Michael Crichton's "Jurassic Park" (to the uninitiated this is a Science Fiction novel) takes place around the close of the 20th century. The novel draws upon molecular biology/genetic engineering to raise (pardon the pun!) dinosaurs from the grave - and place them squarely in our time.

Wikipedia (if one may cite it) writes to say about the Jurassic

O2   130 % of modern levels
CO2 7 times pre-industrial level 

Granted the novel falls in the genre of Science Fiction - is it at all possible the author's scenario was improbable beyond the realm of fiction? Could dinosaur metabolism possibly survive in contemporary climate which is so different from that of dinosaur era?

  • Hm. I was under the impression a published novel may be construed a claim of sorts ...
    – Everyone
    Jan 7, 2016 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


Despite the name, most of the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" lived long after the Jurassic period. That ended about 145 million years ago, while dinosaurs like T. rex and velociraptor lived in the later Cretaceous period, some 60 million years after that, when the atmospheric conditions were much more like the modern condition (one reference: An atmospheric pCO2 reconstruction across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary from leaf megafossils).

Dinosaurs lived in most ecosystems, from tropical to temperate to cold, though I'm not sure about tundra. In any case, modern temperatures overlap extensively with those present in the late Cretaceous, so modern temperatures wouldn't be a particular problem for dinosaurs in general.

  • So there's one criterion debunked. But could there be another reason dinosaurs couldn't survive today? Jan 2, 2016 at 18:59

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