Paleontologist Fact-Checks Dinosaur Toys, Is Absolutely Delightful

Well, isn’t this the most delightful video I’ve ever seen!

Meet Dr. Paul Olsen, a paleontologist who teaches at Columbia University. Presumably in celebration of the new movie ‘Jurassic World’, presented Dr. Olsen with a number of children’s dinosaur toys. In turn, Dr. Olsen audited them, pointing out the scientific inaccuracies in each. (Children of the ’80s will especially love this, I think.)

Far from being pedantic or dry, the good-natured paleontologist airs his grievances with each toy. It’s all very sweet and charming, and almost totally deadpan.

You should definitely take a few minutes out of your day to watch the video, but — just in case — I will transcribe Dr. Olsen’s “gist,” below:

  • Spinosaurus: To be truly accurate, this dinosaur should be festooned in feathers. He’s also missing some toes.
  • “Bullshitosaurus”: I have no idea what this toy is supposed to be, but it does make a distinctive Godzilla-like screech when Dr. Olsen presses a hidden button. The toy doesn’t appear to be anything from canon, though. Could it be from the movie Godzilla 2000? Are there any kaiju experts in the house? I’m too lazy to look this one up.
  • Velociraptor: “…And it’s a Jurassic Park velociraptor, I’d know it anywhere,” Dr. Olsen says, not quite derisively. The veliciraptor toy, Dr. Olsen continues, is missing its “killing claw.” This seems outlandish to me — did Sam Neill not mention the “killing claw” in the first five minutes of the original movie?! This toy is a complete and utter fail. Totally bogus.
  • Megalosaurus? T-Rex? Neither.
  • Classic pteradactyl-type toy, purple: “Very interesting! This is not a dinosaur.”
  • Amargasaurus: “It’s totally and completely inaccurate…! Cute!”
  • Stegosaurus: Dr. Olsen has no complaints; instead, he does his impression of what a dinosaur might’ve sounded like. Worth the price of admission alone.
  • Parasaurolophus: According to Doc Olsen, we actually know what this dinosaur would’ve sounded like! Rather than screeching, it honked!

I’ve learned so much today!

[Laughing Squid]