Steven Spielberg may make a fortune on his hit movie "Jurassic Park," but he won't make history with a dinosaur bearing his name.
James I. Kirkland planned to name the Utahraptor, which was discovered in 1991 in Utah and is similar to the velociraptor featured in "Jurassic Park," after Spielberg. Kirkland is chief paleontologist for Dinamation International Society., a nonprofit dinosaur research company based in Fruita, Colo.Kirkland wanted to pay tribute to Spielberg for, in a sense, predicting that such a dinosaur as Utahraptor existed. The veloci-raptors created for "Jurassic Park" were larger than supported by scientific evidence available at the time.
Then the remains of Utahraptor emerged from the rocks at Book Cliffs in Grand County, fitting almost precisely the dimensions of
"Jurassic Park" velociraptors.
Kirkland also hoped the act might generate support for field work at the site where the Utahraptor was found.
But in the past six months there was a "lot of talk, but no action or help" from Spielberg, Amblin Entertainment Inc., or Universal City Studios Inc.
Last week, as his manuscript describing the Utahraptor went to press, Kirkland changed his mind about the name.
"I realized we were adding to their hype with no benefit," Kirkland said.
He named the dinosaur Utah-raptor Ostrommaysi.
The scientific name honors John Ostrom of Yale University and Chris Mays, president of Dina-ma-tion International.