The Public is Ready to See Dinosaurs with Feathers

You see dinosaurs every day. Instead of stomping around or stalking short-shorted men, they flit and frolic above our heads. Birds – modern dinosaurs – are the enduring lineage of the long-dead beasts that fill our museums. Only the millions of years of separation hide the simple fact that everything we consider to be a bird-like characteristic was first a (non-avian) dinosaur characteristic. That includes feathers.

You won’t see feathers on any dinosaur in Jurassic World. And though are good reasons for this, the public is ready to see fluffy velociraptors and T. rex. We need to see them.

The original Jurassic Park had a few good excuses to not feature feathered dinosaurs. For one, though the idea of fuzzy dinos had been suggested for decades before the movie came out, it wasn’t until three years after its debut that Sinosauropteryx was established as the “first” feathered dinosaur.

Another was the way the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were created. The DNA extracted from the preserved mosquitoes wasn’t complete, and therefore needed frog DNA to make it whole (why inGEN didn’t use bird DNA, which literally contains inactive dinosaur genes, is beyond me). Frogs didn’t have feathers so neither did the dinosaurs.

Then there was the narrative decision to make dinosaurs in Jurassic Park scary. World-famous paleontologist and technical adviser to all Jurassic Park films Jack Horner said in a conversation at Los Angeles’ Natural History Museum that he pushed director Steven Spielberg to have feathered dinosaurs, but was denied.