There’s now an online dino tracker, and it’s an excellent use of time. Based on the trailer for Jurassic World Dominion, we know dinosaurs have spread worldwide. Now we can see what’s happening in our neighborhoods, far beyond the reaches of the Costa Rican island parks.
There’s a Google Earth-like interface so you can get the full picture of their dispersal. The Department of Prehistoric Wildlife, which aims for the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans, runs the site. It lists sightings along with any verifying photos or video. Remarkably, there’s records of Brachiosaurus as far north as Finland and as far south as Brazil.
There’s a field guide with information about each dinosaur, including fun facts and how to recognize signs that they are nearby. Each species’ aggression level is also stated, from low to extremely high. And it’s not always what you’d expect. Of course, predatory species like Baryonyx and Dimorphodon are highly aggressive. But even territorial herbivores like Triceratops pose a threat if approached.
Like with wild animals, there are also instructions of what to do and what not to do if you spot one. As in real life, something that will save you in one situation could get you killed in another. For example, waving your arms and making noise may ward off Pteranodons. But it may cause an Ankylosaurus to attack.
The dino tracker is a well-executed site with information about how to keep both yourself and the dinosaurs safe during any interactions. It’s clear they have a lot to get used to in our world. Cars, animal traps, and other hazards pose a threat to them. And obviously they pose a threat to humanity.
More reports are flooding in via #dinotracker on Twitter. There’s lots of species in the field guide that aren’t on the tracker yet. We expect it to fill in between now and the movie’s release. Make sure to report your own sightings! And stay safe out there.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She still has nightmares after seeing Jurassic Park at the age of ten. Melissa also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.