The release of “Jurassic World: Dominion” marked an epic conclusion to nearly three decades of the saga of resurrected dinosaurs. The film franchise transformed our popular imagination of the prehistoric world, and made a fringe field of study like palaeontology seem like the coolest job on the planet.
Much has evolved in the field since Jurassic Park made its debut in 1993. Scientists now know more about the giant lizards that once roamed the Earth than they ever did before. From their discovery, we’ve also learned that dinosaurs have a lot more in common with students than you think: they are smart, adaptable, and have unique individual traits that made the Mesozoic Era all the more colourful.
Just like life on campus though, the prehistoric world can be a brutal place to navigate. If you were a dinosaur in the past, would you be a towering sauropod, a ruthless theropod fiercely guarding your territory, or a free-flying pterosaur? Here’s what we think:
If university students were dinosaurs from ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’
Velociraptor: The group project finisher
What would dinosaur films be without a velociraptor? It’s a franchise icon in the “Jurassic” universe alongside the T-rex, leaving a trail of bloody body counts in its wake. In reality though, raptors were most likely feathered and weren’t bigger than turkeys. They probably hunted solo instead of swarming preys in packs, no matter what Alan Grant led you to believe.
This isn’t far off the mark from your hapless group mates who are always pulling all-nighters so everyone else doesn’t fail the capstone project. Once grades are out and it’s all smiles, no one seems to remember this was a lone endeavour of an over-caffeinated yet efficient genius.
Dreadnoughtus: The varsity jock
We get it — not all of us are vertically blessed and can command the room by just standing tall. Dreadnoughtus is yet another new dinosaur introduced in Jurassic World: Dominion, and it’s the largest one we’ve seen in the entire film series.
With a name that translates to “fear nothing”, this herbivorous creature belongs to the Titanosaur family, the largest terrestrial animals to have ever existed. They’re sort of similar to the campus varsity athletes casually strolling on the sidewalk and making their way to practice.
Just like big, towering dinosaurs, they’re unruffled by the commotion around them and their star-studded status. When it comes to the game though, then it’s a fight to the death, much like a Dreadnoughtus during mating season.
I've lost count of how many times i've rewatched this segment
The framing of the shots, the aggressive and borderline rock music, Attenborough's delivery of "Dreadnoughtus"; it's all i ever wanted from sauropod rep in media
You do NOT wanna mess with these guys#PrehistoricPlanet pic.twitter.com/IqxUYCrOWt
— Kia 🏳️🌈 Proud Tyrant (@YutyTyrant) May 31, 2022
Therizinosaurus: The underdog
As a creature that resembles Big Bird roaming through forests with the longest claws in history, Therizinosaurus has had its fair share of being misunderstood.
While the Therizinosaurus is depicted as a merciless overgrown fowl that killed an apex predator in the film, it was actually a pot-bellied herbivore, and is believed to be one of the strangest looking dinosaurs that have ever existed. At one point, scientists even mistakenly thought that this T-rex-sized animal was related to a turtle.
It’s rather like late bloomers from high school who eventually found their success in university and beyond. Overlooked by teachers and classmates, somehow life on campus gave them the push they needed to finally shine, just like this obscure dinosaur who has now made it to Hollywood.
2022 is the year of #Therizinosaurus#PrehistoricPlanet #JurassicWorldDominion pic.twitter.com/qZuZbqC8Dr
— Kia 🏳️🌈 Proud Tyrant (@YutyTyrant) May 30, 2022
Quetzalcoatlus: the exchange student
The largest flying animal ever known finally lands itself in the airspace of Jurassic World: Dominion. With wings packed with dense muscle fibres, this giraffe-sized pterosaur was a well-travelled animal that could fly 16,000 kilometres non-stop after launching itself on air, and had the metabolism to power its wayfaring tendencies.
They’re very much similar to exchange students spending one or two semesters abroad, never putting their feet down for too long in one place. “Global nomad” is something you’ll see in their LinkedIn profiles, along with proficiency in multiple languages. They’ll keep soaring, eventually securing a gig at the United Nations, and you can never seem to catch up.
Tyrannosaurus Rex: the future prime minister
We’ve saved the best for the last. The slow thud of ominous footsteps and terrifying roar by the mighty T-Rex in “Jurassic Park” is a cinematic masterpiece that cemented the dinosaur’s status as a cultural phenomenon. Known as “Rexy” by fans, she is the undisputed queen of the fictional Isla Nublar island, and has emerged triumphant in every single film in the series.
Critics have hailed Jurassic World: Dominion as a celebration of strong female lead, but its true feminist icon is Rexy. You see a Rexy everywhere on campus. She is the Tracy Flick-like poster girl who heads the students’ union, moderates the all-male panel because she can, and is invited as a speaker at the parliament.
Ellie Sattler’s famous quote from the first film comes to mind: “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the Earth.” At the top of the food chain is Rexy — ambitious, determined, and fearless. She’ll run for office in no time.