Over 75 species of prehistoric beasties will be made available to aspiring park managers at the launch of Jurassic World Evolution 2. Among those we’ve seen listed already, expect plenty of favourites from the first game. Of course, the gullet-trembling Tyrannosaurus and crane-your-neck-to-take-it-in Brachiosaurus will be back. Along with plenty of new marine, air and land dinosaurs, ready to take to the skies and well-guarded waters of your sandbox kingdoms.
In this editorial, we’re running through an A-Z list of those dinos on offer when you buy the game – we’ll also delve a little deeper into the bios of a few less-publicised additions to the already extensive roster.
TAKING TO THE SKIES
Revealed in a recent Species Field Guide, published on August 4, 2021, this genus of flying reptile originated in Europe in the Early Jurassic period and was first seen on big screens, soaring over panicked guests, in 2015’s Jurassic World. After the Pteranodon, this was the second flying dinosaur announced for the game. The diminutive, short-nosed reptile will be authentically rendered to match the Universal Pictures’ depiction. This species was originally intended for exhibition at the original Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar – though the genome wasn’t ready in time.
HITTING THE WATERS
Fans of Walking with Dinosaurs will likely remember the opening of the marine episode, when this particular apex predator launches a coastal attack and wrenches a hapless drinking dino under the waves. This crocodilian monster originated in the Middle-Late Jurassic Period – fossil remains were found in Europe. It might surprise you to learn that the Liopleurodon is relative chum for some of the other inhabitants of Jurassic World Evolution 2, like the Mosasaurus, which we know well from such delights as the snacking-on-a-dangling-shark scene in the Jurassic World movie. Recently, the addition of the Liopleurodon to your watery domains was announced in an interview with Game Director Rich Newbold.
Imagine a big-flippered hybrid of an iguana and a seal with a battering ram for a snout… you’ve got some image of what this 15-20 tonne carnivore looked like, tearing through the bubbling underworld. This genus of marine reptile originated in North America during the Late Cretaceous Period – arguably the best epoch for cinematic dinosaurs (think Velociraptors and a plethora of hulking sauropods). These plesiosaur-hunting critters were to be recreated and exhibited at the original Jurassic Park. In fact, they were chosen to be the main attraction for the Marine Facility as part of Phase Two, six months after the grand opening that never happened.
ROAMING THE LAND
Like a punk Diplodocus, the Amargasaurus rocks a spiny Mohican – large neural spines that run in a double row down its neck to upper back – and belongs to the genus of colossal sauropods that originated in South America and lived through the Early Cretaceous Period. On the smaller end of the sauropod scale, these dwarfish monsters measure just under 10 metres in length and weigh in at over 2.5 tonnes.
Named in reference to the author of Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, this little armoured warrior belongs to a genus of ankylosaurid, which originated in Asia during the Late Cretaceous Period. In the first game, this cousin of the Ankylosaurus was unlocked through progress in the Science Division on Isla Matanceros and then became available via the Research Centre. They are protected by large, bony osteoderms that sprawl over their backs – not to mention the now famous club-ended tail used to swat offending predators like a baseball batter.
Definitely one of the safer dinosaurs to bump into on a jaunt through Jurassic Park, this adorable ornithopod originated from North America in the Late Jurassic Period. Bipedal herbivores with stunted Tyrannosaurus arms, these shy beauties are actually distant relatives of the Iguanodon and also one of the smallest critters available at the Hammond Foundation. They are small, lithe and stiff-tailed, with yellowish stripes that extend the full length of their bodies.
Now, we’re getting into the territory of troublesome pronunciation – the Huayangosaurus is a small species of stegosaur, which is more easily held in captivity than its spike-tailed relative. This medium-sized herbivore walks on all fours, hunched forward, with a sturdy gait. Small spikes jut outwards over its hips and spine and its tail is also neatly weaponised with four spikes. Throw in an additional two spears on each shoulder and you’ve got a well-guarded animal that can coexist with many a deadly friend, even small carnivores like the Velociraptor.
A terrifying member of the theropod genus, which originated in Middle Jurassic Europe, this heavily muscled carnivore was the poster boy for early pre-orders of the game. Interestingly, the remains of Megalosaurus were thought to have been discovered as early as 1679. The lower part of a femur, originally thought to have belonged to a Roman war elephant, was retrieved from a quarry in Oxford. The identity of the femur remains a mystery, though palaeontologist Richard Owen claimed it was the first physical evidence pertaining to the existence of the Megalosaurus. Then in the late 1700s, pelvic bones, vertebrae, upper legs and a lower jawbone were also unearthed across Oxfordshire and the puzzle of the Megalosaurus was finally completed.
Clues to the physical appearance of this Late Cretaceous ceratopsid dinosaur are hidden in its name. Rhino-esque in physique, these horned heavies were originally intended for exhibition at Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, before the disastrous 1993 shutdown occurred courtesy of Dennis Nedry.
Don’t let the ‘mimus’ fool you, this crocodilian carnivore is pure, guest-chomping terror, traceable back to Africa in the Early Cretaceous Period. This spinosaurid dinosaur has a shallow skull, elongated snout and muscled hide, striped with yellow. They are closely related to both the fish-eating Baryonyx and everyone’s favourite boat-sinking submarine – the Spinosaurus! The Suchomimus is available in the game with the Deluxe Dinosaur Pack.
So, there you have it! Every scaly beast available for the release of Jurassic World Evolution 2 (notwithstanding expected late additions in the DLC packs). Now, go out and swing your amber sceptres as modern day John Hammonds – spare no expenses and bring on the teeth and reptilian thrills…