It's mentioned in the movie that they use the DNA of a frog to complete the code, but the dinos have no frog characteristics other than being able to change sex.

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    Relevant quote for unrelated source (sleep deprived, best I can do) - Remember, genes are NOT blueprints. This means you can't, for example, insert "the genes for an elephant's trunk" into a giraffe and get a giraffe with a trunk. There are no genes for trunks. What you CAN do with genes is chemistry, since DNA codes for chemicals. For instance, we can in theory splice the native plants' talent for nitrogen fixation into a terran plant. Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Nonlinear Genetics" – Radhil Jul 11 '18 at 17:33
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    They had at least one other that I know of: lack of feathers! – King_llama Jul 11 '18 at 17:33
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    @King_llama I think the lack of feathers can be attributed that we didn't know about the feathers until after the book/movie came out. And then the modern movies they didn't want to change the aesthetic – CBredlow Jul 11 '18 at 17:44
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    That's actual reason, yes. But it seems entirely fair to justify it within the universe as a side effect of frog DNA. Wu outright says that the dinosaurs aren't accurate because of their genetic modifications in Jurassic World. – Nolimon Jul 11 '18 at 18:02
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    Who says they don't have other frog characteristics? The book implies they surely do, but because no one knows what a dinosaur is actually like, no one could say for sure what is not right about the dinosaurs they created. The best they can do is eliminate any animals that were really obviously not right, which it's implied in the book they actually did. Which could even have explained the lack of feathers, because they had assumed at the time dinosaurs didn't have them, so they rejected any animals that came out with feathers. I'm surprised the movies never used this explanation. – Kai Jul 11 '18 at 20:16

In an answer to a related question, Quuxplusone supplies a quote that's just as relevant to this question (page 123 in Quuxplusone's copy of Jurassic Park):

[Wu] paced the living room, pointed to the monitors. "I don't think we should kid ourselves. We haven't re-created the past here. The past is gone. It can never be re-created. What we've done is reconstruct the part — or at least a version of the past. And I'm saying we can make a better version."

"Better than real?"

"Why not?" Wu said. "After all, these animals are already modified. We've inserted genes to make them patentable, and to make them lysine dependent. And we've done everything we can to promote growth, and accelerate development into adulthood."

Hammond shrugged. "That was inevitable. We didn't want to wait. We have investors to consider."

"Of course. But I'm just saying, why stop there? Why not push ahead to make exactly the kind of dinosaur that we'd like to see? One that is more acceptable to visitors, and one that is easier for us to handle? A slower, more docile version for our park?"

Hammond frowned. "But then the dinosaurs wouldn't be real."

"But they're not real now," Wu said. "That's what I'm trying to tell you. There isn't any reality here." He shrugged helplessly. He could see he wasn't getting through. Hammond had never been interested in technical details, and the essence of the argument was technical. How could he explain to Hammond about the reality of DNA dropouts, the patches, the gaps in the sequence that Wu had been obliged to fill in, making the best guesses he could, but still, making guesses. The DNA of the dinosaurs was like old photographs that had been retouched, basically the same as the original but in some places repaired and clarified, and as a result— [...]

The final paragraph of the quote essentially answers this question. The characters in the novel (as well as the readers, especially readers in 1990) have no idea what real dinosaurs were like. They have skeletons and footprints and coprolites, but they don't have an original to compare their creations to. They can't know what features of the clones are "correct," and what features were introduced by frog DNA. You might say "it's like a sock drawer in there." The dinosaurs' coloration, or temperament, or food preferences, or sleep cycles may be more froglike than saurian, and nobody would have any way to know.

This question becomes hairier as time passes, because in 2018, we have additional information about what dinosaurs must have looked like. A bunch of them probably had feathers. The Jurassic World movies, with zero feathers between them, appear to be wilfully ignorant, or obstinately unscientific.

But in our world as well as in the world of the movies, those things aren't dinosaurs. They are elaborate tricks (of genetic engineering or of special effects), executed decades ago, designed to fool the characters and the audience into believing that they are.

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    I wonder if, in the Jurassic World movies, maybe paleontology has advanced more slowly than in our world. Like how superhero comics aren't popular in the Watchmen world because real superheroes exist. That might explain why no one expects dinosaurs to have feathers there, because no one knows they're supposed to. – DaaaahWhoosh Jul 11 '18 at 19:43
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    A friend of mine suggests the delicious pet theory that Wu's first dinosaur clones did have feathers, but these were eliminated from later iterations because, by 1980s standards, they didn't look right. – Ryan Veeder Jul 11 '18 at 20:07
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    @DaaaahWhoosh A plot point in Jurassic Park 3 is that almost no one cares about paleontology anymore because everyone can just study the "real" thing. – Rogue Jedi Jul 11 '18 at 22:43
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    @RyanVeeder I think so too! Dinosaurs with feathers would have looked too unrealistic to park visitors in the 1990s. In fact, Henry Wu says in Jurassic World that "if the genetic code was pure, many of them would look quite different. But you didn't ask for reality, you asked for more teeth." – Marathon to May Jul 11 '18 at 23:58

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