From Jurassic Park (jacket cover) by Michael Crichton, copyright 1980. Used by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

From Park to Jungle

As it turns out, this is not the description of a real event, but is rather the premise of Michael Crichton’s wildly successful novel Jurassic Park, as well as the popular film of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg. In this story, the “transgenic creature” that killed the guard was a dinosaur, created by InGen from actual dinosaur DNA (which the company extracted from ancient mosquitoes preserved in amber) and frog DNA. InGen hoped to recoup its investment in this complicated genetic engineering project by creating a profitable theme park featuring these dinosaur-frog hybrids.

The plot of the book and movie follows the three university researchers as the park managers find themselves increasingly unable to contain their transgenic creatures. By the end of the novel and film, the “park” has become a wild jungle, as dinosaurs kill many of the InGen personnel and almost kill the university researchers as well.