October 1, 2023

When Frogs Ruled the Earth: Welcome to Jurassic Week

It is Jurassic Week at True North Bricks! I am a huge fan of the original Jurassic Park book and movie. In fact, I have read Jurassic Park, the novel, at least ten times. I can’t even remember how many times I have watched the movie. And, 2023 is a big year for Jurassic Park. The original film celebrates its 30th anniversary on June 11. Since it is my favorite movie, I had to celebrate here at True North Bricks! All week long, I am sharing new Jurassic Park, LEGO® related content. We’re kicking it off with a look at when frogs ruled the Earth… er… the LEGO® Jurassic Park 30th anniversary collection.

Check out my teaser for Jurassic Week at True North Bricks!

Why frogs?

Frogs play an important role in the original Jurassic Park book and film. They played an integral part in the cloning process. Scientists found DNA from extinct dinosaurs preserved in fossilized mosquitos. The prehistoric insects consumed dinosaur blood only to become encased in tree sap with the dinosaur blood inside. Millions of years later, Jurassic Park scientists extracted the preserved blood and cloned dinosaurs with it. This does not actually work, but we didn’t know that for sure when Jurassic Park was written. DNA degrades over time, and the story acknowledges that. They discuss massive sequence gaps and using frog DNA to fill them and complete the code. In reality, no DNA can last that long. A study on extinct moa birds found bird DNA is completely gone after 1042 years. But back to frogs…

We all know birds are the last living group of dinosaurs. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Jurassic Park to use bird DNA to fill those sequence gaps, rather than frog DNA? Well, sure, now it would. However, Michael Crichton wrote Jurassic Park in the late 1980s. There was speculation at that time that dinosaurs and birds were related. But science did not fully accept that birds were dinosaurs. Paleontologists observed bird-like traits in dinosaur fossils in the 1800s. But it was only in the 1970s that some scientists began pushing the connection seriously. In the 1980s, the notion began to gain momentum, but it was only generally accepted in the 1990s.

In the 1980s, science did not fully accept birds were dinosaurs.

Incidentally, we can see this notion played out in the first Jurassic Park film. Early in the movie, Dr. Alan Grant tries to convince his workers that birds evolved from dinosaurs and they all laugh. Later on, Tim asks Grant if he really believes birds “turned into dinosaurs”, and goes on to say “they sure don’t look like birds to me.” Simply put, when Crichton wrote Jurassic Park, the link between dinosaurs and birds was not as well understood as it is today. Now, you might be wondering why birds were not used anyway since we had an inkling they were related to dinosaurs. That, dear reader, comes down to our understanding of cloning.

Dolly the sheep rocked the world in February 1997. She was the first cloned mammal in the history of science. But that was 1997. Crichton published Jurassic Park in 1990. The movie came out in 1993. In fact, even the sequel to the movie was pretty much done filming and production by the time scientists revealed Dolly. When Crichton wrote Jurassic Park in the 1980s, frogs were the only successfully cloned animals. Simply put, we knew how to clone frogs. On top of that, frogs have interesting traits that birds do not have, like changing sex.

The scene from Jurassic Park (1993) where Alan Grant tries to convince others that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

When Crichton wrote Jurassic Park, scientists had cloned frogs, but not birds.

In Jurassic Park, InGen genetically engineers all the dinosaurs to be female. Dr. Wu states this is one of their population control measures. “There is no unauthorized breeding in Jurassic Park.” Of course, this prompts Dr. Malcolm to quip about lifting dinosaurs’ skirts and the famous statement that “life, uh, finds a way.” Many frog species are known to change sex as a result of hormone levels in the water around them, and even due to pollution. For example, if there is too much estrogen in the environment, this might prompt some frogs to turn physically male even if their DNA was female at birth. We did not fully understand this mechanism in the 1980s, but we knew about it. Consequently, Crichton wove the concept into Jurassic Park to explain how life found a way.

Jurassic Park is a cautionary tale about the power of genetic technology. Frogs were an important plot element in illustrating how little we know about DNA and the consequences of manipulating it. Jurassic World also highlighted this with the Indominus rex, but that is another story. Frogs were such an important part of the Jurassic Park plot. Having the LEGO® Group include them in every one of the Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary sets is an awesome Easter egg. After a rather lengthy history of frogs in Jurassic Park, let’s take a look at these new LEGO® sets!


  • SET #: 76957
  • COST: $49.99 CAD ($39.99 USD)
  • BRICK COUNT: 137
  • MINIFIGURES: 2 (Ellie Satler & Robert Muldoon)
  • DINOSAURS: 1 velociraptor
  • RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023

Velociraptor Escape features a straight-up frog sitting on one of the fence segments. What do I mean by “straight-up”? The use of frogs in other sets in this series enters into the domain of NPU (nice parts usage). In any case, you get the standard green frog here… perhaps its meant as a snack?

When frogs ruled the Earth: the green Velociraptor Escape frog


  • SET #: 76958
  • COST: $24.99 CAD ($19.99 USD)
  • BRICK COUNT: 211
  • MINIFIGURES: 1 (Dennis Nedry)
  • DINOSAURS: 1 dilophosaurus
  • RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023

Dilophosaurus Ambush uses a white frog element in clever fashion. Here, it represents shaving cream foam from the infamous Barbasol can/embryo storage container used by Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park. The can makes a reappearance in Camp Cretaceous and Jurassic World: Dominion. In this set, I am really happy that it comes as a printed brick, which is a step up from the version we saw in Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage.

When frogs ruled the Earth: the white Dilophosaurus Ambush frog


  • SET #: 76959
  • COST: $64.99 CAD ($49.99 USD)
  • BRICK COUNT: 281
  • MINIFIGURES: 2 (Ellie Satler & Ian Malcolm)
  • DINOSAURS: 1 Triceratops
  • RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023

Triceratops Research recreates another iconic scene from Jurassic Park, right down to the really big pile of sh*t. That scene made me laugh pretty hard as an 11-year-old in the movie theater. As far as frogs go, this set includes a brown one. Guess where?

When frogs ruled the Earth: the 
brown Triceratops Research frog


  • SET #: 76960
  • THEME: Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary (Jurassic World)
  • COST: $99.99 CAD ($79.99 USD)
  • BRICK COUNT: 512
  • MINIFIGURES: 3 (Alan Grant, Ellie Satler & John Hammond)
  • DINOSAURS: 1 brachiosaurus
  • RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023

Brachiosaurus Discovery introduces a new dinosaur species for LEGO® Jurassic Park collectors. We finally get the brachiosaurus. Additionally, the set includes a coral-colored frog. Whether you take this as part of the foliage or a camouflaged tree frog, you can see the little guy amongst the flowers on the tree trunk.

When frogs ruled the Earth: the coral Brachiosaurus Discovery frog


  • SET #: 76961
  • THEME: Jurassic Park 30th Anniversary (Jurassic World)
  • COST: $169.99 CAD ($129.99 USD)
  • BRICK COUNT: 693
  • MINIFIGURES: 6 (Alan Grant, Ellie Satler, Lex Murphy, Tim Murphy, Henry Wu, & Ray Arnold)
  • DINOSAURS: 1 velociraptor and 1 T. rex
  • RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2023

Examining the rear box art for the Visitor Center, you find a pink frog on the dessert table. Here, it clearly represents an edible decoration on top of a cake. Personally, I think having a frog for DNA extraction in the lab makes more sense… but at least the frog is in the set.

When frogs ruled the Earth: The pink Visitor Center frog

An honorable mention goes to T. rex Rampage!

  • NAME: Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage
  • SET #: 75936
  • THEME: Jurassic World
  • COST: $299.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 3120
  • OF INTEREST: a baby raptor
  • RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2019

Of course, the 30th anniversary collection sets are not the first Jurassic Park kits with a frog Easter egg. We cannot forget the epic Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage (75936)! When building the T. rex, you include a frog in one of the internal cavities. You cannot see it from the outside. However, it is there as a nod to the movie. I just love that detail. Additionally, this is one of the sets that remains on permanent display in my home.

When frogs ruled the Earth: T. rex Rampage

There’s more to come!

Of course, When Frogs Ruled the Earth is just the beginning of Jurassic Week here at True North Bricks! The LEGO® Group was amazing and sent me all of the 2023 Jurassic Park sets to review. Those are coming up. Additionally, if you follow True North Bricks on social media, you know I’ve been working on a HUGE Jurassic Park project for some time now. I’m revealing the finished MOC this week as well. Be sure to check back everyday for more LEGO® Jurassic Park!

Until next time,


Want to support True North Bricks?

If you like the content at True North Bricks, please follow on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or TikTok for regular content. Additionally, you can support True North Bricks by making your LEGO® (and other) purchases using the links below. As an affiliate of those retailers, we earn from qualifying purchases. These earnings come at no extra cost to you but help to keep the content at True North Bricks free.

2 thoughts on “When Frogs Ruled the Earth: Welcome to Jurassic Week

  1. Interesting article! It’s been a while since I saw the movie and never realised about the frogs.

Comments are closed.