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When we first meet the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, they seem to be fully grown. They're rather large.

Later, we see new dinosaurs hatching from their eggs. They're quite a bit smaller. It's safe to assume they'll take a while to grow as big as the others.

How old are the dinosaurs already roaming the park?

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    I'd assume they're a variety of ages
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 19:53
  • 2
    I think the question is really asking how long it takes a dinosaur (especially the large ones) to reach full size.
    – scott
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 20:15
  • 1
    Keep in mind these answers (and what was sought) are about the genetically-altered in-universe dinosaurs. Natural dinosaurs of that size would take much longer. Elephants, for example, the largest modern land animal, take 18 years to reach adulthood, and an animal (especially an herbivore) can ingest only so much protein and calories per day.
    – nebogipfel
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 14:40

2 Answers 2

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The implication (at least according to the source novel) is that the park has been breeding live dinosaurs for approximately 5 years by the time the events of Jurassic Park take place.

A single large dino takes approximately 2-4 years to grow and mature.

“And how long to grow?”
Dinosaurs mature rapidly, attaining full size in two to four years. So we now have a number of adult specimens in the park.”

They discuss the length of time it would take a hadrosaur to become full-sized.

Morris laughed, too. “A baby hadrosaur. That'd be something to see. How big were they?”
“About so,” Grant said, holding his hands six inches apart. “Squirrelsize.”
“And how long before they become full-grown?”
Three years,” Grant said. “Give or take.”

Five years ago Hammond hired a bunch of dinosaur consultants to advise on the habitat, food and breeding of juvenile dinosaurs, suggesting that their breakthrough came at that time.

“Thirty thousand dollars a year,” Grant said, nodding. “For the last five years.”

and

“Because,” Morris said, “over the last five years, Hammond has purchased enormous quantities of amber in America, Europe, and Asia, including many pieces of museum-quality jewelry. The foundation has spent seventeen million dollars on amber. They now possess the largest privately held stock of this material in the world.”

and

“So Gennaro telephoned you in 1984. What happened then?”
“Well,” Grant said. “You see our operation here. Fifty thousand would support two full summers of digging. I told him I'd do what I could.”
“So you agreed to prepare a paper for him.”
“Yes.”
“On the dietary habits of juvenile dinosaurs?”
“Yes.”
“You met Gennaro?”
“No. Just on the phone.”
“Did Gennaro say why he wanted this information?”
“Yes,” Grant said. “He was planning a museum for children, and he wanted to feature baby dinosaurs. He said he was hiring a number of academic consultants, and named them. There were paleontologists like me, and a mathematician from Texas named Ian Malcolm, and a couple of ecologists. A systems analyst. Good group.”
Morris nodded, making notes. “So you accepted the consultancy?”
“Yes. I agreed to send him a summary of our work: what we knew about the habits of the duckbilled hadrosaurs we'd found.”
“What kind of information did you send?” Morris asked.
“Everything: nesting behavior, territorial ranges, feeding behavior, social behavior. Everything.”
“And how did Gennaro respond?”
“He kept calling and calling. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Would the dinosaurs eat this? Would they eat that? Should the exhibit include this? I could never understand why he was so worked up. I mean, I think dinosaurs are important, too, but not that important. They've been dead sixty-five million years. You'd think his calls could wait until morning.”

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  • That's about $70,000 in 2017 dollars btw Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 22:57
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The "timeline" feature on the backdoor terminal on the Masrani Global promotional site, has the following items:

TIMELINE> 1986

FIRST DINOSAUR SUCCESSFULLY CLONED AT 'SITE B'

TIMELINE> 1988

CONSTRUCTION OF 'JURASSIC PARK' BEGINS
FIRST MATURE ANIMALS MOVED FROM 'SITE B' TO ISLA NUBLAR

Which means it took them 2 years to go from "cloned" to "mature".

Additionally, it shows information about the I. rex:

TIMELINE> 2012

IBRIS PROJECT BEGINS DEVELOPMENT
HYBRID 'INDOMINUS REX' HATCHED
FURTHER INFORMATION: RESTRICTED ACCESS

Which shows us that the rather large I. rex we see in Jurassic World was hatched 3 years before that, again indicating quick growth after hatching.

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    I think we can assume the writer of the viral website read the book since this aligns quite well
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 9:07

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