Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jurassic Park: Second cycle

Jurassic Park arrival on Isla Nublar

Jurassic Park's First Cycle leaves no doubt about it: something fishy lizardly is going on in Costa Rica. Now that the plot of the book is set in motion, Crichton introduces some characters.

The shore of the inland sea

In synopsis: Paleontologist Alan Grant is digging up dinosaur bones in Snakewater, Montana. Ellie Sattler, a 24-year-old paleobotanist, works at the same site. When Bob Morris from the Department of Environmental Protection shows up, they learn that the Hammond Foundation, from which they receive funding, is probably up to something. The foundation is A) funding strictly cold-weather digs (Montana, Alaska, Canada and Sweden), B) purchasing enormous quantities of amber, C) setting up a biological preserve on an island in Costa Rica, and D) shipping Cray X-MP's and Hood sequencers to the island. Morris briefly touches on Lewis Dodgson, Biosyn and the corporation's illegal rabies vaccine test.


In synopsis: Grant and Ellie receive a fax from Alice Levin. It's an X-ray of the three-toed lizard, which Grant identifies as an amassicus or a triassicus, a young Procompsognathus. Reading the note, him and Ellie learn that the specimen was found in Cabo Blanco on June 16. They are about the explore further when Hammond calls, informing them that he has been building a park for the past 4-5 years and that he wants their expert opinion on it. They are told to meet up with him east of the airport of Choteau.

Cowan, Swain and Ross

In synopsis: San Francisco. We learn that rumors about Isla Sorna and the lizard incidents have made some investors very nervous. Gennaro is tasked to sort things out.


In synopsis: Isla Sorna is shaped like an upside-down tear drop, 13 kilometers north to south and 5 kilometers east to west, with a visitor center situated on the northern part of the island. A swimming pool and several tennis court indicate that the Nublar is a touristic attraction of sorts. The island is separated into six parts, separated from the main road by 9-meter-wide concrete ditches. Right before they have to leave for Choteau, Grant and Ellie find a Velocirapor skeleton. We learn that a raptor claw was 15 centimeters long and that the predator weighed about 90 kilograms.


In synopsis: InGen founder John Hammond is a big fan of 'consumer biology'. In 1983 he had miniature elephant, which served as a precursor to the many possibilities of gene manipulation. He now has 238 biological attractions - 15 species in total - which he wants the world to see. We learn that Hammond has built a park that can be operated with a minimum of staff. There have been three deaths on the island.


In synopsis: Gennaro is picked up. He is in his mid-thirties.

Target of opportunity

In synopsis: Biosyn headquarters, Cupertino. Lewis Dodgson, the company's director of product development, is chairing an emergency meeting. Citing InGen's funding to the NY Zoological Society and the Ranthapur Wildlife Park in India (1983) and their acquisition of Millipore Plastic Products in Nashville (1987), he theorizes that their competitor has figured out a way to extract DNA from bones and clone extinct animals. Dodgson proposes that Biosyn does some 'reverse engineering' to be competitive again.


In synopsis: San Francisco airport. Lewis Dodgson, who shows up wearing a straw hat, iterates to his accomplice the specifics of their deal: 15 frozen embryos for $1,5 million. He is to transport the embroyos in a Gilette can, which contains refrigerant for 36 hours. A boat will pick him up Friday night at the East Docks.


In synopsis: In Dallas, rockstar chaotician boards the plane. The is a tall, thin, balding 35-year-old who dresses in black. He doesn't hesitate to shed light on Chaos Theory, which basisally deals with non-linear dynamics and turbulence. He compares it to the Butterfly Effect ("A butterfly flapping its wings in Peking can influence the weather in New York") and states that complex systems display elementary planning and that elementary systems display complex planning.

Isla Nublar

In synopsis: In San José, the party picks up Dennis Nedry. They arrive on Isla Nublar, the 'largest private animal reserve in the world', at 10 in the morning. The island is in fact an undersea volcano, with hills protruding 600 meters above ocean level. Ed Regis that Nublar is a period rainforest that closely resembles the peninsula of Olympia. Grant sees the gracefully curved neck of a 15-meter-high animal. A dinosaur.


In synopsis: The elegent, dignified and fast animal makes a low, trumpeting sound. Grant identifies it as a sauropod, an Apatosaurus or Brontosaurus, an animal first discovered by E.D. Cope in Montana in 1876. "We're going to make a fortune", says Gennaro.

Let's dig!
  • Snakewater is a fictional city in Montana. In the Cretaceous period it was an island in the Tethys Ocean near the shore of the main land. Since Grant found many Hadrosaurid eggs and carnivore nests there, the site is an obvious allusion to Jack Horner's "Egg Island" in Montana. The dig site is a two-hour drive away from Choteau
  • The Cray X-MP was a supercomputer designed, built and sold by Cray Research. It was the world's fastest computer from 1983 to 1985. The principal designer was Steve Chen.
  • Developed by Leroy Hood in 1985, the Hood Automated Gene Sequencer is a machine that rapidly determines the order of the four bases across the strings of DNA in cells: G (guanine), C (cytosine), A (adenine) and T (thymine).
  • Lewis Dodgson is the head of research at Biosyn. He conducted a law-breaking rabies vaccine test on unknowing farmers in Chile. Dodgson's modus operandi is 'reverse engineering' and he's after InGen's research.
  • At the San Francisco airport, he shows up wearing a straw hat to meet with an InGen employee. He offers him 1,5 million dollar for 15 frozen embryos.
  • The embryos are to be transported in a Gilette can, which contains refrigerant for 36 hours.
  • Procompsognathus lived approximately 210 million years ago during the later part of th Triassic Period in what is now Germany. It was a small-sized, lightly built, bipedal carnivore.
  • In an earlier breakdown we stated that the Jurassic Park disaster takes place over the course of two days in August. We now know that Guitierrez found the Procompsognathus specimen on June 16.
  • Isla Sorna is shaped like an upside-down tear drop. The island is 13 kilometers north to south and 5 kilometers east to west.
  • The animal enclosements are separated from the main road by 9-meter-wide concrete ditches.
  • Velociraptor is a therapod dinosaur that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period. Its sickle-shaped claw could grow to over 6,5 centimeters. Raptors could weigh up to 33 kilograms.
  • InGen's reserve holds 238 biologically engineered animals of 15 different species. 
  • Hammond's park can be operated with a minimum of staff.
  • Donnald Gennaro works for Cowan, Swain and Ross. He is in his mid-thirties.
  • Ian Malcolm is a tall, thin, balding 35-year-old who dresses in black.
  • Chaos Theory is the field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions - a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general. 
  • Dennis Nedry is a fat and sloppy InGen employee.
  • Isla Nublar is most likely an allusion to the Costa Rican island of Isla del Coco. The northern part of the island is very mountainous, with velvet green cliffs and cascading waterfalls plummeting into deep, narrow valleys. 
  • Apatosaurus is a sauropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the late Jurassic Period. 
  • Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist. His personal feud with palentologist Othniel Charles Marsh led to a period of intense fossil-finding competition now known as the Bone Wars.

In the movie...

Jurassic Park (1993) - Dr. Alan Grand, Dr. Ellie Sattler and their crew are working at a dig site in the badlans near the fictional town of Snakewater, Montana.

Jurassic Park (1993) - Lewis Dodgson is seen meeting with Dennis Nedry in a Costa Rican restaurant early in the movie. Dodgson delivers Nedry half of the money, $750,000, he is going to pay him for stealing dinosaur embryos. He gives Nedry a Barbasol shaving cream can with a faux bottom, which contains a place to store the embryos, with a 36-hour coolant period.

The Lost World (1997) - The Procompsognathus don't appear in Jurassic World. They are, however, featured heavily in The Lost World. InGen paleontologist Robert Burke describes them as harmless and explains that the species was discovered in the 1850s in Bavaria, Germany.

Jurassic Park (1993)/The Lost World (1997)/Jurassic Park III (2001) - Spielberg's Velociraptors are much larger than they were in real life. They more closely resembled the Deinonychus. During Jurassic Park's production the Utahraptor, a new, much bigger species, was discovered. It measured between 5'5" and 6'0".

Jurassic Park (1993) - During Dodgson's exchange with Nedry, he mentions that he wants viable embryos for all 15 species on the island

Jurassic Park (1993) - Dennis Nedry explains that the whole park can be ran with minimal staff for up to three days, underlining the park's massive scale of automation. Later in the movie, Hammond says to Ellie that the park is inded "over-dependent on automation."

Jurassic Park (1993) - No word on Gennaro's age or employers. He does state that Hammond's "investors, who I represent, are deeply concerned."

Jurassic Park (1993) - Ian Malcolm is tall and dresses in black, but he is not at all balding. He goes on at length about the inevitable downfall of Hammond's park and of course Chaos Theory, most notably during this particular scene with Dr. Sattler:

Jurassic Park (1993) - Dennis Nedry is indeed a fat and sloppy InGen employee. Due to his finanical problems and Hammond's refusal to pay him extra money, he has developed a beef with his boss.

Jurassic Park (1993) - The first dinosaur spotted by Alan Grant & Co. is a Brachiosaurus.

Jurassic Park (1993) - Upon seeing the Brachiosaurus, Gennaro says: "We're gonna make a fortune with this place."

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