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'Jurassic World' feels real in the movies and in person thanks to this expert

He's a top adviser for every "Jurassic Park" film and explains how he works to bring prehistoric creatures to life for film and in the real-life "Jurassic World: The Exhibition."

Paleontologist Jack Horner is a big part of what makes "Jurassic Park's" dinosaurs feel real.

Since the original "Jurassic Park" movie in 1993, Horner has served as a technical adviser for every film in the franchise and had a cameo in 2015's "Jurassic World."


The Tyrannosaurus rex as seen in "Jurassic World: The Exhibition."

James Thomas / The Franklin Institute

"My job really is to just go through the script, make sure there's no mistakes and make sure we have the science as accurate as we can get it," Horner said regarding his involvement with the franchise.

And now with "Jurassic World: The Exhibition", which Horner also collaborated on, visitors can come to The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to get up close with the creatures as they appear in the movies.

"The exhibit really is bringing as much as you can into a museum setting, bringing people into 'Jurassic World', and letting them see a few of the animals they would see if they were in the real 'Jurassic World,'" Horner said in an interview with CNET.


A lab section of the exhibit shows both amber extraction while also explaining some of the science used in the movie.

Jonathan Kolbe

The exhibit includes a combination of animatronic and puppeteer dinosaurs, showing off real-life recreations like the Tyrannosaurus rex, Brachiosaurus and Velociraptor, along with the fictional Indominus rex created for the 2015 film.

Like the movie, attendees will start off on a tour of the park before some level of chaos will erupt, Horner said.


The front gates of "Jurassic World."

James Thomas / The Franklin Institute

Horner said that it isn't all dinosaur drama, and that aspects of the exhibit do go into the real science of dinosaurs. However, anyone hoping for a reference to the recent discovery that many dinosaurs were feathered may be disappointed when they see the traditional reptilian appearance. However, Horner said it's not for a lack of wanting to stick to science.

"When working on the movie, the movie has to maintain consistency from the first one to the last one," Horner said. Since the earlier "Jurassic Park" films came out before the discovery, changing the dinosaurs' appearance would create a continuity error (the "Jurassic World" movie website does have a fictional review that tries to explain that DNA situation though).

The exhibit has previously been on display in Melbourne, Australia, and will be in Philadelphia's Franklin Institute until April 23.

And will Horner be a part of the next "Jurassic World" film?


A Velociraptor roars at kids attending the exhibition.

Daryl Peveto / The Franklin Institute

"I haven't heard anything yet but usually I'm called in pretty late in the game," he said. "I'm in contact with the producers and I'm sure if they need anything they will reach out."

Horner, 70, is now a presidential fellow at Chapman University after 33 years as a regent's professor of paleontology at Montana State University. His book "How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution" is available on Amazon and can be found on Twitter @dustydino.

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