Decatur paleontologist to discuss the science of Jurassic World at Fernbank Museum

Posted by Dena Mellick June 18, 2015
Anthony Martin

Anthony Martin

Decatur’s resident paleontologist will discuss the science of the movie “Jurassic World” at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Anthony Martin, or Tony, as he likes to be called, is a professor of practice in Emory University’s Department of Environmental Sciences. Decaturish profiled Martin and his work last year.

The “Dinosaurs without Bones” author will be the featured speaker at “Dinosaurs After Dark” at the Fernbank on Friday, June 26 at 7 p.m.

The Fernbank website says Martin “will present a special ‘Dinosaurs After Dark’ experience … as he examines clues from the trailer of ‘Jurassic World,’ along with a screening of the original ‘Jurassic Park’ film, and a question-answer session about the imaginative possibilities between scientific fact and Hollywood entertainment.”

“What we’re hoping to do with this event is have fun learning about the science of dinosaurs by comparing this to how they’re depicted in movies,” Martin wrote in an email to Decaturish. “We’re going to show one of the trailers for ‘Jurassic World’ – which I studied for its ichnological content and blogged about.”

Ichnology is the study of trace fossils like tracks, trails, burrows, and nests. Martin enjoys looking at the science of ichnology in popular culture, writing previous blogs posts about “The Ichnology of Godzilla” and “The Ichnology of Jurassic Park” on his website Georgia Life Traces.

Fans of “Jurassic Park” will also get to hear Dr. Martin’s thoughts on the 22-year-old movie at the Fernbank presentation.

“I’ll talk a little bit about that movie [‘Jurassic World’] before we watch the original classic ‘Jurassic Park’ together, then I’ll stick around to answer any dinosaur- or paleontology-related questions people might have,” Martin wrote in his email.

So has Martin seen “Jurassic World” yet?

“I saw ‘Jurassic World’ last week and enjoyed it for what it was as entertainment,” Martin said. “But let’s just say the science of the dinosaurs and other animals shown in it – the pterosaurs and a mosasaur – could have been better. I don’t want to be a total paleo-killjoy, though: after all, it’s just a movie!”

Martin notes on his blog that the “Jurassic World” trailer, “which lasted for all of 161 seconds – contained 257 scientific inaccuracies, which comes out to about 1.6 errors/second.” He also wrote about some of the science in a “New Republic article.”

You can hear more about the science (or lack thereof) of the movie at Martin’s talk. The Fernbank Museum says on its website, “‘Dinosaurs After Dark’ with Dr. Tony Martin is included with Martinis & IMAX® cover charge and is free for members.” The event is part of a month of dino fun that the Fernbank is calling “Jurassic June.”

About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of

View all posts by Dena Mellick

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