No matter how pants the Jurassic Park sequels and reboots have been – talking raptors anyone? – and no matter how intent they appear to be in their quest to erode the legacy of the original, Jurassic Park is still considered to be one of the greatest Hollywood blockbusters ever filmed. Spielberg effortlessly created a world in which dinosaurs really do walk the earth again.
Which makes it all the stranger when considering the lack of any decent video games in the Jurassic Park franchise. The Telltale adventure didn’t really manage to stand out, and I even found the usually enjoyable Lego titles came unstuck with their version of Jurassic World. Fortunately, Frontier Developments’ Jurassic World Evolution is coming out soon. Its simple but brilliant idea of fusing together the video game mechanics of Theme Park with the aesthetics of Jurassic Park certainly looks like a step in the right direction.
Still, palaeontology has moved on leaps and bounds since Jurassic Park was released in 1993 and I found myself wondering if Jurassic World Evolution would reflect these developments. This being sci-fi, the developers are of course free to pick, choose and change whatever dino facts they wish, so long as their benevolent franchise licensors agree. To quote dino manipulator Henry Wu, “You didn’t ask for reality, you asked for more teeth,” and Jurassic World Evolution will by and large be sticking with the film franchise’s featherless versions of these creatures, but it is still interesting to consider if at least some of the more modern research will make its way into the game’s mechanics.
Tyrannosaurus Rex are one of the most iconic creatures at the heart of Jurassic Park, and with good reason. Those massive jaws could produce one of the most powerful bites of any creature ever, one snap exerting over 57,000 newtons of bite force. What does that mean? Well, imagine an elephant sitting on your puny flesh bag of a body; that would be the same force as that of a T-Rex bite. For further comparison, a human can only manage 1000 newtons of bite force whilst a great white shark can achieve 20,000. In a future T-Rex vs. Sharknado film, that T-Rex is always going to win.
However, you probably won’t find a regular shark in a Jurassic World theme park, even if modern sharks swam the seas while the T-Rex walked the earth. No, they always have to go bigger and better, and it’s really no surprise that even the mighty T-Rex’s nibbling pales in comparison to that of the water bound Megalodon shark. This absolute bad boy could exert a bite force of 171,000 newtons – it’s no wonder that [spoilers] the Indominus Rex was so utterly destroyed by a Megalodon in the closing moments of Jurassic World.
The one big advantage that a shark could legitimately use to win in this T-Rex vs. Sharknado film is its ability to swim – let’s ignore the whole flying around in tornados thing. Dunk a T-Rex in a deep lake and its puny arms would see it drown in the first five minutes of screen time. The T-Rex’s tiny arms were so utterly ineffective that it leads to the question, why were they even there?
Perhaps, given another 10 million years, evolution may have answered that question for us. Some scientists believe that given enough time the arms would have just disappeared, much like with modern snakes. But don’t think for one moment that the T-Rex had weak arms, recent studies suggest the creature could bench press over 400 pounds. Pound for pound, the T-Rex’s arms were three time stronger than a human’s. So never arm wrestle a T-Rex, because it’ll bite your head off long before anyone’s arm hits the table.
The most likely use for the T-Rex’s arms, then? Holding a female T-Rex in place whilst continuing the species. Bet you didn’t think kinky dino sex would make an appearance in this article, did you?
There’s also strong evidence that suggests T-Rex were cannibals, swallowing the flesh of their nearest and dearest in order to achieve their massive calorie requirement for the day, and not just living off goats and the occasional park workers. Best keep your T-Rex in separate paddocks in Jurassic World Evolution, just in case.
But don’t worry about a T-Rex making a quick escape from that same paddock, or being able to chase down a jeep. For all those cinema goers who thought that Bryce Dallas Howard being able to escape from a T-Rex’s clutches whilst running in heels was ridiculous, you were wrong. New research from the University of Manchester has uncovered that the maximum speed of a Tyrannosaurs-Rex was just 12 miles per hour. If it ran any faster than that then its bones would have shattered. The massive 7 ton weight of the dino versus its bone density would have prevented it from going any faster.
And there we go, the T-Rex that they include in Jurassic Park Evolution had better have a killer jaw, glass ankles and use its tiny arms to hold a female T-Rex in the optimum position for coitus.
We’ve got a little time until Jurassic Park Evolution emerges on console and PC in June, so what other dinosaurs would you like to see receive the Playing with History treatment before then? Let us know in the comments below.