An updated look at ‘Jurassic Park’ says dinosaurs would be feathered

While many reviewers for Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park in 3D” (released April 5, 2013) said they felt the renewed terror they had when the film first came out in 1993, National Geographic writer Christine Dell-Amore said if the film were updated to current research, the creatures would look much different.

Dell-Amore asked Thomas Holtz, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, what the main difference would be.

His response: “Feathers, feathers, feathers, feathers.”

Since the original film came out, many researchers have discovered dinosaurs probably had a coat of feathers. Most of these discoveries were made in Liaoning Province in China. Some specimens have even been found with intact feathers. There is even evidence that the almighty Tyrannosaurus Rex had feathers.

Holtz said, for example, the Velociraptor, a common creature in the “Jurassic Park” movies, would be “as feathered as a bald eagle.” This familiar dinosaur was also only as smart as a opossum, in contrast to its sneaky strategies in the movie.

Feathers would let the prehistoric creatures “keep warm, attract mates, or even protect eggs if dinosaurs fanned their arms over nests.”

The Hollywood industry has rejected the idea to use this updated evidence in “Jurassic Park 4,” which is scheduled to be released in June 2014.

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