How accurate is "Jurassic World" science?


Moviegoers flocked to theaters to see prehistoric predators prey on people in the latest "Jurassic Park" movie, "Jurassic World." While Hollywood counts the record-breaking earnings, nobody was expecting a dinosaur documentary, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

"This is about as scientifically accurate as your average science-fiction flick, which is to say not particularly, but there are some things to like about it even from a science perspective," University of Southern California paleontologist Dr. Michael Habib said.

Habib said even though dinosaurs could not use their hands and feet the way they do on screen, the movie generally does a good job with dinosaur anatomy.

"The way in which they run, the way it looks when they jump, the muscle bulges, the way in which the feet interact with the ground all look really good," he said.

The "Jurassic World" super villain dinosaur, Indominus Rex, is a make-believe mix of several different creatures.

Habib said his biggest disappointment is that the movie leaves out one of the most significant dinosaur discoveries since the first film debuted in 1993. Many dinosaurs had feathers, especially velociraptors.

"It fundamentally changes how you imagine these animals looked and behaved," he said.

The new film does introduce viewers to a creature many never knew existed: the mosasaur.

The movie made it much bigger than it was in real life, but filmmakers impressed scientists by getting right its intricate rows of teeth.

Molecular biologist Jack Horner consulted on all of the "Jurassic" films to make them as realistic as possible, but he said the point is to simply make a fun movie.

"We all know that dinosaurs are not that scary," he said. "They're not going to rip holes into your vehicles or tear holes in your buildings to come after people so that's just the movie."

But if you want to be picky, even the title of the entire franchise is not quite right. Most of the dinosaurs were from the Cretaceous Period, not the Jurassic. Scientists say the lasting legacy of the franchise is more important.

"A lot of kids that saw the original 'Jurassic Park' film in 1993 are now paleontologists and many of them would say 'Oh the first thing I remember thinking I really want to be a paleontologist was going to see 'Jurassic Park,''" Habib said.