When John Hammond dreamed up the idea of Jurassic Park in the later years of the 20th century, he thought he had control of the future. “We control their chromosomes, it’s really not that difficult,” Dr. Henry Wu (Hammond’s ‘Chief Geneticist’), proudly proclaimed, going on to mock Dr. Malcolm “You’re implying that a group comprised entirely of females will…breed?” Little did he or John Hammond know what lack of control they truly had on this expansive and ultimately impossible idea. Sure, Jurassic World boasted roughly 10 years of control over these animals – but – “You never had control. That’s the illusion.”
In the beginning of the franchise, we’re told that all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are female. This is because, as Wu says, “all vertebrate embryos are inherently female, anyway. They just require an extra hormone given at the right developmental stage to make them male. We simply deny them that.”, ultimately displaying the ignorance and arrogance Jurassic Park is showcasing. Hammond and his team of scientists were trying to force nature into what would end up being a very unnatural state. “Life finds a way,” as Dr. Malcolm puts it, nature fights back, and he is proven correct.
As you know, later in the film, Dr. Grant and the kids come across velociraptor eggs. Eggs mean reproduction. In vertebrate species, reproduction typically means males and females (though in certain scenarios with some vertebrates asexual reproduction is possible). However, as we discovered that from the very start, there always have been both males and females in Jurassic Park, though they’re not always distinguishable via sexual dimorphism. The Lost World confirms the dinosaurs are reproducing sexually, distinguishing the sexes of the animals with the Tyrannosaurs and Velociraptors. We’re introduced to the fact that male Tyrannosaurs are green, while the females are brown – further, male Velociraptors are brighter orange with distinct tiger-like stripes. Later, in Jurassic Park III we’re introduced to new raptors, where the males have a stripe running down the sides of their back (a feature later reflected in Velociraptor Blue) and feather-like quills. The females are more white in appearance. (This makes sense because – no offense ladies – in nature, males are usually more vibrant, like cardinals for example. This is because the females are usually the ones doing the hunting and protection of their young, and so for these reasons, they need to be more dull in color and blend in better to their surroundings.)
So what’s the deal with the dinos in Jurassic World? While Jurassic World established that the Raptors, Mosasaur and Indominus are female, we do know that there were also males, and controlled breeding, like in today’s zoos. This tweet from writer/director Colin Trevorrow himself spells it out:
Jurassic World had controlled breeding, like modern zoos. The dinosaur population on the island has grown since the park fell…
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) May 23, 2018
This information from Colin Trevorrow confirms that between Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the animals were breeding on Isla Nublar. In Fallen Kingdom, there’s an Allosaurus that is literally called a “juvenile” Allosaurus, and you can also see various baby Triceratops several times. If you’re reading this and thinking you were the only one who thought that the animals were all female, don’t worry, you are not alone. Strangely, numerous instances of licensed material for the franchise have stated that all Jurassic World dinosaurs are female. Mattel has referred to the male “buck” rex as female, for instance, while ‘Jurassic World: The Evolution of Claire’ has also claimed all animals to be female. (Side bar: I’d love to see male and female distinction in the games, and even a “controlled breeding” element. This could be risky territory – I just want to see baby dinos, can you blame me!?)
This makes the ending of Fallen Kingdom all the more significant: now that the animals are on the mainland, they will continue to breed. There obviously aren’t multiple rexes or raptors released from Lockwoods estate, so their reproductive options are limited. However, there were multiple ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, theropods, sauropods, and others released into North America that will certainly have the chance to reproduce naturally.
I am interested to see how the animals will repopulate in the Americas as invasive species, if that is something that Colin Trevorrow decides to explore. The key for combatting this invasive species threat will be response time to their capture. Compies would likely be impossible to locate and capture – there could be thousands running around after a few years. Conversely, some of the larger animals will be easier to isolate and capture with the help of the technological forces of the 21st century. With the amount of animals that were released from Lockwood’s estate, there certainly had to be a few males and females of most of the species and they will have the ability, if given the opportunity, to breed. After all, they’ve always been male and female, and breeding – ever since 1993.
If you ever forget that, just remember the words from Owen. “They’re thinkin’ I gotta eat…I gotta hunt…I gotta…”