a couple dozen species roaming around on Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, next to the vast variety in the actual palaeontological record. Also, later on, Grant's group asks Dr. Wu about knowing what kind of animal a recovered DNA strand would yield. Wu basically shrugs it off and goes (paraphrased) "We just grow it and see what happens." It's reasonable to think that, once the splicing has resulted in a viable animal, they'd look it up in the known palaeontological archives, try to match it as closely as possible to the existing record, and categorize the DNA itself in case they ran into another strand of the same species. In fact, one of the reasons Grant was brought over was to confirm that they got their taxonomy right.
    • The man must have the luck of the gods to get such a solid variety of big dinosaurs, considering how many of them there were. More likely is that he'd get tons of small ones from all over the place, and/or a whole bunch of closely related and unremarkable species from one area alone.
    • In all fairness, they probably did. But with such a monopoly over amber, it's possible that they kept harvesting until Site B yielded the "best" or most popular varieties (or ones that could be useful for waste management, like compys,) and then the focus of production shifted to these big-name dinos.
    • Also, the entire reason the Isla Sorna facility even existed was to mass-produce whatever they grew from the DNA they got from the mosquitoes. They were basically just cooking up Frankenstein dinosaurs using all that DNA they found until they got something that survived to hatching.

     Where did they get the extinct plants from? 
  • Right before The Reveal in the first movie, Ellie is looking at a leaf of some sort, remarking that it's from a plant that should be extinct. We all know where they got the DNA to clone dinosaurs, but how were they able to do the same thing with plant life? The only evidence of extinct plant life would be in something like petroleum, and trying to pull viable DNA out of that would be like trying to pull an egg yolk out of a cake.
    • Presumably some plant matter was trapped in some of the same amber they found the mosquitoes in. It has something like three lines of exposition, so it's unclear whether it was cultivated from viable seeds from the amber (horrendously unlikely) or cloned (horrendously expensive and pointless in a dinosaur amusement park). It's perplexing why it's in the movie in the first place— they probably just wanted to distract Ellie with something shiny and green so that Alan could be the first one to see the live dinosaurs.
    • Of course it's horrendously expensive and pointless. This is John "Spared No Expense" Hammond. Putting in something expensive and pointless in an effort to recreate an environment that feels more "authentic" is right up his alley.
    • It's even lampshaded by Ellie, when she points out that a particular type of plant around the pool area appears to have been chosen for aesthetic reasons alone, as it is highly poisonous and has no place in such close proximity with humans.
    • Or maybe Ellie just happened to have discovered the botanical equivalent of a coelacanth, growing naturally on the island. New species are identified in rainforests all the time; having one turn up on an island where there happens to be a dinosaur-recreating facility would be ironic as hell, but not impossible.
    • Does everyone forget that not all mosquitoes suck blood. Only the females suck blood to feed their eggs, the males drink pollen. If 100myo female skeeters' stomach contents can be retrieved, why can't the pollen from a male skeeter's stomach be retrieved? In fact, we don't even need mosquitoes, palaeontologists often collect surrounding rock at a dig site, to test for pollen. This fossilized pollen tells the palaeontologists what forms of foliage survived back then, and even provide some plant DNA. Any DNA that wasn't complete (all of it, probs) was likely filled in with its closest living relatives.

     Where did everybody go and why? 
  • In the first film (and maybe the book but I haven't read it in ages), why the hell were most of the park staff leaving the park on the boat? Especially during the preview tour?
    • Because of the storm that was about to hit the island.
    • But they didn't know about the storm until Muldoon got a call from the weather station in the middle of the tour.
    • Hurricanes / tropical storms / tropical depressions are huge storms that form in the middle of the ocean and travel for days or weeks before they hit land (whereupon they start to disintegrate due to the lack of warm water to feed the system). As anyone who has lived in a hurricane-prone area will tell you, it is literally impossible to be unaware that a hurricane is coming several days in advance unless you and everybody around you neglects to keep up with the news for some reason.
    • They had to have known about the storm. Hurricanes don't just spring up out of nowhere. I'll have to see the movie again to be sure, but if I remember correctly the call was about the storm having either changed direction or hitting them sooner than they anticipated.
    • Exactly, when Muldoon relayed the info, we learned that they knew about the storm and had been keeping tabs on it, and were hoping that it would "swing south" and miss them. Evidently, it didn't. In the book it's not as severe a storm; the staff was mostly just returning to the mainland because they were scheduled to do so, leaving behind the essential personnel that could take care of the park and tend to the guests (such as Dr. Wu, the game warden, the vet, assorted technicians and service employees, the sysadmins, etc.) that were later munched on by raptors. In the movie, it doesn't make any sense because having the entire staff (and Dr. Wu and the vet) leave on account of the storm resulted in the guests, the owner, and three absolutely irreplaceable employees left at the mercy of the storm, never mind the dinosaurs (and of those three, Nedry was also probably supposed to leave, so that makes only Muldoon and Arnold to take care of the whole island AND guests!) They didn't even leave a cook behind to make them dinner!
    • They're not leaving because of the storm. They're leaving on the evening shuttle transporting the staff to their homes on the mainland.
    • Bingo. It's the weekend, and the park is heavily automated, so most of the cloning staff were going heading home until Monday.
    • So why did they schedule the hatching of a new clutch of Velociraptor eggs on the very day before everyone was leaving? Surely the hatchlings would need keepers and a vet to tend to their needs and watch for any medical issues, in their first few days of life! Any real-life zoo director who'd allow their veterinary and care staff to leave an entire newborn litter of a priceless species alone in their nursery cages for the weekend would deserve to get fired.
    • This is a plot point in the film. In the book, Nedry's security shutdown only happens to coincide with a run-of-the-mill thunderstorm.
    • A better question is why was the facility put there in the first place? Hammond could have gone to any number of nations across the planet, proved that his idea actually works and they would have knelt and begged him to set up in their nation. It's not as though the conditions on the island couldn't be replicated on a far safer part of the world.
    • How does he prove his idea works prior to having his facility set up? Until they hatch a live dinosaur, it's all theory; is it ever suggested that they had dinosaurs before they had the island?
    • Yes, it's chicken-and-egg, so to speak – which came first for InGen, acquiring the island, or their first experiments to produce a dinosaur embryo?
    • And if you have a Jurassic Park on a continent, and the dinosaurs escape... well... that could be problematic. Same with an island nation, especially an archipelago. At least Isla Nublar was a privately owned, isolated, and tiny island as a consequence of which the breakout's collateral damages were minimal. Disregarding of course in the book how certain small carnivores made it onto the mainland via ships.
    • It reduces the number of character deaths. In the novel, more of the staff stayed on the island and more people died. Since the first movie was marketed as a family movie, having the staff leave for the mainland reduced the number of onscreen deaths significantly.
    • As for why they chose Isla Nublar (and to a lesser extent, Isla Sorna), it was made abundantly clear in the book at least, that Hammond hates government oversight, which is presumably why he lied about what he was setting up in the first place. At one point during of his rants, he also makes it clear that he considers Isla Nublar 'his' island and not a part of Costa Rica. And finally, having it on an island makes it easier to control access, both to prying eyes as well as government inspectors.
    • It's quite possible that there were certain other essential staff who remained on the island too, but they weren't seen because they weren't relevant to the plot (revolving around the control room). They may have been killed offscreen, or found their own means of escape. Or they just went to ground in other bunkers to avoid the storm and didn't even know about the dinos' escapes until it was all over.

     Did they really need two flares? 
  • In the first movie, when they're trying to get the T rex away from the kids, the first guy (who's name I can't remember), lights a flare then waves it around and throws it away. The T rex then starts walking after it, so it was working. Why'd the other guy (who's name also escapes me, Malcolm or something) get a flare too and run with it? If he hadn't done that the dinosaur would have walked away, he wouldn't have gotten hurt, the other guy wouldn't have gotten eaten, and the kids would have been safe.
    • He probably thought the Rex was going to turn back, so he wanted to buy them more time. Grant immediately tries to tell Malcolm not to do it, so even the movie thinks it was a boneheaded move on Malcolm's part. Heroic, yes, but still boneheaded.
    • This scene bugged me too, even when I first saw it at 8 years old. It immediately struck me as Malcolm trying to clumsily imitate Grant's behavior because he's desperate for attention. He was like a kid pantomiming fighting moves from Mortal Kombat thinking it makes him a martial arts badass. It's a really bad scene because they first demonstrate exactly what Malcolm should have done (wave the flare back and forth then throw it away and stand still) then show him do exactly the wrong thing while Grant is screaming at him to stand still. To this day I don't know what the purpose of this scene was except to establish Ian Malcolm as an attention-starved moron.
    • Uh... no, I'm sorry I'm no fan of Malcom fan either, but calling him an attention-starved moron is completely idiotic! He was being chased by a freaking T-rex for christ sake! The last thing I think was on his mind was "look at me!", yes he wanted the Rex's attention to help the kids. Malcom just didn't think things through, pure and simple. Humans do stupid things all the time when they are in a dangerous situation. You either do two things, something smart or something dumb. Malcom clearly was on a one-track mind. First- get T-rex's attention, second- lead it away from kids, third- run like hell. Yes he was stupid for not throwing it away... but we have a trope for that. He was an idiot, NOT an attention whore.
    • There is another reason: We know that Grant at this point doesn't like children, but when the cars stops, Malcolm (a father) immediately starts thinking about the kids in the other car ("Kids get scared" quote). When Grant has thrown his flare (and Malcolm taken up his), what does he yell to Grant? Get the kids! Basically, Malcolm's father's instinct kicked in and tells Grant to get the kids (which might not be Grant's first instinct) as he thought that was more important (with the Rex having attacked it and all).
    • Alan Grant is a palaeontologist. Ian Malcolm is a chaos theorist. Grant has studied dinosaurs all of his life. Malcolm hasn't. Grant is familiar with the notion of predatory motion-based vision. Malcolm isn't. When Grant threw the flare, Malcolm probably assumed it would distract the Rex for a second, before it turned back and chomped down on Grant. He didn't know the science behind the dinosaur's eyesight and believed that by offering a new distraction, he was saving Grant's life. This is further demonstrated when he finally does throw the flare and keeps running; he didn't understand it was the motion the Rex was chasing. With the limited information about the situation that Malcolm possessed, what he did was remarkably heroic, luring the Rex away so that Grant could reach the children. Unfortunately, because of the information he did not possess, it was ultimately meaningless.
    • Except, Grant did tell Malcom moments earlier (when they were still in the car) "Keep absolutely still! Its vision is based on movement!" Did Malcom not hear that?
    • My guess is he acted exactly on the premise that T-Rex's vision is based on movement. You see, when someone throws the flare away, it flies a little, then falls on the ground and stops moving, thus stops distracting the T-Rex. Also, unlike the viewers, Malcolm doesn't know the kids are mostly okay despite their car being mauled by a giant reptile. For all he knew they could be injured and require medical attention like NOW. As one of the above tropers said, Malcolm probably feared she'd return to Grant and kids while they are trying to get out of the car, receive first aid and hide somewhere. So he wanted to create a constantly moving distraction, and a running man with a flare was the best choice he had. Basically he was knowingly sacrificing himself to buy them some more time.
    • Malcolm not stopping probably has less to do with him running all the figures and probability of what the T. Rex will and will not follow and more to do with the fact that he is an extremely edible human with a T. Rex bearing down on his ass. Every instinct in him is going to be screaming, "If you stop, your ass is going to get eaten."
    • Alan jumped out of the car and endangered his life for those kids. Malcolm is a great guy and feels bad about staying in the car and not helping, so he thinks he can help some more by lighting another flare. It's a little bit of an attention thing, but mostly it's him not thinking it through.
    • Ian has a soft spot for kids; the second movie makes that apparent, but it's there in the first movie (as mentioned earlier, the "kids get scared" quote). Even though Ian is (rightfully) skeptical that the park was adequately secured, he's not a self-centered ass unless he's trying to prove a point to Hammond on how stupid the design of the park was. Besides that, Ian also was told by Grant that the tyrannosaur's sight is vision-based, too; he also seems to be in pretty good shape, so logically he could conclude that he would at least bide Grant time to get the kids to a safe hiding spot where the tyrannosaur would be unable to spot them if he was caught and killed. Ian saw that the flares distracted the Rex when Alan used one to get its attention, so naturally he would conclude that "running man + flare + vision-based sight = distracted tyrannosaur" and use that as a way of removing the Tyrannosaurus from the overturned safari car.
    • Grant only told Malcolm that the T. rex's vision was motion-based. He never mentioned to Malcolm that the dinosaur could also see in the dark much better than humans. Malcolm probably assumed she would follow the moving light, not the moving figure that the rain and darkness would've obscured from human-caliber eyesight.
    • To say nothing of the moving figure in the dark and rain dressed entirely in black.

     Nedry needs to choose his timing better 
  • Why did Nedry choose to do his 18-minute window on the night of the hurricane? Why couldn't they have rescheduled?
    • Neither Nedry nor BioSyn was keeping tabs on the hurricane the same way the park was. Notice that Nedry is very confident about his timetables when meeting with Dodgson, but when his contact on the boat is forced to board because of the hurricane, Nedry pleads with him to give him more time.
    • Oh, and also, this is more evident in the novel: in the film Nedry is there without much of an explanation. He's the sysadmin and appears to be a permanent member of staff, so, OK, it makes sense that he'd be at the island, and the audience doesn't ask any questions about it. But in the novel, Nedry is there only to do immediate on-site corrections and fixes to the system, because he had designed and programmed it remotely from the USA. He even comes in with Grant's party on the helicopter, and would have probably left with them if nothing had gone wrong. This is his first time on the island at all, and who knows when he'll get to come back. So it's now or never.
    • It's evident in the movie, too. For whatever reasons (discussed above as not too bright) they were taken somewhat by surprise by the typhoon. And Nedry was on the clock the MINUTE he met with Dodgson. Pay attention to the conversation, as soon as Dodgson pulls out the gimmicked refrigeration storage shaving cream can, the bulk of the plan is talked about. They have only a short amount of time to get the embryos, as the can only has a short amount of time it will stay refrigerated. When Dodgson tells Nedry about the time limit, Nedry immediately responds by telling him that's up to Dodgson's guy on the boat who Nedry will be handing the can off to. Nedry wasn't planning on leaving, hell, he had just arrived not long before the protagonists' group. Note (in the movie at least) when Mr. Arnold announces that all those going to the mainland need to leave immediately because the boat has to depart sooner than expected, Nedry doesn't go, nor is there a brief bit where he's told he's supposed to leave and he says he'll just stay because of the bugs they picked up on the tour that would explain him being around if he was supposed to be going to the mainland with the rest. He has a terse conversation with Dodgson's man at the boat, and he's forced to accelerate his timetable. I've always figured the part with Nedry babbling to Hammond and Arnold before he sets his programming in motion is because this is not what he had planned, and he was "forcing" his "18 minute window" where it didn't belong, forcing him to come up with a lie about his whereabouts on the fly. In a nutshell: Nedry and Dodgson had obviously been in talks about that for awhile, and as soon as they met before Nedry went to the island and Dodgson gave him the can, the plan was irrevocably in motion. I think a better question would be "Why didn't Nedry just abort, contact Dodgson later that the storm hit at exactly the wrong time, meet and give him back the canister to get either charged or replaced, and set up a new weekend to try the heist?" Which of course is answered by "there'd be no movie."
    • Nedry actually was going to do that in the novel, before he ran into the dilophosaur. He didn't get the chance to even consider aborting until he saw how bad the storm was firsthand, driving out in the thick of it.

     "You bred raptors?" 
  • Why, oh why, did they choose to breed raptors?
    • One part "it was a miracle they found viable raptor DNA in their amber samples at all, and they can't be choosy about keeping or discarding an absurdly rare resource"... and nine parts Rule of Cool.
    • Also, money. And face it, raptors are cool, scary, and would make tons of money if they could just showcase them properly.
    • Although, the main reason raptors are "cool" is because of Jurassic Park (the work, as opposed to the park) bringing them into the public consciousness; before that it was all about the Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • And if the park had gone off without a hitch raptors would have become popular in the movie's universe as well. Seriously, if you saw these creatures in the flesh in real life, wouldn't you think it was fucking awesome? Of course you would.
    • The only way they could have known the raptors would be so deadly is if they cloned them. Once they had them and started realizing how dangerous they were, the humans were learning how to best contain the raptors while the raptors were learning how to best escape. Once they had them and had thought they had devised an adequate cage for them, why not keep them?
    • Think of it this way. In a normal zoo you have a range of both carnivores and herbivores. Likewise, Hammond wanted a good variety of predatory species to showcase. Raptors would have been a perfect example of the smaller, faster predators that were most common in the Mesozoic. They had no way of knowing how intelligent and dangerous the raptors would turn out to be.
    • Also, consider who's doing the cloning here: geneticists. Not palaeontologists, zoologists, or animal behavior experts. Grant knows what raptors can do from careful analysis of their physiology and the fossil record. Wu and Hammond have no idea until they actually grow them and see how dangerous they are firsthand. Among the reasons Grant was called in as a consultant (to sponsor the authenticity of the animals, to verify the taxonomy, etc.) is to ask a dinosaur expert just WHAT these dinos can do and how to deal with them.
    • Even Grant, the dinosaur (and specifically raptor) expert, is unprepared for the reality of how vicious and capable the raptors are (moreso in the book than the film). But yeah, the main reason is that InGen, having gone to all the expense to clone the animals in the first place, aren't about to destroy them. You can see shades of it in the movie (Muldoon's comment that "They should all be destroyed") but moreso in the book. Each of the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar cost MILLIONS of dollars to create. Hammond isn't about to let a single one die, for any reason.

     The Dilophosaurus Couple 
  • In the book, we discover the five species that are breeding are the ones with frog DNA. But later Grant and the kids see both a male and female Dilophosaurus doing a mating dance with no frog DNA in sight.
    • Just teasing your wording here, but "in sight"?
    • It may be a hint that there were other ways for the dinos to breed or change gender. Grant can noticeably tell that the two are different genders, but unfortunately we never find out how their case happened.
    • It's a subspecies. The dilesbosaurus.

     What was the point of the sick Triceratops scene? 
  • The sick triceratops in the first film. A lot of time is spent on a sequence which seems like it's going to be important but goes nowhere. It serves to separate Ellie from the rest of the group but her chastising of Hammond for his hubris and her heroics turning the power back on only occur after she has already returned to the T-Rex paddock with Muldoon and rescued Malcolm. So what was the point of it?
    • It put Grant and the kids alone together. If Ellie was with them, then Grant wouldn't have been forced to grow out of his Does Not Like Kids attitude, and that makes up most of his character arc.
    • True, but the writers manage to separate Grant and the kids from Malcolm easily enough. It's not a stretch to conceive of a scenario where Ellie stays with Malcolm (he's injured) and she and Grant still get to do everything they do, without introducing the sick Trike. It seems like the writers were going somewhere with it, then didn't.
    • Grant and the kids left Malcolm only because they thought he was dead. If Ellie was there and they all knew Malcolm was alive, then why would they split? They'd wait for the rescue/try to move somewhere safe together.
    • The purpose of the scene was, primarily, to show the carelessness of the park's landscapers (and, by extension, the park's creators themselves) when it turns out that the trike was indeed eating the poisonous West Indian lilac (accidentally) while grazing on other, non-poisonous food. The book and the comic book (oddly enough) show Tim discovering the gizzard stones regurgitated by the trike, which carry evidence of such poisoning; the movie deleted this scene, focusing instead on a) "Cool, a trike! Grant has a heart after all!" and b) scatological humour. So Tim's intelligent insight and the first clue of the park's failures are both removed in one stroke, while the rest of the scene was kept to justify Ellie staying behind.
    • I wouldn't say the clue is completely gone. I mean, they have a sick dinosaur and apparently no idea why— that at least hints at the idea that these guys maybe don't know what they've got on their hands. That's how I took it the first time, and they do keep her line later pointing out that Hammond put plants in the park that were pretty without worrying that they're poisonous.
    • OP here. These are all good points and there's no disagreement from me about what the scene was trying to convey. It's just a shame that it was so truncated. However, what really grinds my gears about this scene is that Ellie, the palaeobotanist, is the one that points out to the park vet that the dinosaur's pupils are dilated, and he's surprised to see it. OK, it's strongly implied that Ellie has some form of medical training (she gives Malcolm morphine when he's hurt) but are we meant to believe that the vet is so incompetent that he never bothered to perform one of the most rudimentary tests on a sick animal despite the fact that this has happened before? I know it could be explained as another indicator that Hammond and his people don't give a crap but, really, even a vet that had been struck off would exhibit more competence than this. You'd think that John 'no expense spared' Hammond would want to take more care of his multi-million dollar investments.
    • And how could Ellie, or anyone for that matter, know how big a Triceratops's pupils are supposed to be, anyway?
    • If your eye has pupils, it's for the same exact function as any other eye with them: to contract and expand in the excess or absence of light. Even if it's the first time she's encountered the animal, a palaeobotanist would know what the pharmacological effect of toxins is on at least warm-blooded animals. If she sees that the trike's pupils fail to contract even in the bright ambient light of the island, she doesn't know how large or small they're meant to be - she just needs to see that they're not changing size.
    • But we never find out what made the Triceratops sick in the first place. First Ellie thought it was this poisonous plant, but then she checked the dino doo-doo and found that, no, the Triceratops didn't eat any of that plant. And the movie makes a big deal about this whole sub-plot. For several minutes here it's nothing but "Why is the Triceratops sick? I don't know, let's find out." Then it's just dropped from the movie with no resolution.
    • The scene is a truncated version one in the book, except there it's with a Stegosaurus instead of a Triceratops. The mystery is solved fairly quickly, as Grant finds gizzard stones: rocks the stegos scoop up to help them digest plant matter. When they scoop up the rocks, they scoop up the West Indian Lilac berries, which make them sick. But the real point of the scene is that Grant also discovers broken eggshells, leading to the revelation that the dinosaurs are breeding- much earlier, and much more important, in the book than the movie. The fact that neither of these things happens in the movie does, indeed, make the scene largely pointless, other than splitting up Ellie and Grant.

     Interactive CD-ROM! 
  • Interactive CD-ROM? So I can just eject the tour program whenever I want?
    • Assuming there is a disk to eject, the disk drive is probably covered and locked so tourists can't "borrow" the program.
    • CD-ROMs were an early-to-mid '90s buzzword.

     No security guards? 
  • Only saw the movie, I don't know if the book explains... why didn't the park have security guards? Seriously, even the average zoo has more security than the Jurassic Park, which is pretty baffling since the Jurassic Park was dealing with animals that they knew little about and were highly dangerous.
    • Like many questions about the terrible state of the park, the answer ultimately boils down to John Hammond's cost-cutting. Live human employees cost money. Money for living facilities, paychecks, insurance, etc. Hammond had a dream of a completely automated facility where he wouldn't have to pay a single human employee a dime once the park got on its feet and running. He had security fences, automated doors, etc and he believes that is enough.
    • There were. They all went home for the weekend. The island ran on a skeleton crew, since the park hadn't been opened yet, and there was barely anyone to guard. And Hammond was extremely hostile to even the slightest possibility that one of his expensive dinosaurs could be injured or killed.
    • The book mentions security guards searching for Nedry after his disappearance, and Grant and company find the bodies of three separate security guards at the visitor center after the raptors got out. Presumably the few security guards were overwhelmed and killed during the dino escapes.
    • The park wasn't open to the public yet. While, clearly, the staff should also have been guarded, that was an oversight by Hammond. It's possible security guards just hadn't been hired yet, or if they had, they hadn't been actually brought in to work yet as they don't have tourists to protect yet. The events of the first movie were an Obvious Beta and the park is clearly still under construction.
    • Never mind guarding the tourists from the dinosaurs; why doesn't the park have security to protect tourists from each other? Or to protect all those multimillion-dollar assets (animals, embryos, laboratory equipment, computer systems) from anybody with a private boat and a few black-market contacts, who might come swooping in over the weekend and haul off whatever they can get their mitts on? To heck with it being a theme park, we're talking about a major corporation's proprietary research facility here!
    • With regards to the tourists, to be entirely fair the park is still in its late development phases; you don't need to have a full security force to monitor the tourists when at this stage "the tourists" are about six people. Presumably InGen would start hiring a larger park security force closer to when the park was about to be opened. As for why there's still no skeleton crew guarding the massively valuable proprietary dinosaur embryo research? Umm...
    • The embryos had both cameras and secure doors surrounding them, and the embryos themselves are fragile. It took very specific sabotage and a special container for Nedry's plan to even be possible, and it was done by an employee. That's three very particular factors that would have to fall in place, making automated security a reasonable choice.
    • There are guards in the book, although inevitably they act as little more than Red Shirts.

     Why not analyze the code? 
  • Why don't they just go through the "about two million" lines of code? This would be FAR safer than venturing out onto the dinner table, though it would have been boring and taken a while, surely it was the more reasonable option.
    • They DID. Arnold didn't exactly sit on his hands the whole time he was in the control center. In the movie, Arnold found the object that created the backdoor and was trying to access it when he got the "Ah ah ah!" safeguard from Nedry, and soon after that plan got derailed because shutting down power was faster, and resetting the system was MUCH more important than figuring out what Nedry did. In the book, Arnold found the object and its definition, but it didn't help anyway, because there was no way to bring the system back up once the "White Rabbit" had been activated.
    • There's also the fact that they didn't expect to have to reset the breakers, so they were counting on power being immediately restored. They figured that was a better option than having Arnold sift through codes for god knows how long while the T-Rex was running around, Alan and the kids were lost in the park, and more importantly, no way to call for help. Priority was getting the phones back to call for a helicopter to get everyone out of there and to tell the other workers that went home for the weekend not to come back to the island. In the end it was the better option. Although the Raptors got out and killed Muldoon and Arnold, Hammond was able to call the helicopter to get everyone else out. More important the T-Rex went to the visitor center the next morning (where it killed the Raptors) anyway (and without any human actions guiding it there), so if they opted to keep looking for the code, T-Rex would have burst in and ate everyone long before Arnold found it.
    • There was a way in the book; there was another command code that simultaneously reversed White Rabbit's effects and erased all evidence of its existence from the computer's memory. However, the staff skipped an important step in resetting the park's systems, namely that when the system was reset, the park's command center (and only the command center) was being powered by a backup generator that could then be used to start the main power. They didn't realize they were on the backup and that consequently the fences remained unpowered. By the time they realized that, the velociraptors had escaped and were attacking. So, in the book, there was a way to reverse White Rabbit, but more human errors led to the situation spiralling out of control anyway.
    • If Arnold looked at one line of code a second, non-stop, it would take over three weeks to check all the code. This is all besides the fact that Nedry is the computer programmer, while Arnold is the chief engineer for the park. Arnold may know something about computer programming (demonstrated by finding the White Rabbit), but Nedry knows far more and knows how to hide it.
    • It's actually very plausible for Nedry to screw up the system in a way that Arnold can't fix. Nedry designed the whole thing, first off. And while Arnold may know something about computers in a general sense, that doesn't mean he knows anything about cybersecurity specifically.

     Not just for the rich? Then who? 
  • How exactly did Hammond intend to make his park for everyone, and not just for the rich? The park is on an island out in the middle of the ocean and can only be accessed by helicopter or boat, the average middle-class folks wouldn't be able to shell out that kind of money.
    • John Hammond likes to believe he has more morals than he actually does. This falls alongside his "spared no expense" bullshit; taking the moral high ground around his peers lets him feel better about himself, but ultimately, he's still a greedy corporate animal. Note that after Hammond says his line about the park being for everyone, the "blood-sucking lawyer" answers that they can have a coupon day as a way of justifying the high expense of visiting the park, and John Hammond smiles and laughs in agreement.
    • That was less an expression of agreement than a look of, "I have to listen to this guy because he's tied to my investors." Hammond might have terrible business sense, and a spectacular naivete about a lot of things (that wound up getting people killed), but he meant well. It just didn't do anyone any good.
    • John was hoping to bait in the rich folk first, then was planning on baiting the middle class when he had enough money to open new locations or get in more people.
    • He could have been saying something more to the effect of "we won't charge more than we absolutely must", rather that "we'll make it affordable to everybody". Gennaro did say they could "charge anything we want" and listed off some ludicrous prices before Hammond interjected.
    • I figured what Hammond intended was that the Jurassic Park experience would be within reach of the average middle class family, but would still (by necessity) be rather expensive. The average-income types would be able to visit at least once in their lifetime, they'd just have to save a lot of money beforehand, and maybe choose a less expensive package than the richer folks. He's not saying the experience would be super-cheap, he's just shooting down the prohibitively high prices the lawyer is implying. Also, as something of an idealist, he's probably ignoring the fact that quite a sizeable amount of people wouldn't be able to afford it anyway.
    • The travel industry would have conspired to make it affordable, just like how it eventually put cruises and tropical vacations within the range of most people. With various packages, comparison shopping sites, etc., you could figure on something like boarding a cruise ship (which in itself would be a little vacation), travelling to the port and taking the Jurassic Park Ferry, heading to the park for the day, then coming back to the ship that night and it leaves in the morning on its return trip. Figure $200 a head for the cruise tickets, $100 a head for Jurassic Park entry, that's $1200 for a family of four (not including park food, shipboard purchases of drinks and gambling, souvenirs, and travel expenses to the ship's departure point). Not a truly bank-breaking vacation, even at two or three times the cost... many people budget that much to go to Disney World.
    • One $10,000 customer. 100 $1,000 customers. Do the math. In any case, this thing is so amazing and ground-breaking, everybody would want to see it. For many it would still be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but Hammond means it when he wants everybody to be able to see his achievements. He can charge very highly for the first year for the first people to see it, and then cut it down, still convincing himself that anybody can see it.
    • Jurassic World actually kind of explains this fairly well, and there's no reason to suggest Jurassic Park wouldn't have followed a similar model: there is a ferry dock at the northern tip of the island (southern tip for Jurassic World), people visiting the park fly in to San Jose, take the ferry over and head in to the park, either on specialized tour vehicles or whatever JP was planning to use. The path from the ferry takes them directly to the Visitor's Center, the helipad that Grant and company came in on was for Hammond's personal use.
    • I assume that it would work in a similar way to Disneyland. Now, Disneyland is pretty expensive, and unless you're very well off you probably can't afford to go on vacation there every summer. But if you save up and budget for it, you can probably afford to have at least one family vacation there within your life. I imagine Jurassic Park would probably work a similar way; for most people it would be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but still achievable.
    • Also worth noting that in the original book, John Hammond was a massive prick who cheerfully acknowledged that only the rich would really be able to enjoy Jurassic Park in all its glory. This plot-hole, such as it is, stems from Spielberg's decision to make Hammond a more cuddly and sympathetic character in his adaptation.

     Malcolm All In Black 
  • Malcolm claims that his Limited Wardrobe is partly due to the ease of getting dressed, but also because, "black is an excellent color for heat. If you remember your black-body radiation, black is actually the best in heat. Efficient radiation." Um...what?
    • Radiation of heat. He is saying that while white clothing would reflect heat, black clothing radiates any heat it already has (i.e. gets rid of it) more efficiently.
    • Also, remember that Malcolm is kind of a pretentious dork (and the novel, at least makes this explicitly clear). He's justifying his decision to wear black clothing in an oppressively hot environment with some scientific jargon.

     Why Only Dinosaurs? 
  • Why dinosaurs exclusively? The novel did show off some giant dragonflies (which were around before mosquitoes), but why not mammoths? There are frozen carcasses of them that they could have taken a blood sample from. And to go with an earlier point, if they got so much Amber they could create famous dinosaurs along with a ton of not so famous ones, eventually they could have gotten a Mammal sample that has the white blood cells that the novel said they'd need to clone mammals.
    • I wondered about that. Maybe they could tell the difference between dino and mammal blood cells and sent the latter samples off to their scientists at Ice Age Adventure. Also, amber can be dated. Likely they only use samples from the Mesozoic period anyway to keep things consistent.
    • In the book, his first trick is making a pygmy elephant, his computers can probably identify enough markers to tell mammals from dinosaurs. The reason in story probably is that with a few notable exceptions the least famous dinosaur will excite people more than the most famous extinct "modern" animal. What's a mammoth but a hairy elephant or a sabretooth tiger but an oversized cat with oversized fangs when compared to a T-Rex. Also if I remember properly Word of God stated that Crichton very specifically avoided putting anything from the Cenozoic in because his consultants complained that about a lot of people's paleontological ignorance, not out of a stylistic choice. Same way you'll occasionally hear complaints about the book being titled Jurassic Park even though the majority of the dinosaurs (and certainly most famous) are all from the Cretaceous. Given the sheer number of samples at the La Brea Tar Pits the reason Hammond isn't cloning mammals is because he doesn't want to. Given his character he'd probably have gotten around to it once Jurassic Park was running smoothly and it's just one more sign of his arrogance that he didn't start with those animals infinitely easier to obtain, control and care for first.
    • Also, the pygmy elephant wasn't genetically engineered; the book mentions that it was actually made using hormonal tricks. Hammond would take it around to fundraisers and let his investors assume it was done by genetics without ever correcting them.
    • Hypsilophodon. Othniela. Dilophosaurus. How many of those are famous? The Mammoth would be far more famous. And I at least would find, say, a Giant Ground Sloth to be a cool attraction? For all I know, Jurassic Park Four is going to play on Spinosaurus's surprise arrival and do a Mammoth vs T.Rex fight.
    • Fame isn't the only factor. Raptor dinosaurs were relatively unknown until Jurassic Park (the book and film), and both elevated them to stock predators in every dinosaur story since. Likely the park would have done the same thing.
    • Maybe it's because of the climate. Mammoths and saber-tooths are Ice Age mammals and a park off the coast of Costa Rica would have been too hot for them. Had Jurassic Park been successful enough, Hammond might have been able to buy an island off the coast of Russia to start building Paleolithic Park.
    • There's a scene toward the end of the first act of the book where Dr. Wu is explaining the park's rather (especially for the time) eclectic selection of dinosaurs. Basically once they had retrieved the DNA from the amber and filled in the gaps in the code, they still didn't know what it was until they actually grew it.
    • Plus, let's be entirely honest here— Rule of Cool. I'd wager that more people would find the idea of seeing actual dinosaurs exciting than seeing mammoths or sabre-tooth tigers. Dinosaurs are long-dead giant bird-reptiles that haven't been seen on the planet for 65 million years. Mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers are basically furry elephants and large cats with bigger teeth that humans were hunting not too long ago (relatively speaking).
    • Also reptilian/amphibian DNA, is actually a lot less complex than mammalian DNA. There is a good possibility that they couldn't clone mammals ( until a few years before Fallen Kingdom) because look at evolutionary adaptions, reptiles and amphibians haven't changed much over the millennia, mainly getting smaller. But with mammals, those have changed and adapted so much that you probably wouldn't recognize most of what mammals are descended from. Look at prehistoric dogs/wolves, they looked very different to what we have today, or even several thousand years ago. Their genetic diversity, through human breeding programs and through evolution, shows in those ancient dogs. They looked like the dog that would scare werewolves, but in general it is possible that they just couldn't do complex mammal DNA with the tech they had.

     No Bathroom Breaks Allowed On This Automated Tour! 
  • I totally agree with Muldoon's rant on the tour cars needing locks after the main cast jump ship, but if they weren't wanting guests to leave the vehicle during the tour, why the hell did they install a toilet on the track next to the T-Rex Paddock?!
    • Maintenance crews.
    • Or there might be certain designated stops on the tour route. If the tour's around the whole island, then logically the guests are going to want to stop, stretch their legs, and relieve themselves occasionally, and most groups would want to linger around the Rex area anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a specific gift shop there eventually.
    • Seriously, the T. Rex is going to be the biggest draw by far, the main event, and the most popular exhibit in the park. It's a complete no-brainer for the finished park to have a dedicated stop there, complete with not only bathrooms, but a gift shop and restaurant and its own damn pavilion. Everybody would want to stop at the T. Rex paddock.
    • What do you mean by a pavilion?
    • The issue is less people leaving the car, and more people leaving the car while it's moving. Muldoon's probably more-or-less fine with people getting out while the cars are stopped at various points on the tour, but if people are able to hop out of the car at any point while it's in motion, that's a genuine health-and-safety problem. Also note that Muldoon is the one raising the objection, and Muldoon has been previously dismissed by Hammond as "a bit of an alarmist". One gets the feeling that this is just one of many safety suggestions that Muldoon has brought up which have been overconfidently shouted down.

     Why Malcolm? 
  • Why the heck did they bring Malcolm in as a consultant? Grant and Sattler both had training related to the era in question, but Malcolm's specialty was Chaos Theory. What does that have to do with dinos?
    • The book explains this better. Malcolm was a critic of the Jurassic Park project because they were trying to create a completely enclosed, nearly self-sustaining environment. According to chaos theory, that involves far too many variables ("Life finds a way"), so the project is doomed to fail. Hammond supposedly brought him in an attempt to be impartial and have a critic voice all his concerns. In reality, though, Hammond actually didn't care at all about Malcolm's dissent, and intended to show off how they had addressed all those variables in order to make Malcolm look like a Straw Critic and thus make Jurassic Park seem more impressive.
    • Ian appears to have been brought in by Gennaro at the InGen Board's behest (quoting Hammond, "I bring the scientists, you bring the rockstar"), since (as Gennaro puts across) the board is dubious about Hammond's project themselves. So Ian's role is probably to play the critic and (should he be sufficiently convinced after the weekend) show that he was wrong and that Hammond had taken all of his concerns into consideration.
    • Hammond goes along with the above thinking he will win over Malcolm (who was critical right from the start) and that will prove beyond all doubt he was right all along... except he was wrong on both counts.
    • On a related note (and this is for the novel), but why on earth did Malcolm agree to go on the tour? He obviously knew something was wrong, and as soon as he saw the growth chart for the Compys on the screen, he must have known that they were breeding in the wild? Why wait until they were in the middle of the tour (I can't remember if they spotted the raptors on the ship before or after he pointed out the flaws in the counting and the growth chart), when they were far from the protection of the control room and the area surrounding it? I can only imagine he hoped that something representing tangible proof would appear on the tour.
    • Malcolm wanted to prove himself right, he's clearly got a sauropod-sized ego. On another note there are varying degrees of right. Malcolm would have been right if all of Jurassic Park's screw ups had been limited to compies breeding in Costa Rica and perhaps some of the plants starting to pop up there as well. In fact what actually DOES go wrong not so much proves Malcolm correct as it does prove people are dangerous. Had Nedry never sabotaged the system the majority of the first book would never happen. Eventually and likely under far more controlled circumstances than had actually occurred, someone would have found out about the raptor den and taken them out. Unlike the compies, who could stowaway on boats undetected or even survive on floating bits of driftwood with ease, it's unlikely the raptors would have made it to the mainland in any realistic amount of time.
    • In addition to the above, taking Nedry out of the equation, Malcolm had already been proven right during the park tour, with the discovery of the egg fragments and the compy growth chart. Even if they hadn't stopped for the sick Stegosaurus, and hadn't discovered the egg fragments, Malcolm must have known that he was right before they left for the tour. Once they came back, he could easily have pointed out the problem and holed up in the safari lodge until a helicopter could be called for to take them all off the island.
    • Plus, a nice free weekend on a lush tropical island resort? Why the hell not? He's expecting that Jurassic Park will fail eventually, he's not expecting to be attacked by dinosaurs literally that weekend.
    • As for why he goes on the tour itself, while he's predicting doom and gloom for Jurassic Park, hey, it's still a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a bunch of revived prehistoric animals. Plus he can flirt with the pretty blonde who is also going on the tour. Placed against hanging around by himself in the visitor's resort, I know which one I'd pick.
    • We seem to be over-exaggerating Malcolm's powers of clairvoyance just a little bit here. The man's a chaos theoretician, he's not a soothsayer. When he's predicting that Jurassic Park will fail, he's making an academic argument that the many variables involved in the development of Jurassic Park will lead to an eventual breakdown; that doesn't mean that that as soon as he learns about eggshells, he's going to be all "Lockdown! Immediate evacuation! The park is collapsing!" It's evidence for his theory that Jurassic Park is not as controlled an environment as its creators believe, it's not evidence that he's going to be running from a hungry tyrannosaurus within a matter of hours.

     Raptor doesn't mean Bird of Prey 
  • What the heck was Grant talking about with his connection between "raptor" and "bird of prey"? Raptor comes from "rapere" which means "to take" or "to snatch". Besides that, even if it did mean "bird of prey" that in no way would automatically mean there was a physical connection between dinosaurs and birds. Tyrannosaurus Rex loosely translates to Tyrant Lizard King, that doesn't mean that the Tyrannosaurus was actually a monarch. Considering how unnecessary that part of the scene was, why was something so logically weak even put in the movie to begin with?
    • What he meant was that the word means "bird of prey." Ten seconds on google:
    A bird of prey, e.g., an eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl.
    • Yup. Same thing happens in the book's prologue, where a wounded worker tries to tell his doctor that a raptor attacked him, and she assumes he means a hawk.
    • Actually, initially she's told it's a kind of ghost or vampire that attacks young children in the night. It's only when she looks it up in her Spanish-English dictionary, uncovering the superstitious meaning in the Spanish section first, that she discovers the "bird-of-prey" meaning in the English section.
    • The point is that Grant's point doesn't work. When Velociraptors were discovered they weren't named for any known connection to birds. The name translates to "swift snatcher" (or more loosely "thief"). Grant isn't making some great point about how the names further his argument that birds are related to dinosaurs, he's showing that he doesn't know basic facts that a student of palaeontology should know. Also there's a gigantic difference between a doctor making a logical assumption from common usage of a word and a palaeontologist getting facts from his own field of study wrong.
    • I think you're missing Grant's point. He's not saying, "The words are the same, therefore they're related." I think what he's saying is that it was named "raptor" on the same basis that birds of prey are called raptors— that the traits that applied to birds of prey that earned them that name are also present in the velociraptor.
    • Essentially, he's saying "This dinosaur is so very birdlike that it was given a bird's name, because its bird traits were blatantly obvious from the very first specimen."
    • Eh, it's the same scene where the skeleton is uncovered completely unscattered and assembled like it was in life. Any fossils being found like that would be a miracle. Long story short, the writers didn't understand paleontology.
    • Or they're just simplifying the complexities of an actual dig for artistic reasons and the benefit of the audience. It is just a movie, not a paleontology seminar.
    • Besides that, that was the last point he made after referencing a number of biological similarities. It was just the finisher to his argument, and not really worth getting worked up over.
    • If headscratchers pages have taught me anything, it's that there is nothing so minor that someone doesn't think it's worth getting worked up over.
    • Grant is a palaeontologist in an action-adventure film, not an academic conference. The audience he's addressing aren't certified experts in prehistoric biology with Ph.Ds, they're people in a cinema who probably know some basics about dinosaurs but not much else. The scene is taking a simplified approach in order to more easily convey to the audience the then relatively new idea that dinosaurs were evolutionarily-speaking as close to birds as reptiles or lizards (if not closer), which the non-experts in the audience might not have been aware of.

     There are no beaches at San José 
  • OK, here's another one: In the first movie there's a scene in the beach that says "San José, Costa Rica". Why? San José has no beaches!
    • Because movies are terrible at geography.
    • Not sure about that, looked like they did it on purpose since the scene seems to be filmed in Limón, Guanacaste or any other beach in some part of Puntarenas.

     Nedry's plan has holes 
  • In the first movie, Nedry's plan makes sense since he seems to be a permanent member of staff. But in the book, he's only there for the weekend. Why risk driving away from the control room? Why not just steal the embryos, keep them frozen in the shaving cream canister, and take them with you when you leave at the end of the weekend, then turn them over to Dodgson?
    • The canister has only enough coolant for 36 hours. And he couldn't have then had the blackout to bypass security occur just before the weekend ended, as they'd want to keep him around longer to make sure he's got that bug ironed out.
    • But since that was his back door, he could "fix" it in five minutes. Put his plan into motion Saturday night, grab the embryos, get back to work. Even if they want him to stay extra days because of how many bugs there are, he could surely find an excuse to get back to San Jose briefly on Sunday.
    • In 36 hours, there's a good chance the missing embryos are noticed and security is beefed up— which means more intrusive searches of anyone leaving the island, longer delays before departure, and a greater chance that either Nedry is discovered to have stolen them or it takes longer than 36 hours for him to reach Dodgson, by which point the embryos are no use. If he's going to steal them, better steal them and run.
    • It's a good point. He has the shaving can decoy and, with Wu gone, there's no lab worker present. Furthermore, I believe, the coolant lasts for 36 hours upon activation. If it doesn't, that's the reason he had to carry on with his plan.

     Why "The Big One"? 
  • In the first film, Muldoon describes one of the raptors as "the big one". Thing is, while all three raptors are never seen onscreen together, they all seem to be exactly the same size. Conceivably it could be the raptor that kills Muldoon in the jungle and is never seen in full frame, but accepted fan wisdom is that it is one of the two in the kitchen at the end, which are indistinguishable from each other.
    • It's been a while since I watched the movie so they may have specified how many raptors there are in the movie. In the book they've been breeding for a while meaning there were more than three of them running around. Alternatively they might just look the same size to us but Muldoon can actually tell the difference between a ten foot long five hundred pound raptor and an eleven foot six hundred fifty pound raptor which sounds significant but to an untrained eye probably looks roughly the same. And out of universe the CGI just didn't go into that kind of detail.
    • Considering she is about the same size as the other two, yet is significantly younger than them (Muldoon specifically says she was a late addition to the pack) it's possible that the "Big One" grew a lot faster than the other clones and was much bigger than her sisters had been at various stages of her juvenile period. Likewise, that she'd have wound up visibly larger when full-grown if the pack had survived.

     Hammond on every tour? 
  • The ride that explains how they could make dinosaurs has Hammond interact with a video recording in a scripted scene. What was going to happen if he wasn't there? Did he plan on doing that for every ride?
    • Possibly. Jurassic Park doesn't seem equipped to handle more than three or four tours at once, few enough that a man with his enthusiasm could easily handle it for a few months until they got around to hiring full time tour guides or what not.
    • Or maybe he cooked up that version of the animation specifically to entertain his grandkids.
    • This, but more likely it's a VIP-only segment reserved for Hammond's personal guests. His grandkids didn't visit the facilities after all.
    • Alternately, he'd intended to hire some look-alike actors to substitute for him once the park was operational.
      • Probably Richard Attenborough. Sparing no expense and all that, you know.
    • Given how Jurassic Park was Hammond's dream project, coupled with his advanced age, I'm willing to guess that Hammond was likely planning to (semi-)retire at Jurassic Park. He owns the island, so he can probably get himself some private lodgings separate from the main resort, and let's be honest; living out your golden years at a luxurious resort on a beautiful tropical island containing dinosaurs that you've personally been responsible for bringing back from extinction doesn't sound that bad (in theory at least). So if he's basically living there, then it'd be easy for him to come in, do a cute little skit for about five minutes at the beginning of a tour, and then go and do his own thing.
    • Technically, it doesn't have to be Hammond fronting each tour for that little skit to work. The 'interacting with himself" bit only really involves two brief exchanges:
      Screen Hammond: "Hello John!"
      Live Hammond: (something presumably like "Why, hello John! How are you?")
      Screen Hammond: "Well, fine, fine, I guess."
      Then a pretend pinprick from the live host to the screen Hammond's finger:
      Screen Hammond: "John, that hurt!"
      Live Hammond: "Relax John, it's all part of the miracle of cloning."
      So you'd only actually need any random host named John (or even pretending to be!) for the 'conversation' to hang together...

     Why bring in a dinosaur expert for living animals? 
  • So the plot is kicked off because the family of the worker killed in the opening was threatening to sue and the company wanted an expert to vouch for the park's safety. But why would the company insist on Alan Grant, or any paleontologist for that matter? He studies fossils. What makes him an expert on the best means to safely contain and control living, breathing dinosaurs? Wouldn't somebody who has designed things like zoo enclosures be a better pick?
    • Grant being there wasn't about safety, it was about creating good press. It was about having one of the foremost names in paleontology endorsing the place, so Jurassic Park would have a good image and keep going forward despite safety concerns.
    • It's also because, well, they're dealing with dinosaurs. A zoologist may be better with living animals, but knows little more than a layman about dinosaurs. A paleontologist would know dinosaurs better, and you have to know some basic zoology to be a paleontologist, since all you have are bones and have to make the best guesses possible based on those bones, you need to know about real, living animals to make good guesses.
    • As stated in a Headscratcher above: Grant was brought in to verify the taxonomy of the creatures. By his own admission, Wu's lab doesn't even know WHAT they'll get until they actually grow it; they then try to match the result to the fossil record, but they're not experts. And, for all they know, they'd grow a five-toed hadrosaur and wouldn't know this is an incorrect mutation until a paleontologist came to tell them they got it wrong. Grant isn't there to verify park safety, he's there so Hammond can point at him and say, "See? Our expert paleontologist confirms that this is 100% a certified, authentic T.rex!"
    • Let's be fair; a palaeontologist is probably the closest thing that you'll be able to get to an expert on dinosaurs that are actually walking around the place. No matter who you turn to, everyone would be kind of flying by the seat of their pants at that point. At least Grant has actually studied them.
    • Paleontology in Real Life is all about making analogies between fossils and extant species. Paleontologists need a solid grounding in biology to draw the kinds of comparisons that make fossil evidence meaningful.

     Why didn't Ellie take a gun with her? 
  • There's one thing that bugs me about the first movie. When Muldoon and Ellie leave the emergency shed to turn the power back on Muldoon grabs a shotgun but Ellie doesn't. Why? She does the same thing later on after Grant returns from the Visitors Center. He takes a shotgun but she doesn't.
    • Possibly she has no idea how to use one and thinks it'd probably be more of a liability in her hands than anything. And when she left with Muldoon, at least, they originally had absolutely no intention of splitting up, and (if I remember correctly) at that point they didn't know the velociraptors were loose, so it was more common-sense precaution than anything.
    • The original plan was that Ellie would head to the shed to turn the power back on, with Muldoon as an armed escort. That plan quickly fell apart when they realized the Velociraptors escaped their pen, and then later, Muldoon realized "they were being hunted." He tells Ellie to run for the shed while he moves towards the Raptors, effectively using himself as a distraction so Ellie can get to the shed. Unfortunately for Muldoon, he underestimated the intelligence of the raptors and got killed by them, while unfortunately for Ellie, one of the raptors was inside the maintenance shed.

     Could they make less aggressive dinosaurs? 
  • One of the criticisms labeled at Hammond is his unwillingness to use their genetic engineering to make the dinosaurs more docile. The problem with this criticism is that the DNA found in the mosquitos was already heavily degraded, to the point that it required the insertion of frog DNA as spare building blocks to complete it for cloning. Just how much can this DNA be tampered with before cloning becomes impossible? In addition, I may not have a degree in genetics but I'm pretty sure that aggression isn't just localized in one gene that can simply be taken out to produce immediate domestication. Last time I heard, aggression came from a complex interaction of various numbers of genes and environmental factors to produce aggressive behavior.
    • The actual criticism was to make them slower and lazier. Up to that point the general public thought of dinosaurs as big slow dumb animals. He could have played to their beliefs and made a safer park. How complicated that would be IRL is impossible to know. In the book they discuss making dinosaurs small enough to keep as pets that would be utterly dependent on InGen brand dinofood for survival. Considering it's heavily implied that the reason the raptors are capable of breeding is because of the frog DNA spliced into them and not a natural ability of the raptors I think it's safe to assume they could have cooked up all manner of chimera. They didn't because they wanted an "authentic" experience.
    • It also has to do with cost. In the book Wu is advocating going to "Version 5" (if I recall correctly) shortly before the park is ready to open, and they already have hundreds of dinosaurs on-site. Each one of these animals cost millions of dollar to create. Scrapping them all and starting over with new versions would cost loads of money, and delay the park's opening by several more years. It should be noted that, in the book, Hammond objects to killing the dinosaurs less because it's immoral and more because it's unprofitable.
    • Not to mention it'd be considerably cheaper to just drug the animals they've already got than to re-design their genetics and clone a whole new batch. We know they have tranquilizers that work on the dinosaurs, because the capture-team from the second movie used them.
    • Also, part of the theme of the book/movie is that for all their confidence, the people behind Jurassic Park don't fully understand what they're unleashing. The creatures they're creating have been dead for sixty-five million years, and no one knows fully what to expect from them or how they are likely to act. They can only make educated guesses at best. The Raptors are vicious little bastards, but is that because Raptors are naturally vicious little bastards or because their DNA is imperfect in some way? And how do you know that if you tamper further with it to try and make them 'better', you won't end up making them worse instead?
    • For starters, it wouldn't make sense that all the carnivore dinos are so hostile and agressive at any moment. Plenty of people have walked away just fine from close encounters with bears, lions, wolves, etc. Usually as long as they are not hurt, hungry, or have a reason to feel threatened, a large predator won't bother attacking you because there is no gain to that. Of course, in Jurassic World it was explained that the dinosaurs were created purposefully to be bigger and meaner than natural.
      • This one's just simple Rule of Drama: which one provides more conflict and tension, a carnivorous dinosaur hunting out humans for most of the movie because it's hostile, aggressive and hungry, or a carnivorous dinosaur which ignores humans most of the time because it doesn't really recognise them and isn't hungry for the most part? It's a sci-fi thriller about a dinosaur park going wrong, not a paleontological lecture.

     Big Pile of Shit 
  • In the first movie they find a sick Triceratops and a question about its diet comes up which prompts Sattler to begin sifting through the dino droppings for evidence it was feeding on a particular plant. The doctor on site admits he hadn't done that yet and seems to find the idea quite novel. The triceratops in question is lying down but doesn't look to be much more than maybe seven or eight feet at the peak of its back and probably less than three or four at the hip. Those piles of crap are WAY too tall to have come out of the dinosaur in question unless they spend considerable amounts of time gathering them into piles for some reason.
    • It's implied that the modern plants in its enclosure were making it ill; Ellie even notes its eyes being glazed over when they first get a look at the Triceratops. Likely the fact it couldn't fully digest the plants it was eating gave it a case of diarrhea and that the large dung pile was created from said diarrhea.
    • The dung piles may have been what the zookeepers had heaped up when they'd been cleaning the enclosure, not deposits of poop left by a single individual.

  • In the first movie the cars' headlights failed, my question is: are they really necessary in an automated tour? Wouldn't they call the attention of the predators during the night if they worked?
    • That would be a good thing, since seeing the predators are why people are there in the first place.
    • That would only be a good thing if the dinosaurs liked attention. Sure it turns out that dinosaurs love juicy humans and knowing there were people nearby might very well bring them to the edge of the enclosure in the hopes some idiot stuck their arm too close. However realistically lots of real life predators associate lights at night with fire and stay away. Even more so if you're a nocturnal hunter your primary advantage is being able to see better than your prey. Going towards the light would be counter-intuitive. At least until the predators started associating lights with SUVs and SUVs with goats. Which at the very least the raptors were more than smart enough to get that sort of Pavlovian response out of.
    • For anyone who doesn't know, a Pavlovian response is something "relating to classical conditioning as described by I. P. Pavlov". Basically to pair a "biologically potent source e.g. food" with a neutral source (e.g. a ringing bell" and train an animal to associate the two.
    • Why would they even run the tour at night? In the movie they got a late start and then were delayed by examining the Trike, but there's no real point in running it that late during normal operations. They seem to just be there as a prop to serve the whole "safari jeep" theme the ride has.
    • Why wouldn't they run a tour at night? It's entirely possible that dinosaurs were nocturnal.
    • Of course if the dinosaurs possessed even average reptilian intelligence and not the much higher intelligence that we tend to associate with them now many of them would quickly come to recognize the sounds, sights and smells of the jeeps with food and come to the edge of the paddocks. Additionally science is coming to realise an increasing number of them were endothermic and so there doesn't seem to be a good reason to believe that none of the dinosaurs would be naturally nocturnal.
    • Part of the jeeps' route took them under the forest canopy, which would be pretty dark on a cloudy day. The vehicles may also be meant to be used outside of normal operating hours for other purposes, such as checking the roads for fallen branches and wash-outs.
    • It's highly unlikely the jeeps were built and engineered from the ground up just for Jurassic Park to use. They're probably just jeeps that were bought and then modified to run automatically on the electric rail. Thus, they'd come with headlights, and probably no one decided to paint over or unplug the headlights because why would they? They might theoretically be needed at some point so just leave 'em there.

     Clever Girl? 
  • Given Muldoon's knowledge of raptors, how did he not know about their flanking tactics and plan his attack accordingly?
    • For what it's worth, the book's Muldoon did know about their flanking tactics and wedged himself in a pipe so they could only come from one direction.
    • I always figured that he was expected them to try to flank him, just from a different direction.
    • Muldoon did know, but he thought he had the drop on them. What he didn't expect was for the apparently unaware raptor he was stalking to be playing possum so that the Big One could flank Muldoon. In effect, the raptors were a step more intelligent than anyone knew; so clever that they could play dumb. It foreshadows their ambush tactics in III pretty well, in hindsight.
    • Muldoon got outgambitted, essentially. He saw a raptor 'hiding' and thought that was the ambushing raptor. Nope- just bait whilst the real ambusher got into position. He's hunted all sorts of modern predators but this is evidence of far more intelligence and cooperation than pretty much anything other than maybe chimps on the savannahs or in the jungles.
    • Is it actually clear that Muldoon has ever seen raptors hunt? He knows about their physical abilities and intelligence, but does he know about their flanking tactic specifically? The park already doesn't let the T. rex hunt, so unless there's something to say otherwise, it would stand to reason that they do the same for the other carnivores. When Muldoon says "Clever girl," it might not be in the sense of "Fair play, you tricked me," but more like "Oh, I didn't know you could do that."

     Computer Systems? 
  • One thing I can't figure out is Nedry's hack. Did he intentionally shut down the security fences? I get shutting down cameras but why the fences?
    • Watch Nedry when he raids the embryos. He pushes through several gates that have high-voltage stickers on them. Those are the fences he shut down— they point out early on that Nedry did not turn off the dinosaurs' fences.
    • No, they pointed out that he didn't shut down the fences on the raptor pen. He only shut down the fences he needed to go through to get to the dock.
    • If he didn't shut them down, then how was the T. rex able to touch its fence at the same time?
    • This has been covered before, but once more for clarity: Nedry shut down the fences to cover his tracks. In the film, he gives a technobabble (emphasis on babble, my God, man, take an improv class!) explanation that basically amounts to "things are gonna go on the fritz for a while." The book goes into more detail: he can't simply shut down the internal security systems and the fences between point A and point B because then anyone following along can figure out what he's doing. If he shuts down all the systems then he can slip in and out in the chaos. And it would have worked if not for that bothersome Dilophosaur.
    • And less than stellar driving.
    • No, the reason he shut the fences off is directly alluded by dialogue:
Hammond: "Why the hell would he turn the other ones off?" — Gilligan Cut to Nedry pushing a fence open with his bare hands. The perimeter fence is one system, so in order to get to the dock, the dinosaur fences have to be shut off. The raptor pen is not a fence, it's a separate system.

     Frog DNA 
  • If they used frog DNA to "fill in the blanks" in the dinosaur DNA why don't they look like a combination of frog and dinosaur rather than just dinosaurs?
    • Much or our DNA is identical to other species. Thus, two points: a) it is more probable that the gaps in the damaged dino DNA fall in the "shared" code; b) the geneticists at InGen likely assumed that dinosaurs were reptilian, and thus chose amphibians as the closest possible parallel. In fact, in the novel, they use a variety of other base DNA sequences to fill the gaps, not just frogs, and it resulted that only dinosaurs with the frog DNA expressed the mutation allowing them to change sex. It's also very likely that, whatever DNA they used, embryos for which they guessed wrong in how to fill in the gaps didn't develop into a viable animal. Finding viable matches was therefore very hard and laborious, hence the more "industrial" facility at Isla Sorna.
    • A bit of brilliance in hindsight, they actually do look more like frog-dinosaurs than real ones. Their skin is more frog/toad like than the feathers we've since learned were widespread. Even based on the paleontological knowledge of the time, the skins of most of them were far too smooth and soft compared to what little had been found at the time (mostly hadrosaur skin impressions, which were pebbly with adjoining scales, like a crocodile). It probably wasn't intended by the filmmakers, but the end result is basically toad-dino's.
    • Also, they probably tried experimenting with other animals, but were more successful with the frog-DNA.
    • Why not use the DNA of animals more genetically similar to dinosaurs like alligators or chickens?
    • Because they were idiots. And worse, cheap idiots (whatever Hammond claims to the contrary). They got hold of DNA to fill the gaps, not caring about the provenance (because DNA is almost entirely interchangeable anyway) and used that without ever bothering to consider what might happen. In the novel, they use several different animals as "filler" and it's only the dinos with frog DNA in particular that can breed.
    • Idiots or not, chicken DNA would have been easier to appropriate than frog. Wouldn't using the DNA of birds be more practical given they themselves are dinosaurs? Would the dinos look more like how they really were, feathered and all?
    • In the *JP* universe, birds evolving from dinosaurs seems to be a fringe theory, perhaps yet to be widely accepted by the time of the first movie. A group of paleontologists titters at Dr. Grant for suggesting it, and clearly the Park's geneticists thought frogs and lizards were closer to dinosaurs than birds.

     Why didn't Muldoon go with Sattler or back to the control room? 
  • I really don't understand why he remained outside, when it's basically asking to be eaten. He could have gone with and protected the completely unarmed Ellie, who sure enough ran into raptors, or went back in the control room and protect Ian and John. Either way, he and whoever he went with would be much safer. Hell, he could guard the door Sattler went in and only have to watch two directions, so he wouldn't be ambushed.
    • There weren't that many raptors, and Muldoon was confident that he could take out one or two of them if he correctly anticipated how they would approach. He knew no help would be coming to the rescue, at least until the hurricane was over, and didn't believe that just hiding would be enough to keep everyone still on the island alive if the raptors weren't dealt with. He's always thought they were too dangerous to live, and was betting on his own ability to reduce the threat to everyone.
    • Muldoon realizes that he and Ellie are being hunted. If he goes with her, then he and Ellie are both still being hunted, and the raptors will close in on and attack them before they're out of that wooded area. If he stays behind and presents not just a target but a threat to the Raptors, then he keeps their full attention while Ellie can get away.

     How can they stop back at the T-Rex paddock? 
  • During the tour, they pass the T-Rex paddock as the second exhibition (first was the Dilophosaurus). The third dinosaur paddock would be the Triceratops, where they jump out of the cars. Then the storm approaches, and the tour gets cut short. Since they're in automated cars on a track, they couldn't possibly go back via the T-Rex paddock. They could not just do a 180° spin with the cars and drive in the opposite direction. If anything, once the storm breaks loose, they should go back to the visitor's center via paddocks 4, 5 and 6, until the end of the ride. Right?
    • It's possible (likely, even) that there are various sections of track along the tour that the cars can be diverted onto so they can be turned around if they need to quickly head back to the visitors centre without having to go through the entire tour. Kind of like the sidings along a railway line; the tracks are changed remotely so that the cars go along the alternative track, they basically do a u-turn, and are then sent back along the main track.
    • In a previous draft, there is a small scene where Arnold states that he has found a way to turn the vehicles back the opposite way via a loop.

     I have clone tech, lets make an amusement park!? 
  • This might have been brought up before but Hammond can clone prehistoric creatures from very degraded DNA and Frog DNA, he mentions that if he had cloned endangered condors Malcolm would have no problem with what he is doing, well... yeah? He has at his fingertips the ability to take most animals (and plants somehow) and reproduce them, and judging by the fact that most of these dinos are full grown, he has either been cloning since the early 80s or he has some way to genetically program them to grow faster. If he had went into the repopulation and livestock business he would've been able to fund Jurassic Park on his own, but instead he sinks his money into a theme park. While, yeah, cloning cows or bengal tigers, snowy leopards or pandas might not be as "exciting" as a dinosaur park, he would probably become essentially a saviour of many, many endangered species and create food for millions. But no, let's has a theme park that (as shown in Jurassic World) people will get bored of like a zoo. It is never indicated whether or not he actually does do this anywhere, I just think it should've been brought up.
    • Firstly, there's a lengthy scene wherein every character who's even vaguely a scientist spells out exactly why John Hammond's decision to focus his energies on recreating dangerous prehistoric reptiles is a massively bad idea, so it's not like the viewer's supposed to think that Hammond has made the best decision here even before the dinosaurs get loose and start shredding people. They just focus on "this is going to go spectacularly wrong" and "you're messing with things you don't fully understand" as counter-arguments because they're more persuasive and dramatically compelling for their case than asking "hey, why not give the condors a chance as well?"
    • Secondly, this is probably a bit of an appendix holdover from the novel, where Hammond is a lot more of a venal, greedy money-hungry capitalist than his more lovable and cuddly film version. In the novel, Hammond could not give one single shit about saving condors or curing famine, he wants to make bank, and feels building a dinosaur theme park will make him more money than either of the first two (he's also kinda stupid). Film!Hammond admittedly seems like the kind of bloke who'd probably be a bit more into conservationism and famine relief, but then this brings us to...
    • Ultimately, though, this is Anthropic Principle meets Rule of Cool. In the real world, Hammond focussing his efforts on reviving endangered species populations or addressing world hunger would indeed be more socially productive, but (a) this isn't the real world, it's a story; (b) it's not a story about reviving the condor or curing famine, it's about bringing dinosaurs to life, (c) let's face it, bringing dinosaurs back to life would be much cooler and more exciting than condors; (d) given point (c) the story about reviving condors would probably be less exciting to watch, and (e) if you want your exciting story about bringing dinosaurs back to life, someone's got to focus on bringing them back to life at some point. Essentially, if Hammond doesn't focus on cloning dinosaurs there's no story, and since it is just a story you gotta relax and accept it.
    • Finally, it's worth noting that these issues aren't mutually exclusive. There's nothing that says that InGen can't at some point use their cloning technology to revive endangered species, address world famine and have their cool dinosaur park. We just focus on the cool dinosaur park bit because, as noted above, that's the more interesting story.
    • Pretty sure human cloning is illegal, even in real life.
    • Where was human cloning brought up in this question?
    • It's addressed in the movie's Flea Circus scene. John Hammond is a showman who developed cloning technology specifically to create a genuine spectacle, not a scientist who developed cloning technology and then tried to figure out how to use it and settled on "Dinosaur Zoo!" Neither he nor anyone else involved in the decision making process at any stage cares about improving the world; they care about improving their own bottom line. Not thinking through the implications of what they're doing is kind of the entire moral of the story.

    Mr. DNA video 
  • Was John Hammond planning on being there every time they ran the "Mr. DNA" orientation video?
    • Most likely not. It's more likely that what we're shown is a special "VIP version" of the film made just for the investors, lawyers, scientists, etc, that Hammond has brought to the park.

    Weak Ankles. 
  • Ellie does some pretty cool stunts with vines trying to get to the bunker. Then she gets a limp? How in hell did she get one? Trip over a velociraptor tail?
    • She was wearing a flashlight on her belt. That might've weighed her down.
    • It gets loose and she's still limping.
    • The logical answer is that she mildly sprained her ankle somehow, possibly during the aforementioned "cool stunts with vines". She's a paleobotanist, not a ninja.
    • Adrenaline's a beautiful thing. She probably twisted or shocked her ankle at some point running in panic from the raptor in the shed, but had so much adrenaline from being terrified and literally running for her life she didn't feel it until later. It's why first responders and EMTs won't take someone's word that they're fine because they're not in pain. You can be in a major accident and have notable, even severe, injuries, but your body is flooded with "fight or flight" chemicals to such an extent you may not feel them until the next day.
  • The Doylist answer is because a bit was storyboarded (and probably filmed) where Ellie stumbles over Arnold's severed leg, but this was cut.
    • Watch back the scenes in question. She doesn't seem to be limping whilst navigating the bunker in the dark. So it wasn't from the rush from breaking away from Muldoon to the bunker. But rather when the raptor tries to ambush her after restoring power. She seemingly tries to clamber over the mesh door (in mortal terror), staggers backwards through it on foot, then gets knocked over by the raptor through the door. Either of those last two actions could have caused the limp.

    That Dragonfly 
  • The book does a great job explaining the fictitious cloning technology. It even addresses some problems extinct animals needed to deal with if brought back. This world is all new to them, it's got new bacteria, new diseases and so on. But there is one small scene that seems far-fetched, even under these circumstances. When Grant and the kids travel through the park, a giant dragonfly sits on Tim's arm. So how exactly did they manage to clone that one? And how does it fly? Giant dragonflies like Meganeura lived in the Carboniferous period, approximately 300 million years ago. There is almost certainly no amber from that period. Even if they did find one in-universe, such an insect could not survive. The arthropods of the Carboniferous could only grow so big because the atmosphere's oxygen level was incredibly high. If Meganeura existed today, it would simply suffocate. Moreover, they could only fly because the air was much denser than it is today. Nowadays, it's physically impossible for such insects to lift off. That makes the dragonfly a very mysterious addition to the novel's Jurassic Park.
    • A bit of Accidentally Correct Writing here; amber from the Carboniferous period has recently been found and identified, and while no giant arthropods have been found within, the idea of a Meganeura (or part of one) being preserved in amber well enough to clone with Jurassic Park tech isn't too far-fetched compared to the rest of the book. That said, the same problems with oxygen seem to be plaguing the dinosaurs to a lesser extent, but they're still alive. Since arthropods reproduce extremely quickly, finding a mutation that could survive in a lower-oxygen environment might not be too far off.
    • That's a very good explanation. In any case, Jurassic Park's Meganeura would require a lot of engineering. It's not just the breathing apparatus that needed to be fixed, it's also the wings, bodily weight, and so on. Flight physics and mechanics play a big role here. The larger an animal gets, the more it has to rely on gliding rather than flapping its wings. An oversized dragonfly would function very differently compared to real insects. But Crichton never contradicts that, so yes, it's not impossible.

    Enclosures not well-designed for sightseeing 
  • The entire point of the park is to let people see the dinosaurs. But the dinosaurs are placed in giant paddocks where even something as large as a T-Rex can stay completely hidden, which leads to Malcolm complaining about the lack of dinosaurs on the tour. How did Hammond not see this coming? I know that he shows poor judgement on security measures, but when it comes to spectacle he's the guy who "spares no expense". If he's so focused on spectacle, why didn't he think to put the dinosaurs in smaller enclosures where they could actually be seen (similar to zoos)?
    • The park is still under construction and the visitors are basically beta testers. Had they all returned safely, Hammond would have used their feedback to improve the tour before opening.
    • Furthermore, this is, in essence, the same problem that real-life safaris run into - there's simply no guarantee that you'll see any animals.
    • This issue is also addressed much better in the Jurassic World resort, with for example the T-Rex in more of an aquarium space (a building with hardened windows and raised, internal balconies overlooks the Rex enclosure), and there are specialised rolling (and pilotable) glass bubbles (again, hardened against herbivore dinos) to check those out up close.

     The original startup mode 
  • They turn off the power in order to reboot the computers in their original startup mode. How does that work? Are we meant to assume that Nedry's backdoor/malware existed only in RAM, with nothing on the hard drives?
    • In the book, Arnold executes the same command that Nedry would have used to close the backdoor (and swipe all traces of his actions) but the program's security measures wouldn't allow him to reboot. As a consequence he needs to clear RAM and restart the system manually.

     Triceratops paddock 
  • The guests exit their vehicle when Grant sees something (the sick Triceratops, as it turns out). How are they able to walk up to the Triceratops? Won't Grant, Malcolm, Ellie, Tim and Lex encounter a wired fence, which makes it impossible to get close to the sick animal? At that point in the film, Nedry has not yet disabled the fences, so the paddock is live.
    • Some parts of the park seem to be more of a safari than a zoo, though a dangerous dinosaur like Triceratops definitely shouldn't be a candidate for the safari portion of the park.
    • Since the vet was tending to the sick (and thus not-so-dangerous) trike, one could maybe presume this fenced area had a door (outside which he parked his jeep) which had disabled electricity to allow him access, and so the guests were able to pass through the door too. Now it doesn't show them passing through such a fence, but there is a short cut where it may have happened.

     Why doesn't anyone put one and one together? 
  • I've been browsing through the novel lately, and the more scenes I read out of context, the more I wonder how the people in the control room could ignore all the clues about the people lost in the park. Like, Arnold, Harding and Muldoon know the cameras and motion sensors don't cover the river, but they never consider looking for Grant and the kids there. Muldoon even watches the Tyrannosaur chasing something on that very river. Speaking of Muldoon, he knows that Compies always follow the scent of wounded animals or carrion. Yet he completely ignores their agitated behaviour when they're heading for Nedry's body a few steps away from him. Muldoon and Gennaro even notice the headlights of Nedry's car in the distance but don't bother to check them out. Mind you, this is when Muldoon is supposed to look for a jeep and four people already. Of course you don't always act smart in emergency situations, but isn't paying attention the most obvious thing to do when you are on the look-out for something or someone?
    • I suspect you may have missed too much context. Muldoon didn't notice the compys, that was Harding and Sattler, who followed them on their way back from the ill Stegosaurus. And while they may have gotten close to him, at the same time they came into radio range and even with poor reception, it became obvious that Hammond wanted them back ASAP. A few chapters later, Muldoon was busy fixing fences when one of the work crew pointed out the headlights in the distance, but he figured it was a maintenance light or something, and he knew he had a lot of work to do so he dismissed it. At that point they had decided on using the motion sensors to locate Grant and the kids, but since it was nighttime and they weren't picked up, they figured they'd probably holed up somewhere to sleep.
    • Thank you for adding the context. Agreed, Harding and Sattler had no reason to follow the Compies. Muldoon on the other hand should have reacted differently. He had one of his two cars and his weapons gone. If I were him, I'd be eager to find them. If nothing else, he should have thought about the car when he saw two lights in the jungle that hadn't been there before. But maybe Crichton was fooling around with us anyway and those weren't even the jeep's headlights. We never find out.

     Why wasn't the endorsement team made up of more relevant people? 
  • Hammond's decision to invite a couple of paleontologists makes sense, since he was expecting them to be more enthusiastic toward the park, and they're arguably the best sort of people to judge the actual animals. But why did Gennaro, who represents InGen's investors and is thus antagonistic toward Hammond, not bring along someone (or someones) better-suited to assess the actual infrastructure of the park, which seems to have been a big part of the initial reason for the weekend to begin with? Not even necessarily instead of Malcolm, either. Why not a theme park, resort, or zoo designer, for example?
    • Those specialists were already there. Harding had worked at a zoo, Arnold was an engineer for Disney World and Muldoon had plenty of experience with big game reserves. Furthermore, Hammond wasn't exactly open and honest towards his business partners as well. Although Gennaro and his law firm stood behind Jurassic Park, the lawyer knew relatively little about the project.
    • None of those people would matter to the investors because they're employed by the park, and by Hammond specifically. They're not neutral observers in this situation; that was the whole point in getting outsiders.
    • Given the nature of Jurassic Park, it's possible that a regular theme park / resort / zoo designer might not have been as much help, since the requirements of Jurassic Park would far outweigh anything they were already used to. It's also worth remembering that what ultimately scuttles Jurassic Park is unpredictable events resulting from an unexpected act of sabotage; until that happened, things may have looked okay on the surface to any of these experts.
    • Even if the park really was too far beyond what those sorts of experts were used to, InGen would still have an interest in trying, at least. But the park being that advanced wouldn't prevent those people from asking questions like "What happens if the park were to lose power entirely?", "Are the fences physically able to withstand the animals?", "What's the protocol if an animal were to escape?", etc. Those and other such questions don't have satisfactory answers, and so would have put the park in jeopardy without Nedry's plan.
    • It's also possible that this might have been intended as the first of many such inspections of the park before it opened, and a later visit would indeed have involved engineers and designers of this nature. Things just went massively wrong before they reached that point.
    • This arguably depends on how we're defining 'relevant'. Relevant in terms of real-world theme park design? Maybe. Relevant in terms of an action-adventure story about people being hunted by dinosaurs on a tropical island? Nah. At some point, we have to remember the Law of Conservation of Detail and that this isn't real life; it's a story, and in a story the characters will be chosen because of their importance to the narrative and the story, not their importance to what an actual fact-finding mission to a real-life prototype theme park would involve. While in a real-life Jurassic Park situation all would likely be consulted, in the world of the story, paleontologists are relevant so they can handle exposition about dinosaurs, so they go; a chaos theoretician gets to go because he can provide exposition relevant to the theme about the unpredictability of nature, so he goes; but a theme park engineer wouldn't add anything relevant that any of the characters employed by Hammond couldn't add because the story isn't actually about the building of the theme park itself, so they don't go.
    • The original question was referring to that first meaning of relevant; why, within the story itself, were the people chosen to go the ones chosen? It's a Watsonian question, not a Doylist one.
    • Maybe, but Watsonian or not it's also perhaps one of those questions that can only receive a completely satisfying answer from a Doylist perspective (especially since the other "Watsonian" answers provided for this question have received a bit of additional nitpicking). They're there because the writer needed them there to tell the story, whereas a theme park designer wouldn't have been helpful from that perspective. It might not be entirely satisfactory from a Watsonian perspective, but sometimes you've just got to shrug and remember that it's just a story, not real life, and so requires some Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Especially since it's not like those people wouldn't be consulted in the event of a real dinosaur park being produced (well, perhaps not the chaos theory guy, but paleontologists would absolutely get a look-in), so it's not like it's a huge leap to make.
    • Sorry, but that's not really helpful. Of course it's fiction. But an answer that boils down to "it's just a movie" doesn't answer the question, because the question isn't about why the characters are there from an out-of-story perspective. Trying to answer it from the opposite angle is irrelevant and not appreciated.
    • Okay, but again — there've been other attempts at answering this question from an in-universe perspective, almost all of which have received additional and slightly nitpicky criticisms that they don't fully answer the question, or open up other plot issues. Helpful or not, it's beginning to seem that this particular question might not have an in-universe answer that you will find wholly satisfying, so you might just have to either accept that one of the previous answers is about the closest you'll get to an in-universe answer, even if imperfect, or accept that you might have to turn to the meta-answer of "it's a story and they needed to be there for the purposes of the plot and no one more 'relevant' did" to have some kind of resolution. Frankly, it doesn't seem like you have many other options on this one.
    • This is a case of Adaptation Explanation Extrication - in the book, the reason why the inspection was going on in the first place is because compys got off the island and were attacking children on the mainland. Basically, the aim wasn't just to assess the park's infrastructure - the aim was to figure out a) if compys had indeed gotten off the island and b) how the hell compys had ended up getting off the island. Would any of the experts you describe be able to supply any knowledge that a) is relevant to the situation and b) isn't already there (in the case of a zoo designer - Muldoon would probably be able to supply a lot of info already in that regard)?
    • The experts listed in the original question are for the problem as it exists in the movie; that is, Jophery's accidental death leading to the inspection. Nothing at all to do with compys. For the tour group featured in the movie, the book situation sounds more appropriate for their areas of expertise.
    • Yes - that's exactly the point. The reason why the experts are there in the book is because of the compy problem on the mainland - which is obviously not the case in the movie. Or to put it another way... if this is about the accidental death of a workman, shouldn't their contractor (if In Gen went for local contractors for workmen) or union representative be there?
    • It feels like we're talking past each other. Yes, contractors, union reps, etc. would have also been good choices to send. The question is why, within the context of the film's story, were those kinds of people not sent? The answer given above about the tour in the film potentially being just one of several intended inspections makes enough sense even if it's not completely airtight.
    • Here's a possible idea to sort-of-resolve this debate - Hammond hijacked the inspection. This is the in-story explanation that makes the most sense - Hammond hijacked what was probably meant to be an internal investigation (possibly involving contractors and/or union representatives) to have an excuse to send his hand-picked experts and turn it into a big publicity stunt for the park.
    • That only works for Hammond's side, though. True, it makes sense that he'd be allowed to pick his own people to send and pick those likely to side with him. But InGen investors are also a party involved, represented by Gennaro, and have no reason not to send the sorts of experts originally mentioned. During the helicopter ride, Hammond seems to suggest that Gennaro himself picked Malcolm, so maybe Gennaro is just incompetent?
    • Keep in mind, there is no Watsonian explanation that covers all the bases - whilst "Hammond hijacked the inspection to make it a big publicity stunt" isn't airtight, it's the explanation I think makes the most sense (it's unclear how aware the investors were of the entire shebang). However, again, this is a question to which the Doylist answer - the problem in the book was completely different (compys getting off the island) - is the only really satisfying one.

     Why did the dilophosaurus suddenly attack? 
  • It seems friendly at first, but then suddenly kills Nedry. He did say he was going to run it over, but it was a dinosaur, so how would it understand him?
    • Nedry was either a free meal or was seen as an invader on the Dilophosaur's territory. Maybe both.
    • It's a wild animal. It tried to scare Nedry away, and when it saw that he wasn't a threat anymore but rather a big defenseless chunk of meat, it attacked. Of course it's exaggerated behaviour. It's a movie after all.
    • So, it wasn't "friendly", but rather curious about Nedry. But it certainly didn't understand his words.
    • It's worth pointing out that just before he was attacked, Nedry flipped up the hood of his raincoat, which the dilophosaur could really only interpret as raising his frills, which she would recognize as a threat display. His body language managed to convey exactly what his words did in a way that she could understand perfectly.

     What were Nedry and Hammond arguing about? 
  • Nedry's whining about something, I don't remember exactly what, and Hammond says, "Look, Dennis! I don't blame people for their mistakes. But I do ask that they pay for them." And this seemed to have something to do with why Nedry was disgruntled enough to sell out, but I don't remember them ever saying what mistake they were talking about or how Nedry paid.
    • The tour was running into a high number of glitches early on, and Hammond was angry that Nedry didn't seem to care about fixing them in a timely manner. Nedry argued that he was already doing enough for the low amount he bid to take the job, and that if Hammond wanted more from him, he needed to be paid more. The mistake Hammond is referring to is Nedry's own low bid, a shortsighted effort to get a job at the park without taking into account of the sort and amount of work necessary.

     Test run but no disaster? 
  • Nedry tells his accomplice on the boat that he's done a test run for the espionage which presumably has to go the full route from his desk, to the cryostorage, to a jeep, all the way to the dock and back to his desk. That's fine and logical in the sense that of course he'd want to know the window of timing for the theft run, so when he has to put it into practice, he and his guy can coordinate to make it seamless (even though Nedry's competence in practice leaves something to be desired, the terrible weather not helping either). However. How on earth did this dry run go off without a hitch in the sense that he must have powered down the exact same systems (ok, maybe he did a few more non-security ones in the true run shown in the movie to give himself "cover" for the crime, i.e. random systems on the fritz during "system compiling") and yet no dinosaurs were said to have managed to break out of their paddocks, nor did anyone notice (namely Arnold and the rest of the security and sysadmin people)? Maybe you could put the no dinosaur escapee question to sheer dumb luck (yet you'd still want the movie to somehow justify that a bit better with exposition or something) and yes Nedry knows to always maintain power to the raptor enclosure. But on the staffing side Arnold seems to be reacting to the real run as if it's the first time it's happened, so what about the test run from the staff's perspective?
    • Nedry could be talking about the physical part of the heist, and didn't run the program until the real thing. He could test his code in a virtual environment to make sure it would work without actually running it.
    • It's a good point about the code test in the virtual environment, but think about "the physical aspect". If he wants to exactly measure the time the run takes, that means he actually has to do it in full. As in, shut down the door locks and camera on the cryostorage, tinker with the vats (so he knows where they are, what species they contain, how long it takes to raise and put them back down etc but he doesn't actually extract the vials because it's merely the test run, only pretends to so as to simulate the time he needs as closely as possible) and drive through the park (and back, in time to quietly undo the breach in security). He would have to do all of this because if the security on the fenced gate which cuts through the dilophosaurus paddock is up (i.e. electrified), he can't physically transit this area to reach the dock (and before that, obviously if he's caught on camera or unable to get through the cryostorage doors, that's no good to him either). There's no reason that the dilophosaurus gate would be electrified on the actual run and not at any other given time, such as when he did the test run. So it's all or nothing on the test run, right from the code running for real, precisely to enable the physical aspect to be timed out.
    • Nedry could know about the embryo storage from watching security footage (knowing that it's possible to open them with just one hand), and if the contents aren't recorded in the system somewhere, he only has 15 species to deal with, which are all labelled. When arguing with the boat guy, Nedry mentions that he thinks he can shave two minutes off his test run time, which could be a reference to him using a longer, open maintenance trail for his test, which would've aroused less suspicion and be another reason why he gets lost when he actually does it. Some of that extra time could also possibly be gained if Nedry was only estimating how much time he would need in the embryo storage.

     Why was the buffet spread still out? 
  • A few loaves of bread, fruit, a huge bowl of salad, Jell-O, and several types of cakes, apparently sitting out, at minimum, all night. Why? There wasn't a huge rush for the employees to leave the island, so it's not like the kitchen staff would've had to drop everything immediately and just leave. It's not a great selection or amount of food to feed 10 people over a weekend, either, so it doesn't seem right that it was left for the visitors and remaining staff to help themselves to (and that's not even getting into the risks of leaving some of those types of food out so long).
    • Perhaps the caterer had stayed to ensure that the main characters would remain fed, but then panicked at some point and hid or tried to run off for a helicopter or a boat (in vain, because neither were available) and may have been killed by the dinosaurs.
    • To be totally fair, everyone was kind of preoccupied with the whole "park systems failing and dinosaurs escaping" situation; presumably under such circumstances clearing away the buffet leftovers and putting on a better meal becomes a secondary concern if that. Presumably had the whole park not, well, started collapsing into dinosaur-related carnage and mayhem they might indeed have gotten around to dealing with this.
    • The park failing is irrelevant, and only matters to this under the assumption that there was an unseen and unmentioned kitchen employee still on the island the whole time. The culinary staff presumably all left the island well before the storm hit, without an emergency to justify leaving out so much perishable food.
    • Okay, well, assuming the caterers did indeed all leave before the shit hit the fan, all of those food items mentioned are standard buffet items. They're there in case the guests feel like a bite to eat between meals when the caterers, for whatever reason, are unavailable to prepare a meal. And they're not quite as perishable as being made out; fruit and vegetables typically last about 4-7 days being left out before starting to go rotten, bread lasts about 3-4 days before turning mouldy (though it might go a bit stale), and jello can last up to ten days if properly stored. They're not going to become inedible overnight; those dates are reasonably long enough for, in normal circumstances, a new catering team to arrive, clean up, and replace the food without the guests starving or being forced to resort to cannibalism. In which case, the park failing is in fact sort of relevant, because it was presumably the storm and subsequent meltdown which would have affected the ability of caterers to arrive to replace the team that departed. Presumably in normal circumstances, a replacement catering team would have arrived long before any issues began to manifest with the food.
    • "Properly stored" is the key term there, and most of that food wasn't. Jell-O and salad sitting out unrefrigerated for upwards of 12 hours? Cakes uncovered for the same amount of time? Yuck, especially on a tropical island in a building that isn't completely sealed to the outdoors. The only thing that would make sense to be left out would be uncut produce. As for a replacement catering team, that also wouldn't really work because the whole staff seemed to be leaving the island because it was the weekend; the storm wouldn't have prevented a new team from arriving because there wouldn't have been one to begin with, and the tour would've been over by Monday if no incident had occurred.
    • Watching the movie back, pretty much the one time we see the aforementioned food in the movie is in the scene where Hammond and Ellie have their conversation over ice-cream, which takes place well after everything has already started to go pear-shaped. There are thus a few things suggested or implied here:
      • 1. There are clearly refrigerators in the food preparation and serving areas of Jurassic Park (that ice cream had to come from somewhere) — ergo, the intention under normal circumstances was likely to store the food away in them when there were no guests around to eat it or between meals.
      • Yes. So why wasn't it?
      • 2. The suggestion that the food would have been cleared away sooner, but was not done so due to events spiralling out of control, cannot be dismissed so easily. Again; this takes place well after the power has been shut down, suggesting that the people responsible for clearing the food away would have done so had this not occurred and other priorities — such as getting the power back online, treating wounded individuals, and not getting eaten by roving dinosaurs — had not taken over).
      • Everything suggests they would have done this, though. There's no indication any catering staff is still present, and that they left before the storm hit, leaving for the weekend like almost everyone else.
      • 3. There is also no real point in clearing the food away at this moment; the refrigeration systems have been knocked out with the rest of the power (Hammond notes this as he eats the ice cream). At that particular moment, the food is going to eventually spoil whether it's left out or whether it's stored away, so as they have bigger fish to fry at that point they might as well leave it out until such a point that the refrigeration units are back online.
      • Again, the suggestion is that the catering staff left well before any problems arose. Any problems the park faced are irrelevant and wouldn't factor into their decision. That's what makes this entire question so puzzling.
      • The point is that the people who are still on the island might have under normal circumstances decided (or been asked) to put any food away in the refrigerators in lieu of the catering staff, either to help out during the one-off VIP tour or even because they might have just not wanted the food to go to waste. But since circumstances made it unnecessary, they didn't bother doing so.
      • 3a. Related to the above, as for "properly stored", the room would presumably under normal circumstances have been air-conditioned to standard room temperature, lessening the risks of leaving the food out under normal circumstances.
      • The building is still open to the outdoors and in the middle of a jungle. Insects would be a concern.
      • That particular room appears to be closed off to the outdoors, and insects are a concern everywhere (albeit moreso in the jungle, granted).
      • 4. It is never actually explicitly confirmed that all the catering staff have left that I am aware, making this a mere hypothesis, not technically a headscratcher; for all the movie actually confirms, there could indeed be an unseen skeleton catering staff on the island somewhere who would have dealt with all this (and who are currently facing some dinosaur-related issues off-screen that are preventing them from doing so).
      • Technically true, but it still assumes a lot of things (why were the staff never mentioned at all? Were they just left on the island to die? Why were they not mentioned in the deleted scene from The Lost World as casualties from the incident?) An unfalsifiable answer is still an answer, though, however unsatisfying it might be.
      • 5. However, if we assume so for purposes of argument that all the caterers have left, then given that Jurassic Park is still "in progress" then it is possible that the skeleton crew and guests who are still on the island would be expected to "make do" without the caterers for the remainder of their duration on the island. (Presumably the skeleton staff remaining on the island may have been expected to move everything into the fridges, had they not gotten side-tracked with the whole "park falling apart" issues.)
      • That first part is exactly it. Yes, the remaining staff and guests would've had to fix their own food from the freezers and fridges. That's the obvious conclusion if the staff is leaving for the weekend. So then why was all the food left out? These two things don't mesh. There was no reason to leave the food out barring this "unseen caterers" theory.
      • Actually there is a reason; so they didn't have to go into the kitchens if they needed a snack, and could just stay in the guest areas where it would be more convenient and comfortable for them to access.
      • 5a. The duration of the tour is unknown but, presumably once the dinosaur tour is done, there's really not much else for them to see or do; for all we actually know, the guests could have been leaving the next morning, with the buffet there to provide snacks as needed before then. As noted previously, under normal circumstances this would fall well within the time before the food started to seriously spoil (though it might have been a bit stale).
      • 6. As for the cakes and Jell-o, unlike the rest of the buffet these appear to have been dumped on one of the nearby tables in a somewhat untidy fashion. Given that we first see Hammond in this scene glumly wolfing down melting ice cream while silently contemplating his rapidly-collapsing dreams, the presumed implication is that these have not been left out by the caterers, but that Hammond himself took these out of the now-useless refrigerators and plans to at least partly eat them himself as part of his binging on comfort food to try and cheer himself up.
      • 6a. Alternatively, the cakes are not normally part of the buffet, but have been left out to welcome the guests back from the tour as part of a triumphant little celebration. Since there is no longer anything to celebrate, Hammond — understandably somewhat depressed at the rapid collapse of his life-long dream — doesn't really care if they spoil anymore, though he may still be willing to binge on them for comfort.
      • If 6 is the case, why did Hammond bother setting them up in the buffet line? 6a is more plausible for just the desserts.
      • So go with that one then; both are just being thrown out as possibilities.
      • 7. Ultimately, it has to be remembered that this is all just set-dressing, both in-universe (Hammond is giving his guests an impression of what the fully online park will look like, and is almost certainly willing to suck up the minor expenses of a little bit of potential food wastage in order to do so) and on a meta level (the filmmakers are establishing for the viewer that this is the visitor centre's dining area, so a quick glimpse of some buffet food helps establish this quickly), and is really not supposed to be thought about to any great extent. The viewer is almost certainly expected to see the food set out as a signifier for "restaurant" and focus more on Hammond and Ellie's conversation about the ethics of the park, and if they do focus on the former more than the latter, to the extent that this is possible they're watching the movie wrong.
      • If we were to never question anything that happens in a film, no matter how minor, then we wouldn't have Headscratchers pages in general. It's not watching a movie wrong to ask a question about something that doesn't make obvious sense.
      • It kind of is in this case, or at least is arguably being rather unnecessarily pedantic; to get to this particular headscratcher, you basically have to ignore everything else that is happening in the scene, in particular the conversation outlining the crux of the ethical issues the movie is positing and the emotional impact of a man grappling with his mistakes, his hubris and his failed dreams of glory, to instead focus exclusively on some barely-in-focus cakes and a buffet in the distant background. Nothing in this scene insists that you focus on or question the presence of the buffet, and in fact it's very clearly minimised. The only real reason they're there is to help establish the setting of the scene and you're clearly supposed to view them on that basis, not get hung up on the hypothetical catering schedules of a fictional theme park. To the extent that this is a plot-hole, it is far from one that leaps out at the viewer and demands to be answered lest the logic of the film completely fall apart; you have to really focus, likely over repeated viewings, to pick up on this one, at which point the question of whether you're really focussing on the right things about the film becomes entirely valid. There's asking questions about the logic of the narrative of the film, and then there's slightly nitpicky quibbling about set dressing, and this thread, frankly, falls decidedly in the latter category. By all means ask such questions if you must, of course, but if you're going to do so you should at least keep them in perspective.
      • So the question shouldn't have been asked because it's not important enough? Because it's "nitpicky"? That's not how Headscratchers work. It's an element present in the film that doesn't make obvious sense, and therefore is questioned; it doesn't matter how major it is or how many viewings it took to notice, only that it's there.
      • Not at all; I outright stated that you were free to raise the point, and offered numerous possible points of context and explanation before pointing out it's arguably very trivial nature even in the scheme of Headscratchers. I clearly respected your Headscratcher and your freedom to raise it. I merely suggested you keep it in perspective: it's a very minor, trivial and easily overlooked background detail, it's already been discussed at some length, it's heavily reliant on context that the viewer is not privy to because, frankly, it's irrelevant to the main narrative, and it's clearly heavily reliant on the viewer's ability to just accept a certain level of artifice within fiction in order to set the scene without constantly challenging them on every minor detail that isn't fully explained as if it is a major plothole that needs to be addressed and answered in detail. At some point, you're going to have to accept that this particular Headscratcher is a very minor and trivial one, that there is a limit to how productively it can be discussed and answered, that any answer you receive is going to be by nature imperfect (and so challenging and picking apart the answers people provide you with is going to be of limited use), and that you've already been provided with numerous possible (if imperfect) answers for your points of concern.

     Rexy's Sense of Smell 
  • When Rexy comes over to Grant and Lex, her muzzle can't be more than a few feet away from them. If Tyrannosaurs have a great sense of smell (which I'm assuming they do, to make up for their visual impairment), why couldn't Rexy smell Grant and Lex, especially since Lex probably had a few cuts and scratches that were bleeding?
    • Could be a few possibilities. Maybe the sense of smell was negatively impacted due to the T. rex being a "genetically engineered theme park monster". Maybe it was mostly smelling mud, since Lex was covered in it. Maybe the rain was somehow affecting its ability to smell.

     Movement-Based Vision Issue 
  • Sort of following the same line of questioning as the headscratcher above, what doesn't make sense is that after Rexy kills Gennaro and turns her attention back towards the vehicles, Lex shrieks at the top of her lungs and Grant quickly steps in to cover her mouth and shut her up. Rexy's established at being, at most, a few feet away from her and Grant. It wasn't the same sort of degree of moving about as say, Malcolm getting out of the car and running off to try and lure Rexy away, but Grant went from being bent down trying to get Tim out from under the overturned car to quickly standing up, rushing over to Lex, and covering her mouth with his hand. In that period of time, between the shrill screaming and Grant moving around, Rexy didn't react to any of it, when we've been told and have seen several times (including in this very moment) that T. rex tracks its prey based on movement (which means that Grant is telling Lex that Rexy can't see them if they don't move, even though he himself just rapidly moved). Am I the only one who questions how this makes any sense and how they didn't die right then and there?
    • It's not clear precisely where the rex is while Lex screams and Grant quiets her, since she's offscreen. She only just steps up to them several seconds after Lex stops screaming, and the last time the rex was shown, she was facing away from the vehicles while killing Gennaro. It could be that she was turning around because of the scream right as Grant was moving and didn't see him. Also, Grant doesn't move as much as described here; he only goes from lying basically prone to kneeling, while turning around and sliding a couple feet at most to his left. Even if the rex was very close the whole time, the low profile of the humans may have put them partially or completely outside her field of vision to begin with.