Hey Hollywood, Dinosaurs had Feathers

I enjoyed the first Jurassic Park movie when it premiered in 1993.  But even then, scientists were aware that some dinosaurs had feathers, and I always thought it was a bad oversight to depict every dinosaur in the movie as featherless.  Over the past 2 decades, paleontologists have discovered 43 species of dinosaurs that definitely had feathers.  These species ranged in size from the small tyrannosauroid, Dilong paradoxis, to the huge yutyrannus.  There’s no evidence Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers, but scientists believe it’s highly likely they were at least partially feathered because the 2 species mentioned above were related to T. rex.  The failure to depict dinosaurs with feathers in this year’s version of Jurassic Park is inexcusable, and I refuse to watch a movie produced by Hollywood shmucks who don’t bother to acknowledge scientific fact.  The movie is an insult to paleontology.

Artist's impression and fossil specimen of Sinosauropteryx

Note the visible quill feathers on the fossilized impression of a Sinusopteryx.


Yutyrannus, a relative of T. rex, is the largest known dinosaur that had feathers.

Feathers evolved from membrane-like structures that can still be found on the dorsal spines of reptiles and fish.  Originally, feathers served 2 purposes–thermal regulation and reproductive display.  Birds arose from a dinosaur order known as Dromaeosauridae, and these dinosaurs probably behaved like birds.  The males displayed their colorful feathers to attract the females for mating.  Most people, when they think of dinosaurs, imagine terrible monsters tearing each other apart.  They don’t realize these beasts had mating rituals that included males spreading their feathers and dancing and probably vocalizing while a discriminating female watched.  I suppose this interesting behavior is too mundane for a big budget action movie.  Hollywood shmucks would rather show dinosaurs running amok and terrorizing humans.  In truth (if dinosaurs somehow co-existed with people in a fictionalized scenario) a few humans with high powered rifles could destroy a whole herd of dinosaurs in a disgusting slaughter that would not be entertaining at all.

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2 Responses to “Hey Hollywood, Dinosaurs had Feathers”

  1. Lamar Says:

    Is this seriously the stuff you get upset over?

  2. markgelbart Says:

    Misrepresentation pisses me off.

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