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Fact - dinosaurs are cool. That’s something not many people would disagree with. From kids learning about them at school to adults who grew up watching Jurassic Park and Walking with Dinosaurs (can you believe they both came out in the 90s? Us neither…) they’ve fascinated people for years.
We’re about to see even more of them on the big screen with the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but recent discoveries have shown that some of our extinct friends might have been misrepresented. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few facts which now are looking less factual.
The majority of films depict dinosaurs as reptilian and scaly, when in fact they might have been more linked to birds. Fossils discovered in the mid-90s in China have indicated that some of the dinosaurs we know and love would have had feathers. And by that we mean, they would have been covered in feathers - even T-Rex and Velociraptors are thought to have had a bit of plumage at some point. So why have the films not evolved to show them this way? It’s likely because people now have an idea of what they should look like and if anything was to change audiences would want to see dinosaurs as scarier and with more teeth rather than factual and with more feathers.
Velociraptors in Jurassic Park are terrifying - who can forget the toe tapping scene? Actual shivers. In the original films they’re depicted as big creatures, definitely as big as a human if not bigger. In the later films you can see the size and shape shifting slightly but they’re still instantly recognisable. In actual fact, these dinosaurs would have been a lot smaller and are now thought to have been roughly the same size as a turkey. Couple this with the fact that they probably had feathers and they would probably have looked more bizzare than scary. Still, wouldn’t rate our chances against one…
The T-Rex is up there as one of the most fearsome predators of all time. The scene where the T-Rex is chasing after the jeep in Jurassic Park is legendary; however it’s unlikely that they would ever have been able to run that quickly. Far from being the fast-moving hunter that we’ve seen on screen, it’s thought that the T-Rex would have struggled with much more than a light jog and new research indicates they might not have been capable of going over 12 miles per hour. Makes you wonder what all the fuss was about in that Jeep now doesn’t it?
We used to think that the majority of dinosaurs were green and brown so they could blend in to their landscape easily, certainly a lot of films and TV shows have portrayed them in this way. However, further analysis of scales, fossils and feathers have shown that there would have been much more colour variation than that and some dinosaurs would have been covered in spots, stripes and patterns. Maybe Barney the dinosaur wasn’t quite as far-fetched after all then.
Any other dinosaur facts or fictions that you know about? Let us know!