Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park did for dinosaurs what his 1975 movie Jaws did for sharks. Movie audiences the world over found the prospect of being chased by a gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex or stalked by a pair of bloodthirsty and super-intelligent Velociraptors, just as terrifying as being caught in the water by an equally bloodthirsty great white shark.
But while Spielberg—and Jurassic Park’s author, Michael Crichton—tried to make their portrayals of the dinosaurs in the park as authentic as possible, this being the movies, the film took more than a few artistic liberties.
Perhaps most famous of all is Jurassic Park’s portrayal of the terrifying Velociraptors, which stand as tall as a man, and cleverly hunt down their prey in packs. In reality, Velociraptors stood only a little larger than turkeys, weighed less than 50lbs, and, like turkeys, were covered in barb-like feathers, not scales.
In another example of artistic license, the gigantic teeth in the T-rex’s mouth in Jurassic Park are also not entirely accurate. In reality, Tyrannosaur teeth were longer and more banana-shaped that those in the movie, but to make the T-rex appear more menacing on screen, the model had its fangs sharpened and straightened. Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs may not be entirely archeologically accurate, then, but they’re by no means less terrifying than the real thing.