God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs. Woman makes list of dinosaurs scarier than anything seen in Jurassic Park.
As we all eagerly await what is sure to be best film of all time (JURASSIC WORLD!), I’m here to talk about the second best part of the Jurassic Park franchise. (If you don’t immediately recognize the god that is Jeff Goldblum is the best part, you can’t be helped.) The dinosaurs are clearly a bit of a draw. A few iconic scenes have seared some of the coolest dinosaurs into our minds, and while the three current JP films showcase some of our now-favorite dinosaurs, some of the most frightening dinosaurs haven’t been given their close ups yet.
The only rules: 1. no fictionalized dinosaurs and 2. no dinosaur on this list appears in any film thus far.
I may be cheating with this one. If you haven’t heard by now, the Velociraptors we were first introduced to in Jurassic Park weren’t entirely accurate. The pack hunting, fiercely intelligent raptors depicted on the big screen were largely hailed as fictionalized versions of the actual turkey-sized predator. While it’s possible Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton exercised a bit of artistic license with his raptors, it’s more likely that his heavy reliance on the book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World by Gregory S. Paul was responsible for the Velociraptor error, as the two dinosaurs are incorrectly grouped together. Velociraptors maxed out at about 30 pounds and were likely dumb, slow, solitary creatures. With one large sickle claw, long arms, and pack hunting tendencies, the Deinonychus is very much like the raptors depicted on screen. Many believe the Deinonychus to have been covered with feathers and that it likely used its back claws to disembowel its prey, allowing it safe distance as its meal bled to death. So while it seems Crichton’s star dinosaur was actually the Deinonychus, since his raptor was a hybrid, the real dinosaur still makes the list. The coolest part about Deinonychus? This was the species that forced scientists to reevaluate how we view dinosaurs.
Majungasaurus (formerly Majungatholus)
It’s hard to argue there was a bigger, badder, scarier dinosaur than the Spinosaurus. Even though Jurassic Park III (it pains me to acknowledge that movie’s existence) butchered its chance to show how truly terrifying this dinosaur was, since it’s already been included in the series, I’m forced to forge ahead. Though not pictured in any film, we’ll soon see some of the most frightening characteristics of the Majungaraurus. Jurassic World’s Indominus rex (I’m really trying to withhold judgment on this one) is said to be the combination of the actual dinosaurs: Giganotosaurus, Rugops, Carnotaurus, and Majungasaurus. At the top of the food chain, the massive Majungasaurus earns its spot on the list not only for its size but also for its reputation as a cruel cannibal. While it’s difficult to prove whether or not this dinosaur often dined on his own kind or only resorted to cannibalism as a last-ditch effort for survival, its reputation as a ruthless predator is set as the only evidence we currently have for cannibalism amongst dinosaurs has been found in the Majungasaurus.
The Giganotosaurus is quickly making a name for itself as one of the most frightening dinosaurs, rivaling the Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus. Though still smaller than the Spinosaurus, Gigantosaurus has the T-Rex beat in size, weighing in at 10 tons. Clocking in around 50 kilometers per hour, the Gigantosaurus is also thought to have been much faster than the Tyrannosaurus. The Gigantosaurus used its razor sharp teeth to slice through the flesh of its prey, preferring its prey to bleed to death before devouring it. It likely hunted in packs as it is believed to be the only predator to hunt the giant Sauropods.
Utahraptor is the largest of all raptors, coming in at a whopping 2,000 pounds. Perhaps fellow raptors can put that in perspective; the Velociraptor weighed about 30 pounds and the Deinonychus weighed approximately 200 pounds. Being the largest raptor isn’t enough to make the list, though. Utahraptor can thank its horrifying, nightmarish single claw for its inclusion in this group. While this feature is what makes a raptor a raptor, the Utahraptor’s 9-13 inch claw makes it one of the deadliest predators. There’s no evidence pointing to whether the Utahraptor hunted in packs like its relative the Deinonychus, but one alone would have been terrifying enough.
If you’ve ever heard anything about this dinosaur, it’s probably been in reference to its intelligence, as it’s often hailed as the smartest dinosaur to have walked the earth. The Troodon had a large brain and large eyes, leading scientists to conclude that this predator likely hunted at night. Its eyes were also set forward in its skull rather than the side of its face, meaning it possessed binocular vision, granting it the ability to spot and track small prey easily. (And in a Jurassic Park scenario, I’d say humans would fall under that category.) Though a fraction of the size of many other dinosaurs on this list, what ensures the Troodon earns the label of one of the most frightening is its propensity to hunt in packs. In packs. At night. Binocular vision. Intelligent. Yeah, no thank you.
Scale Images via wikipedia.