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Chris Pratt talks to paleontologist Jack Horner about ‘Jurassic World’
Monsters, asteroids, and fossilized poop.
VSauce host Michael Stevens and paleontologist Jack Horner take us and Chris Pratt and on a strange journey through the science of Jurassic World in his latest video. Taxonomy and fossilized dung have never been so interesting. (Also hat tip to that amazing ‘halibut’ pun with flawless delivery).
Stevens begins the video by discussing the idea of “monster,” a word he says is rooted in the Latin word meaning “to teach.” He goes on to discuss the idea of dinosaurs as monsters. In his typical bizarre and meandering way, Stevens guides us through the origin of fossil fuels (which come from marine microorganisms, not dinosaurs), the fact that researchers hypothesize dinosaurs live on today as birds, and that the Jurassic World’s dinosaurs can never be truly brought back or “un-extincted.” (They would instead be reverse-engineered from birds but would technically be totally new, completely artificial animals.)
The video ends with Pratt posing the question, “Why are dinosaurs so fascinating to kids?”
Stevens answers that dinosaurs, unlike other monsters, were real. And we can use science to prove their might, Stevens continues, but we can also use science to prove their demise at the hands of a wayward rock.
This circles back to the original point, that dinosaurs are “monsters,” meant to teach us and warn us that “sooner or later, the universe will beat everything.”
But we can potentially avoid a similar fate, again with science, Stevens says. He ends with a quote from Larry Niven, “The dinosaurs went extinct because they didn’t have a space program.”
Photo via Jurassic World
Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.