Most likely, when people hear the word “Frankenstein”, a large green monster that threatens the villagers comes to mind. This depiction, pervasive in pop culture, distorted what Mary Shelley might have meant. Classic horror implied that the worst is not monsters but human actions and consequences. When we think about Frankenstein, we should consider how important it is not to go against nature. When we think of the dinosaurs’ fossils, we may think that huge creatures once inhabited the Earth. These creatures were destroyed by a destructive natural force that no one could influence. Also, the remains need to be examined to understand nature better. The remains of dinosaurs can give people information about evolution, climate, and wildlife.
It was previously believed that dinosaurs are divided into two main types: lizards and ornithischians. Ornithischians are a diverse group: some walk on two legs, others on four, some have shells, others do not, but they all have one thing in common: they are herbivores (Molina-Pérez, et al., 2019). In 2015, a new dinosaur species was discovered that did not fit into any of the previously known groups. Since its discovery, paleontologists have been trying to place Chilesaurus somewhere on the dinosaur family tree. It had legs like a brontosaurus, hips like a stegosaurus, and a body shape like a tyrannosaurus Rex. It was a real mixture of different forms, for which he received the nickname “Frankenstein Dinosaur.”
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores the pursuit of knowledge in the context of the industrial age, highlighting the ethical and moral implications of science. The example of Victor Frankenstein serves to emphasize the danger of man’s unbridled thirst for knowledge, science without morality. The thirst for knowledge of paleontologists can also lead to irreversible consequences: recently, scientists determined the general structure of the dinosaur genome.
In general, paleontology and Frankenstein’s monster are connected in reconstructing the dead, but paleontologists pursue much more peaceful goals; “Frankenstein” dinosaur research is a good example. Chilesaurus not only effectively fills in the large gap between the two main groups of dinosaurs but also seems to explain how the gap between the two groups could have come about in the first place. Frankenstein remains the first creation story to describe scientific experimentation as its method. The story also presents a framework for narratively examining the morality and ethics of the experiment and experimenter.
Molina-Pérez, Rubén et al. Dinosaur Facts and Figures: The Theropods and Other Dinosauriformes. Princeton University Press, 2019.