The feathered dino news has been going on for a while, but the evidence keeps building.
I understand that Jurassic park wasn’t a documentary*, and I’m happy to follow wherever the science leads, but that doesn’t mean I have to be satisfied with every artistic rendering.
Neither history nor the fossil record owe us monsters that look the way we want, but if there’s one thing I learned from arguing religion, it’s that you can’t prove a negative. So although the fossil record may never prove my rendering right, it will also never prove me wrong!
Using the T-REX OF THE GAPSTM argument ensures that your dinosaur of choice always remains as badass as you want it to.
Nadir has a good point. You’d be hard pressed to prove that there is no possible way that Jeff Goldblum could travel back in time, trick out dinosaurs, and fight an invading alien menace. Perhaps he was even our last best hope in the universe. I think I just wrote a screenplay.
Frankly, I kind of think the new feathered T-Rex looks badass. But I also think a spiny, proto-feathered rex would look even better. I mean like a full-blown, angry, Predator-looking T-Rex. Badass.
Paleontologists had been proposing a feathered rex as early as 1999, so it’s not an entirely mind-blowing revelation, but the new art certainly helps. It’s right up there with how Jurassic Park took the growing body of dinosaur evidence, and brought them to life in their new terrifying postures. Remember what T-Rex used to look like in books? Tail on the ground, big belly, top hat and monocle, etc etc. If only we were so accepting with the rest of science. Even children, by far the dinosaurs’ biggest fans, are quick to accept new evidence provided by paleontologists, aided by children’s shows such as the Jim Henson Company’s Dinosaur Train***.
If you ask me, any creationist illustrations should have Jesus riding on the fat, upright T-Rex and the upright necked Apatosaurus because if they can accept a changing view of paleontological evidence, what the hell is their problem? [Edit: Turns out they can't. All the serious Jesus/Dinosaur images feature old-school dinosaurs, except for the occasional "Jesus Riding a Velociraptor." Ugh]
This post was brought to you by Xenon (Xe).
*I say this because I was told it was the right answer, not because I believe it.
**Dinosaurs? Trains? Kids everywhere are shouting, “Shut up and take my money!”