Feathers or Not?
Jurassic Park is a movie and its sole purpose is to entertain the viewers, but does that mean some scientific credibility should be sacrificed? The original classic featured a brachiosaurus that stood up on its hind legs, something that would likely kill an animal of that size as its bones collapse upon its own weight. Despite this inaccurate portrayal of a now extinct animal, movie goers quite frankly did not care. Jurassic Park offered a journey into our imagination, tested the limits of our thinking of what could be possible and what should be done, and terrified and amazed us.
Since the original Jurassic Park movie has come out, there have been some newly discovered facts about the dinosaurs that the movie featured and the discoveries drastically altered the true appearance of them as well. It is now believed by many scientists that dinosaurs evolved into birds. While referenced briefly in the opening scene in the movie while discussing the velociraptor, the hypothesis has been expanded upon by not just saying they were ancestors, but that they actually had feathers.
Jurassic Park had the dinosaurs all be reptilian in nature for the first two movies, and it was only in Jurassic Park 3 that some faint signs of feathers were seen on the raptors. Many attempted appearance sketches of dinosaurs now have them mostly if not completely covered in feathers. This poses a problem for the producers of the movie. Do they change the appearance of the dinosaurs they made popular on the big screen and are now recognized as such, or do they go for a scientifically accurate approach and have the dinosaurs all of a sudden look different – disregarding the previous 3 movie’s appearances.
One solution to this problem could be tied into the plot. It is already known that the dinosaurs are not true clones of their ancestors and have genetic holes filled in with DNA of frogs. We also know that there was only supposed to be one sex in Jurassic Park and lysine was supposed to be important to the survival of the creatures. Being isolated on an island with severe genetic differences than what was intended and their bodies reacting to a lysine deficiency could lead to genetic mutations that the Jurassic Park 4 plot could use to explain any differences in appearances.
Regardless of whether the dinosaurs could now be covered in feathers with a logical explanation or not, the true question is: Would you want to see a movie where a raptor looked like this:
Or one that looked like this:
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