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Jurassic Park’s T-Rex wasn’t quite that scary, according to science

A new study co-authored by a University of Portsmouth professor suggests that T-Rexes aren't as scary as the Jurassic Park movies suggested.

Sam Neill in Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park might be considered one of the best movies of all time, but according to one scientist, it’s also wrong. While the monster movie has iconic shots of a genetically-engineered T-Rex baring its terrifying teeth, new research suggests that this isn’t exactly how T-Rexes look. Instead, because they’re closely related to lizards, the study suggests that they had more of a gummy smile that obscured their teeth.

Speaking to The Guardian, Dr. Mark Witton, of the University of Portsmouth and a co-author of the study, said that the Steven Spielberg movie led to a false perception around T-Rexes’ appearance.

“We are basically still living in the shadow of Jurassic Park [from] 30 years ago,” he said. “We need to move away from this toothy lipless look for things like Tyrannosaurus and towards these animals having more lizard-like faces. No animals can repair or replace worn enamel, and yet the thin enamel of tyrannosaurs remains intact even though some retained their teeth well over a year.”

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I suppose giant dinosaurs with gummy teeth might not have had the terrifying effect Spielberg was looking for, but it’s called a science fiction movie for a reason. For more fun-but-potentially-inaccurate flicks, check out our guide to all the new movies coming your way this year, including Christopher Nolan movie Oppenheimer.