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I remember seeing Jurassic Park when it first came out. And I remember a scene describing a counter that kept track of the number of dinosaurs, so the operators could detect escapees. I remember the sense of doom when, in a later scene, they realized that it had been clamped to the expected count, and when unclamped, showed the true, larger number of dinosaurs (due to their breeding).

I've seen the film a few times since, and it has dawned on me that the scenes don't appear - verified it the other day, in fact. And searching the web, the sole reference is in this answer - which suggests the counter only appears in the novel.

I did read the novel once. Was this scene in any original version of the movie, or has my imagination painted in the gaps?

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    If I remember correctly, in the movie Alan Grant and the kids stumble upon dinosaur egg shells, and that's how we learn that dinosaurs can indeed breed. – Oliver_C May 5 at 18:09
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Only in the novel.

Searching subtitles from different versions of the released movie (from DVDRip, to BRRip, to Collector's Edition, to those old XViD RIPs that came in 2 CDs), I cannot find any reference to the counter.

However, in the novel, its a major plot point

[Total animals: 238]

“Everything accounted for, as always.” He couldn’t keep the satisfaction out of his voice.

“Now then,” Malcolm said. “Can you have the computer search for a different number of animals?”

“Like what?” Arnold said.

“Try two hundred thirty-nine.”

“Just a minute,” Arnold said, frowning. A moment later the screen printed:

[Total animals: 239]

And eventually, they reach the actual total

enter image description here

This part of the novel has not made it into movies, as far as I can tell. It appeared in the early script drafts, as you can see here:

MALCOLM: Of course I'm right, I'm always right. And while you're at it, search for 300 animals.

WU: Three hundred?

ARNOLD: (shakes head, hits keys) Searching for... three hundred.

The screen prints: Total Animals: 241. Talk is fast:

HAMMOND So! My kids are out there!

ARNOLD (relieved) Yeah. Looks like it, sir.

The screen suddenly prints: Total Animals: 258.

But it doesn't show in the first draft (also here), or in the final script (also here). It is also not listed as a deleted scene (also here). As far as I can tell, your remembering it is just a trick of the mind.

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    Typing a number is a strange search query. – Taladris May 6 at 5:23
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    @Taladris They mention its for convenience, to make things faster. They limited the count to 238, since it was they were expecting. "It's a convenience, not a flaw." as Nedris puts it. – BlueMoon93 May 6 at 8:50
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    Maybe the algorithm searches for the expected results first, then starts finding extras after. Or they're ordered internally in the order they register, so all the lab created ones are listed first internally, then new births are registered after in the list. – IronSean May 6 at 13:40
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    They were worried about dinosaurs dieing or escaping - no one considered the possibility they might be breeding, hence no need to check for a number greater than the expected total. Nedry is also probably the kind of developer to implement exactly what was requested and nothing more (unless he's being paid overtime)... – Matt Holland May 6 at 21:59
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    @BlueMoon93 Thank you for doing the research and writing such a good answer. Racraman's comment has slightly freaked me out - either there was a rare theatrical release with the scene included (that history has somehow totally expunged), or Michael Crichton's writing is just so amazingly vivid that he's created mass illusions... :-) I'll give this a little longer before Accepting, just in case someone is still in their archives digging out 25yr old film reels... – SusanW May 8 at 8:38

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