The InGen Field Journal is a personal journal by Laura Sorkin.
What a day!
What a day! Supply chopper never showed. Parasaurs won't behave. And face it, I'm still mad at John Hammond.
He gave me a mosquito in amber, and I made life. No other paleogeneticist could have done it. But I wouldn't take shortcuts. So he took my life's work, and handed it over to Henry Wu.
John gave me this lab to shut me up. At least now I have time to study the animals. Record the phenotypic anomalies. And maybe fix what's broken.
Wu's amphibian DNA has profoundly changed our Dilophosaurs. They should grow to six meters long. None in our brood are that big. I'm even wondering if the frill and spitting behavior are a splicing error. There's no evidence in the fossil record for that business.
Our Dilos may be small, but they're tenacious. Once they decide you're prey, they don't let up. There's nothing to do but get away as fast as you can.
As our Triceratops mature, holes open up in their frill bones. At first I thought it was another nucelotide sequencing error. Now it's clear that Triceratops and Torosaurus are the same species. I'm still not sure why the morphology changes with age like that. Status recognition?
Our Triceratops have developed a fondness for the leaves of the local banana plants. They'd jump through hoops for the stuff, if they weren't so damn heavy.
Despite the theories popular among some paleontologists, I'm convinced our T. rex's motion-based vision is the result of Wu's amphibian DNA. It's like the frogs and toads that eat their meals in one bite. Who knows how its vision would be if John had let me fill in the genome properly?
Regardless, it makes our T. rex safe to observe, if you're careful. Stay still, and you can stay out of sight.
I have to admit, of all the dinosaurs we have managed to clone so far, Comsognathus holds a special place in my heart. I imagine it's because they remind me of the chickens we had on the farm when I was growing up.
In fact, their genetic structure is so similar to birds that I'm a bit surprised they don't have feathers! Then again, thanks to all the shortcuts we've been forced to make, I can't say for sure that they didn't.
I would have loved to have seen Don Victorino Herrera's face when he first discovered the bones of the Herrerasaurus. And now one of the oldest dinosaur species discovered is reborn and walking in our facilities!
When we were engineering the Herrerasaurus I didn't know they were meant to be a 'safe' alternative to the Velociraptor Exhibit. Though not nearly as smart as the Raptors, their chase instinct makes them almost as dangerous.
The Quarantine Pens
I am getting so sick of Hammond! I can't believe he ordered ANOTHER group of raptors to this island from Site B after what happened last time! The man will never learn to respect what we have created and stop trying to create a spectacle!
At least they used the Southern quarantine pens; if they'd tried to take them to the ones near the docks, they'd have found the brood I've been raising there. Direct orders or not, euthanizing an entire species just because they're unprofitable is not acceptable.
I am extremely pleased with the progress David and I have been making with the Parasaur behavioral experiments. Our hypotheses that the cranial crest was used for amplified sound communication has been brilliantly confirmed, but the coloring being used to identify various social cliques was something I was not fully expecting.
I have been able to isolate their mating, feeding, and warning calls and am excited to see how they respond to recordings of their own sounds. David has converted the area around the water tower to a holding pen and has rigged up an intricate speaker system for projecting their calls. THIS is science. The kind that can't be rushed with a checkbook!
Our velociraptors differ significantly from the fossil record. They're perhaps three times as large as they should be. They're definitely velociraptors, but based on size alone, they appear to have more in common with Utahraptor or Deinonychus. I've given Dr Wu meaningful looks when the subject has come up, but he doesn't seem to make the connection between his frog DNA hack and the discrepancy.
Politically speaking, if he doesn't, nobody will.
The Tunnel Network
Once again, I got caught in a torrential downpour on the way back to my lab from the Parasauralophus pen. I had hoped that they would extend the tunnel network to my lab, but 'spare no expense' doesn't apply when you're in the doghouse.
I may broach the subject again once they complete the process of connecting the tunnels to the Visitor's Center and the rest of the park's core.
The park's main power source is a geothermal plant, driven by the latent volcanic activity so rampant in this area. For some reason, Ray Allen (Arnold misspelled), and Hammond are reticent about sharing the procedure for shutting down and restarting the power.
Although they claim the secrecy is for security, relying on one of the chosen few to be present and conscious during a crisis actually makes me feel less secure. I think I've managed to figure it out on my own, just in case.
Our mystery eggs hatched today, confirming my suspicions: they're Troodon pectinodon. I'm thrilled to have achieved these results in my own lab, but Hammond is concerned that we've cloned a dinosaur that might not fit his vision for the park.
He wants a full evaluation before he'll add them to the list.
We knew they would be efficient predators, with grasping hands, binocular vision, and exceptionally large brains. We figured they might be noctural. But we had no idea about the stealth, the stalking, or the nightmarish venom.
After the latest incident, John has deemed the Troodon a threat to his vision of his park. He has told me in no uncertain terms that they are to be destroyed, along with all the records of their creation. I'll play along, but I will NOT euthanize an entire species. I'll hide them in the quarantine pens for now. They'll be safe there.
The Marine Exhibit
Remember how John diverted half of my funding for 'urgent needs' last year? Well, I happened to get a look at one of those 'needs' today, and it's another tourist trap - a Marine Exhibit.
It's not going to open until Phase B, which means it's not a priority over opening the park - just over basic research. The guys building it don't even know what animals it's meant to hold. Maybe John will get Wu to spin a plesiosaur out of pollywogs.
Finally found out what John has in store for his Marine Exhibit - a Mosasaur! It's a Phase B attraction so it's not on the list. Apparently the first specimen is viable (!) and it's already outgrown the breeding tank. I'd be pissed off about being kept out of the loop, but I'm too excited to care.
A Mosasaur! The apex predator of the Late Cretaceous seaways. With a double-hinged jaw to gulp down large prey. Upwards of 50 feet long, depending on genus. It's going to be magnificent. I just hope the facility's large enough to be a healthy habitat.
There's a storm coming
There's a storm coming. I can feel it, like I could feel tornadoes coming when I was little, back in Arkansas.
Ray will probably call an evacuation. Not sure I'll go. We're secure here, and the Parasaurs need tending. Most important, I'm nearly ready to reverse Wu's cruel lysine contingency.
Once that's done, everything's going to fall into place. John will see that he can't control these animals, or me. And Isla Nublar will become a nature preserve - a proper habitat - a home.