According to an interview with William H. Macy, the actor said the film's animatronic Spinosaurus had a 1,000-horsepower motor and that creature could turn its head at twice the force of gravity, with the tip of its nose moving at a speed of more than 100 miles per hour.
A few of the action sequences are borrowed from left over ideas from the first two Jurassic Park films, some of which were in the original scripts and made it as far as being storyboarded before they were scrapped due to time and budget constraints. These scenes include the pteranodon and river boat sequences.
After the Spinosaurus' attack on the airplane, Grant asks Billy how he would classify the animal. Billy's first inclination is to say the dinosaur is a Suchomimus or Baryonyx, due to the large snout. This is a joke meant for many fans of the film who, when the new movie's logo was first revealed, said the exact same thing Billy did. Many long pages on the message boards of fan pages and the official page were dedicated to this debate.
Mirroring the latest palaeontologic finds that were made at the time, feathers were added onto various parts of the Velociraptor males, most noticeably on the top of their head. More recent finds suggest that raptors were indeed covered in feathers, a fact most members of the general public still find hard to digest. However the type of feather they used in the movie is incorrect: real raptors had the same kind of feathers as modern birds, and these covered their entire body, save for the tip of their snout.
Original scripts and storyboards had a Baryonyx as the main dinosaur instead of the Spinosaurus. Baryonyx is a close relative of the Spinosaurus and they looked basically the same. Baryonyx was a little smaller, and did not have the fin like the Spinosaurus did. Director Joe Johnston wanted a main dinosaur that would not be confused with the T-Rex. Though the Baryonyx would have been vastly different, the Spinosaurus had a bizarre look no other carnivore had.
When Ellie is talking to Grant she mentions getting a quote from Jack Horner for her book. Jack Horner is a paleontologist who was Michael Crichton's inspiration for the character of Alan Grant; he was also a consultant on all of the three "Jurassic Park" films.
Steven Spielberg initially devised a story idea which involved Dr. Alan Grant living on one of InGen's islands to study dinosaurs. Because he was not allowed in for research, he was living in a tree like Robinson Crusoe. However, Johnston rejected the idea because he couldn't imagine Dr. Grant returning to any island inhabited by dinosaurs after the events of the first film.
The computer-controlled "rapid prototyper" portrayed in the film is real technology, able to mechanically sculpt parts and objects in three dimensions using computerized drawings and scanned information. The machine in the film uses Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM). Using one thin layer of bond paper and resin at a time, it carves away the unwanted material as each layer is added, until all the cross-sections have been built up into a solid replica of the original. The carving action of each layer creates a great deal of shavings and dust during the process, which you can see when Billy lifts the lid up to remove the finished model.
The second script involved a Pteranodon escaping from Isla Sorna and causing a string of mysterious killings on the mainland, which was to be investigated by Dr. Alan Grant and other characters. The project was green-lit but, five weeks before shooting began, the entire script was rejected by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston; Johnston felt that the story was too complicated. By that time, $18 million were already spent on the project.
This is the shortest of the Jurassic Park franchise. Jurassic Park 3 (2001) runs at 1h 32min, Jurassic Park (1993) runs at 2h 7min, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) runs at 2h 9min, and Jurassic World (2015) runs at 2h 4min.
Dr. Grant's brown truck with the Museum of the Rockies and Montana State University logos on it is actually based on the vehicle that belongs to Dr. Jack Horner, paleontologist consultant on the Jurassic Park films as well as the man that the character of Grant is based on. It was a difficult and time consuming process to find an exact match of Dr. Horner's truck to be used in the movie.
When Dr. Grant and Billy enter the bar to meet with the Kirbys, the song "Big Hat, No Cattle" by Randy Newman is playing. This is not a mere coincidence. The song is about lying and making yourself out to be someone who you are not; exactly what the Kirbys do in order to fool Dr. Grant into being their guide. This is further evidenced when Paul takes out his checkbook and claims to be capable of writing whatever amount he wants on it. In the background, you can hear the song saying: "And I lie, lie, lie..." right as the scene ends.
As he leaves Dr. Sattler's house, Dr. Grant says that he is "The last of my breed." Ironically, he is driving an Oldsmobile Intrigue, which was one of the last Oldsmobiles made. General Motors closed the Oldsmobile division less than three years after the film's release.
Trevor Morgan, who plays Eric Kirby, also played Scott Anspaugh on ER (1994). Scott Anspaugh was the son of Dr. Donald Anspaugh (John Aylward), who was Chief of Staff. In Jurassic Park III, he plays William H. Macy's son. William H. Macy played Dr. David Morganstern on ER, who was the Chief of Surgery. ER was also created by Michael Crichton, the creator of the Jurassic Park franchise.
Sam Neill plays a character in the The Hunt for Red October (1990). During the climax of that movie, his character says that he would have liked to have seen Montana. Dr Grant meets the character Billy in Montana at a dig site.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Near the end of the movie, when the Spinosaurus attacks Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) in the water and tries to grab her, the actress admits that she was injured by accident during those scenes when its claws would scratch her. When Leoni returned home from work one night and her husband David Duchovny saw the various slashes on her back she received during filming, he asked "At what point in this movie do they whip you?"
Pterosaurs were included in the original "Jurassic Park" novel, and had been considered for both of the previous films, but these ideas were abandoned except for a brief scene at the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). They are finally featured in this film, in a sequence that is largely based on the aviary subplot in the first novel.
In the end scene of Jurassic Park (1993) Dr. Alan Grant looks out the helicopter's window and sees a flock of pelicans, flying beside the helicopter. At the end of this film, Dr. Alan Grant looks out of the plane's window and sees a group of Pterodons flying beside the plane.
The other reason the Tyrannosaurus is not featured in this movie is because the animatronic puppet was damaged at the neck and was too costly to repair. They instead changed the outcome of the Spinosaur vs. T-Rex fight to have the T-Rex's neck broken and Spinosaur win.
It is subtly implied that Billy was in on the expedition to search for Paul and Amanda Kirby's son from the beginning, with his own agenda in mind. There are four distinct moments: 1. Billy gives a look that implies he was aware that Paul Kirby would be arriving after showing Dr. Grant the velociraptor resonating chamber 2. Paul Kirby, after introducing himself to Grant, says "how ya doin', Billy?" implying that the two already knew each other 3. In the same scene, Billy hastily responds "We'd love to" Paul Kirby's request. 4. On the plane ride to the island Billy turns around, with a clearly facetious look on his face, asks Cooper "how do you know the Kirby's?" with which Cooper responds "through our church" with an equally sarcastic look. The fact that Billy steals raptor eggs in an effort to fund the dig site, along with his initial excitement of travelling to Isla Sorna is further evidence of this fact.
There is a Fan theory that the adult male T rex killed by the Spinosaurus in this is the infant T rex from the lost world (1997) however it could be a rogue T rex as the Infant had a skin color like his parent's while the T rex in this was more green in color.
This is the second Jurassic Park movie in which actors from the television series, Miami Vice (1984), get eaten by a dinosaur. In the original Jurassic Park, it was Martin Ferrero, who played a recurring character named Izzy Moreno on Vice, as the lawyer who gets eaten by T-Rex. In JP:III, Miami Vice regular John Diehl plays Cooper, the mercenary who gets devoured by Spinosaurus as the plane is trying to take off, and Julio Oscar Mechoso, who plays the Dino-Saur boat captain eaten in the beginning of the film, played first season Miami Vice character Lester Kosko, the Vice squad's surveillance tech expert. Cooper was also often used as an alias by Ricardo Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas on Miami Vice.