The 8 Best Jurassic Park Dinosaurs (And Their Best Scenes)

Of all the dinosaurs featured throughout the Jurassic Park franchise, which ones are your favorites? Here are our picks!

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As Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler arrive on Isla Nublar along with John Hammond and Dr. Ian Malcolm, then driven through the massive doors, they slowly realize what they’ve come to see.

The looks of wonder on their faces mirrored our own in the audience, watching in amazement as a fully-grown Brachiosaurus grazes a few hundred yards away with the rest of its herd. It’s a moment imprinted upon cinema history for all time.

Steven Spielberg gave the world a moment of unbridled joy with that sequence in Jurassic Park. These days, everyone is used to seeing dinosaurs on the big screen—but Spielberg’s creations still hold up to this day as some of the best creatures in any movie.

Which of the Jurassic Park franchise dinosaurs is the best, the most iconic, the most memorable? Here are our favorites, along with their best scenes!

8. Dilophosaurus

The team behind the Jurassic Park movie took creative liberties with some aspects—especially the Dilophosaurus. Unlike its portrayal in the film, the Dilophosaurus didn’t spit venom at its prey, nor did it have neck frills. But the one in the film is rightfully scary.

While attempting to commit corporate espionage, programmer Dennis Nedry finds himself lost in the storm and crashes his car in the Dilophosaurus enclosure. His resulting death is one of the film’s stand-out moments and sticks with us to this day.

Its Best Scene

The aforementioned venom-spitting, neck-frilling, and screeching moment right before devouring a pitiful Dennis Nedry.

7. Apatosaurus

The Apatosaurus first appeared in 2015’s Jurassic World, where the beautiful herbivore is comforted by Owen and Claire before dying of its wounds.

For a dinosaur that doesn’t feature elsewhere in the series, the scene is strangely heartbreaking. It provides a real sense of loss and makes Claire understand that the animals feel. That they do have emotions.

To see the poor Apatosaurus—torn to bits by the Indominus Rex—gently stop breathing before our eyes? That was a remarkably visceral moment that brought most audiences to tears, and it’s one of the most evocative scenes in the franchise.

Its Best Scene

When the Apatosaurus causes Claire to cry as it slips away into death.

6. Triceratops

There’s no doubting the legacy of Triceratops. It looks cool with its three-pronged horns and its thick skin, with children worldwide knowing that the Triceratops’ charge can be fatal for any dinosaur.

In the films, the Triceratops is more of a background player. It doesn’t have a starring role like the other more carnivorous dinosaurs have.

However, the sequence in which Dr. Sattler, Dr. Grant, and Dr. Malcolm all come face-to-face with a sick one? Incredible. It’s an achievement for practical effects, successfully making the dinosaur feel real.

Its Best Scene

Alan Grant leaning on the Triceratops as it breathes every pained breath, which makes him crack a smile in disbelief. Because of its role in the maiden movie, the Triceratops holds a special place for fans.

5. Spinosaurus

As the main dinosaur antagonist of Jurassic Park 3, the Spinosaurus was a terrifying creature the survivors had to evade. Its jaws were angular and menacing, and its forearms were strong and practical.

While the third film is the worst of the franchise, the decision to move away from T-Rex wasn’t a bad one. It left the filmmakers with the task of finding another dinosaur that could make the audience shudder in even greater fear. Thus, the Spinosaurus.

Its Best Scene

The all-out brawl between the Spinosaurus and the T-Rex in Jurassic Park 3, resulting in the T-Rex’s neck being snapped. Though it hasn’t featured since, the Spinosaurus is unquestionably scary and deserves another chance in the franchise.

4. Indominus Rex

Jurassic World became the fourth entry in the franchise. After years of other movies failing to get off the ground, fans were excitedly reintroduced to the world of Jurassic dinosaurs in 2015.

The Indominus Rex became a featured creature like nono other in the series, given that it isn’t strictly a real-life dinosaur. It was built by Dr. Henry Wu in his laboratory using parts from various creatures, including the T-Rex and the Velociraptor.

Its Best Scene

When the Indominus Rex escapes captivity and kills everything in sight while Owen takes cover under a truck and douses himself in brake fluid so he can’t be detected. The beast was eventually brought down by a combination of T-Rex, Velociraptor, and Mosasaurus.

3. Brachiosaurus

There isn’t a word to fully describe the moment when audiences set eyes upon the Brachiosaurus for the first time. The way it looked, the way it sounded, the way it moved—still indescribable for those who witnessed Jurassic Park’s original release in 1993. 

The Brachiosaurus is a gentle giant; so gentle that Lex, Timmy, and Dr. Grant even enjoy a face-to-face moment with one not long after they’ve been attacked by a rampaging T-Rex.

The Brachiosaurus reminds us of the beauty of Spielberg’s original film and its endearing sense of wonder. It was never the star of the series, but that first moment with the Brachiosaurus will stick forever with the original fans of the franchise.

Its Best Scene

Of course, it has to be that very first sighting after everyone arrives on the island. The characters and audience looked upon it with stunned appreciation, all while the Jurassic Park theme song crescendos.

2. Velociraptor

The Velociraptor was the chief antagonist of the first movie, and a recurring thorn in the audience’s side with the next two sequels afterward. It wasn’t until Jurassic World that they became less “evil.”

The Velociraptor entered the cultural lexicon as a creature defined by its ferocity and brutality. The animal is one of the series’ stars, and seeing it team up with the T-Rex to take down the Indominus Rex in Jurassic World was so cool. (Utterly ridiculous, but cool.)

Its Best Scene

To this day, no other scene feels as dreadful as when the Velociraptors open the kitchen door to hunt down Lex and Timmy. The Velociraptor will always be a key element of the franchise.

1. Tyrannosaurus Rex

Few sequences in cinema history have ever been as pulse-quickeningly gripping as the scene in Jurassic Park where the Tyrannosaurus Rex attacks the cars. The rippling of the water, the sound of its roar—the T-Rex was downright terrifying.

Throughout the franchise, the T-Rex has been the star of the show. (Except when it got replaced in Jurassic Park 3 for the Spinosaurus.) He’s the “good guy” in the series, which he earned by saving Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, Lex, and Tim at the end of the first film.

Its Best Scene

The T-Rex attacking the cars in Jurassic Park is simply stunning, and it remains one of the best cinematic sequences in history. The return of the T-Rex in Jurassic World was also great as we saw it face off against the Indominus Rex in fist-pumpingly epic fashion.

30 Days of Modern Geeky Movies

Are you bored and in need of movies to watch? Here at whatNerd, we’ve seen a lot of geeky movies—sci-fi movies, fantasy movies, thriller movies, you name it!

And while a lot of them were pretty forgettable, a few of them stand out as classic geeky movies that everyone should definitely watch. Check out our 30 favorite modern geeky movies.

All of these movies are from 2000 or later, and there are NO superhero movies on our list! Download the printable PDF below and see how many you can watch in the next 30 days:

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