The Bigger Picture: Why The New 'Jurassic World' Movie Matters To Science

Words from a paleontologist.

It's been 22 years since Steven Spielberg's original "Jurassic Park" hit the big screen.

And with the resurgence of the 2015 film "Jurassic World," Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, a paleontologist at Drexel University, argues that its success does, in fact, really matter to science.

In a video interview with GQ magazine, Lacovara says that paleontology is a young science — one that dates back less than just 200 years.


Because of that, 'we're really just at the very beginning of this exploration,' he says.

Furthermore, Lacovara also explains that the existence of these dinosaur films sparked an interest in a younger generation and influenced them to study paleontology.

And going deeper, paleontology contributes a ton of valuable information that is vital to our society and planet.

It "does a lot for humanity," Lacovara says." For example, energy we need to grow our planet can be found in fossils. Additionally, paleontologists are "all concerned with climate change" and important data can be found in ancient records.

So in order look ahead, scientists must look back, he adds.

And when you think about it, a dinosaur dies, it's entombed in sediment, and all the while it sits there history is unfolding above it. And those mammals, they survive the mass extinction ... and they evolve into whales and giraffes and other things and some of them evolve into great apes. Some of the great apes evolve into our species ... and then some of those great apes go on to become paleontologists, Lacovara says.

Then the two come together and, hey, we've got something more tangible than what the movies can only suggest.

And while the movies are entertaining the public, paleontologists are discovering more and more about the species as we speak.

In fact, on June 9, VICE reported that British paleontologists found the first sample of fossilized dinosaur blood in recorded history.

That blood is 75-million-years-old.

"Unfortunately, the blood does not contain any genetic material, so a Jurassic Park-style cloning is out of the question," VICE explains

But the blood could lead scientists to answer bigger questions about "dinosaur physiology and evolution," as well as dinosaur DNA, an article in The Guardian adds.

Altogether, the field of paleontology is an important, ever-developing one. And if 'Jurassic World' can remind people of that, then that's something to consider.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Lacovara below:


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.