The Jurassic Park franchise now has five movies under its belt, with at least one more coming. From the beginning, fans haven’t been able to get enough of the realistic-looking dinosaurs and the excitement that comes with imagining a world where the creatures return.
While all fans have their own favorite dinosaurs, some of them are definitely much stronger than others. It’s not just the carnivores that are powerful and dangerous, either. We’ve put together a list of 15 of the franchise’s most powerful dinosaurs (including a couple of ancient beasts that aren’t strictly dinosaurs but have certainly made their presence felt over the course of the series) and ranked them from least powerful to most powerful.
Updated on April 8th, 2021 by Mark Birrell: Considering that the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies are all about dinosaurs, it should come as no surprise that there’s a surplus of fascinating animals to talk about. Some have left a bigger impression than others over the years but identifying the deadliest and most powerful seen throughout the movies makes for an extensive list. We’ve added an extra 5 potentially deadly dinosaurs to this list to give a more full accounting of the strongest and most vicious of the genetic creations cooked up by the parks and their unscrupulous founders.
The Pachycephalosaurus is a dinosaur that we first see in Jurassic Park: The Lost World. This creature isn’t a carnivore, but this doesn’t mean it’s not powerful or scary.
The Pachycephalosaurus is characterized by its domed head made of bone, which is used to combat predators (and others of the same species during mating season). These dinosaurs are like head-butting goats, but a thousand times worse. They shouldn’t be underestimated, and nobody would want to be stuck between them and a wall. They might be small, but they are very strong.
Meat-eating dinosaurs that stalk the land are scary enough, ones that can fly are even worse. The Dimorphodon is, to be strictly technical, a pterosaur, but there’s no time for semantics when an angry group of these things is after you.
A real terror from above, their strength in numbers that makes them a real threat as the aviary breakout sequence in Jurassic World so clearly showed.
Triceratops is another herbivore on this list that has a lot of power. This dinosaur has wicked horns to keep it safe from predators. The Triceratops has a large frill that could reach around three feet long. This, combined with those two large horns and small beak, make this animal quite intimidating to look at.
They are powerful in the way that a rhino is powerful, but with even more strength and size to them. While they wouldn’t eat you, you wouldn’t want to mess with them. Heck, a lot of would-be predators often thought better of attacking.
Apatosaurus was so powerful because of its huge size. These animals were gentle and tended to move in herds, which also gave them an element of strength and power. While they could still be attacked by a large carnivore, their ability to use their long, strong tails to defend themselves earns them their spot on this list.
Much like the Triceratops, they were more than capable of fighting off their share of hungry predators. Maybe they weren’t so heavily armed, but their size and strength made them forces to be reckoned with.
This animal isn’t as big as some of the giants on this list, but it’s very frightening in its own way. This dinosaur is close to the size of a large dog, and it can even seem cute at first. However, it can also be rather deadly.
Fans will remember that it spits a tar-like venom on Dennis Nedry before moving in for the kill. This dinosaur is definitely one that fans wouldn’t want to meet while alone in the park. Thankfully, none of the scientists in Jurassic Park or Jurassic World thought to increase its size.
These flying dinosaurs team up with Dimorphodons that also escape from the aviary to cause a huge amount of havoc in Jurassic World as the park falls apart. They also make a famous franchise appearance in the sequence inside the original aviary on Isla Sorna in the third Jurassic Park movie.
They’re not only large, with huge and almost sword-like beaks, they’re shown to be both agile and very aggressive. They go straight for humans when they see them and they’ve been the cause of some of the most brutal moments of the franchise so far.
Like the Velociraptors, the Allosaurus is a meat-eating therapod that hunts in packs though they are only seen by their lonesome in the movies and don’t really see much action, so to speak.
Nevertheless, they’re a frightening dinosaur who would just as deadly up close as their more well-known relatives are. In the movies, even in their junior form, they’re shown to be even larger than Velociraptors, with an intimidating set of claws and teeth.
Referred to in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as a “living tank”, the Ankylosaurus is the most heavily armored dinosaur seen in the movies with a thick, scaly, top side and a powerful tail with a club on the end of it that can be used to devastating effect.
With all the power and defensive plating, it may seem like a shoo-in for the top spots but its underside is still relatively unprotected, meaning they’re in big trouble if they can be successfully flipped over.
The Carnotaurus, as the name implies is another meat-eating dinosaur and almost resembles a small Tyrannosaurus Rex. Though nowhere near as large or powerful, its plentiful sharp teeth and wide bite make it more than a concern for any human who comes across one in the wild.
The demonic horns on either side of its head are also quite intimidating and it’s shown holding its own against much heavier dinosaurs in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, even if it’s mostly shown to be bullied around by the bigger T-Rex.
Spinosaurus is a dinosaur that was featured in Jurassic Park III, and while that movie definitely isn’t regarded as one of the best in the franchise, its dinosaur star is as scary as they come.
Clearly, the third installment wanted to branch out a little, introducing a central dinosaur menace that wasn’t the T-Rex. The Spinosaurus is bigger, for one thing, and has a large, intimidating spine on its back. This is definitely a scary dinosaur that could win a lot of fights (its victory against the Tyrannosaurus was not appreciated by fans), so it has to make it onto this list, poorly received as it was.
A smaller and more weaponizable version of the next entry on our list, the Indoraptor is clearly meant to be a creature that’s designed to scare people above anything else and its high level of intelligence may in fact be its most dangerous quality.
Still, there are a number of things about it that don’t really make sense and its bloodlust seems to override all of its logic and problem-solving skills. In the end, it gets itself cornered and taken out by a smaller Velociraptor that had, itself, just recovered from a serious gunshot wound.
4 INDOMINUS REX
Both this creature and the Indoraptor are high up on the list because they are clearly some of the most frightening and powerful monsters in the franchise. However, since they aren’t actual dinosaurs and purely the results of genetic engineering, they aren’t at the top.
The marketers and scientists at Jurassic World were looking to make the attractions scarier with even smarter, deadlier dinosaurs, so the Indominus Rex was created. While it might have capabilities beyond their historical counterparts, like a surprisingly underutilized camouflaging ability, there’s something about them that just isn’t as interesting as the dinosaurs that really existed. Sometimes, making gimmicky dinosaurs isn’t better.
The Velociraptors are the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park that fans have really attached to the most. From the first movie up to the last, the Velociraptors have played important and interesting roles. They are smart, deadly, fast, and work together in packs.
In Jurassic Park: The Lost World, it’s made abundantly clear that the Velociraptors can be much worse to come across than some of the bigger carnivores. While the versions created for the movies are really more based on the Deinonychus (given their much bigger size), the Jurassic Park world calls them Velociraptors.
This water-dwelling dinosaur (okay, it’s actually a mosasaur) was first shown in the franchise in Jurassic World. This ocean beast is so huge that it eats sharks as snacks and effortlessly took down the Indominus Rex in one incredible lunge.
The Mosasaurus is proof that the oceans during the time of dinosaurs would have been even scarier than being on the land. While the only ocean animal on this list, it’s definitely one of the most powerful. With its sheer size, it’s just awe-inspiring.
1 TYRANNOSAURUS REX
There’s no other dinosaur that could occupy this top spot on the list. While not the biggest carnivore or the fastest, there’s no other dinosaur that can compare to the excitement and fear that seeing that T-Rex in the first movie created.
It really says something when fans were outraged by the Spinosaurus’s defeat of this majestic creature. While other dinosaurs might be able to best the Tyrannosaurus in terms of raw size, it will always be the most powerful and influential in the series.
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