What, no feathers? complain dino scientists about the new Jurassic World movie, according to reports in BBC Newsbeat and Telegraph UK 12 June 2015. Palaeontologists have criticised makers of the new dinosaur movie for portraying their dinosaurs with the same scaly skin as in the original Jurassic Park movie made in 1993, rather than according to recent reconstructions of feathered dinosaurs.

Gareth Dyke, a palaeontologist from the University of Southampton, commented: “There are a lot of people criticising the science behind Jurassic World. And there are a number of things that people are complaining about, including, and most importantly, the fact that the raptors, velociraptor and the other theropod dinosaurs have been reconstructed by the people that made the movie without feathers, which we know is not correct”.

Darren Naish, author of The Great Dinosaur Discoveries, commented: “Our hopes came crashing down with the tweeting of two words from Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow – ‘no feathers’. Never mind all those fossils that demonstrate the presence of feathering in all birdlike dinosaurs, or the bony feather attachment knobs present on the arm of velociraptor. Judging from the trailers, Jurassic World has opted to stick with scaly-skinned raptors, scientific advancement be damned”.

The film makers did consult with a dinosaur expert, Jack Horner from Montana State University, who said that the dinosaurs were portrayed with reptilian skin because that is how they were portrayed in the original movie. He explained: “We made the best dinosaurs we could at that time. We can’t say that we’re going to have feathered dinosaurs brought back now. We need to keep the consistency. Jurassic Park one, two, three and four are all pieces of one story. And so, unfortunately we can’t change the way the dinosaurs look”.

The movie’s director has also reminded scientists and general public alike that the film is “not a documentary”.

Links: BBC, Telegraph.

Editorial Comment: Can you imagine it – a movie about big scary monsters covered in cute fuzz and sporting a couple of proto feathers on their arms. However, the movie is probably at its most accurate on this ‘feathery’ aspect of dinosaurs, even if it upsets the dino-bird theorists with their feathered imaginations.

Let us be blunt! The so-called feathers and “protofeathers” found with some dinosaur fossils are provably just fibres, and are nothing like bird feathers. See our reports: T rex Ancestor Had “Protofeathers” and New Type of Dinosaur Feather. For an explanation of Darren Naish’s claim about “bony feather attachment knobs” see our report More Dinosaur Feather Evidence.

For the opinion of a real fossil bird expert see our report Dinosaur feathers or fibres? For a reminder that not all 21st century dinosaurs have feathers see Featherless Dinosaur Surprise.

There are a few odd looking creatures in the fossil record, that do have feathers but we need to ask the question: Are these really dinosaurs? For an answer to this see the question: Don’t feathered dinosaurs prove that birds evolved from dinosaurs? Answer here.

For further analysis of the claims about dinosaurs evolving into birds see the question: Latest finds should convince you dinosaurs evolved into birds. What’s stopping you? Answer here.

P.S. The film director is correct – if you are making a work of fiction you are entitled to use artistic license to portray any fictional characters however you like for your ‘created’ story. (Ref. feathers, scales, reptiles, skin)

Evidence News vol.15, No. 10
26 June 2015
Creation Research Australia