Jurassic World: Costa Rica Then and Now

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – To the delight of paleontologists and movie fans around the globe, the blockbuster film Jurassic World premiered on June 12th, taking in a megasaurus $524.1 million worldwide. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, Cocos Island, an island west of Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean, was likely the inspiration for Isla Nublar, the location of Jurassic World theme park. Cocos Island is three hundred forty two miles west of mainland Costa Rica and is so spectacular that Jacques Cousteau called it the “most beautiful island in the world.”

    While researchers and environmental officials in Costa Rica have discovered and classified 5,000 new species between 2011 and 2013, you won’t find any genetically modified hybrid dinosaurs in Costa Rica.

    The Jurassic Period

    The Jurassic Period was from approximately199 to 145 million years ago. The Jurassic Period was named early in the 19th century, by the French geologist Alexandre Brongniart, for the Jura Mountains between France and Switzerland.

    During this period the continents were formed in supercontinent called Pangea, which split apart, allowing for the eventual development of what are now the central Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Heightened plate tectonic movement and volcanic activity, built mountains connecting of islands to form continents. Shallow seaways covered many of the major continents at that time.

    Jurassic Costa Rica

    All along the west coast of North, Central, and South America, active plate tectonic formed mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains in North America and the Andes in South America.
    About 100 million years ago it is now believed that Costa Rica was part of a series of volcanic rings that rose from the ocean and served as a bridge for dinosaurs to travel from North America to South America and vice versa. The Talamanca Mountain Range in Costa Rica did not begin to lift until about 1.8 million years ago, in what is known as the Miocene period.
    In Costa Rica dinosaurs where not around till about 200 million years ago, this was when the lands of Costa Rica were just beginning to form. The oldest fossil found in Costa Rica is millions years younger than those prehistoric reptiles found in the movie Jurassic World.
    The oldest fossil found in Costa Rica was discovered a few years ago in South Pacific region and was named Desmostylus Hesperus. It was a sturdy and short-legged amphibious mammal related to manatees and elephants of today.

    Costa Rica Now

    It only took Costa Rica about 8 to 10 million years to become the beautiful country it is today. This process is still going on with constant seismic and volcanic activity, such as Arenal and Turrialba volcanoes which continue to attract droves of adventure travels from around the world.

    Now, Costa Rica is considered to possess the highest density of biodiversity of any country worldwide. Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 species, which represents nearly 5% of the total species estimated on the planet. Of these 500,000 species, a little more than 300,000 are insects.

    One of the principal sources of Costa Rica’s biodiversity is that the country, along with Panama, formed a land-bridge connecting the North and South American continents approximately three to five million years ago. This bridge allowed the very different flora and fauna of the two continents to mix, with annual migration in both directions.

    It is this stunning array of biodiversity and the spectacular prehistoric-looking landscapes that continue to attract millions of visitors every year to Costa Rica’s sunny shores.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose, Costa Rica

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