Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Feathers for Jurassic Park 4: Extant Birds Take Offense

So today I found out that the director of the up and coming Jurassic Park 4 movie, Colin Trevorrow, has opted for no feathers on any dinosaurs, including Velociraptor.  Then all the paleontology fanboys and girls freaked the heck out.  I read comments online like "Velociraptor is supposed to have feathers he is going against science!" amongst other variations of that message.  Of course I agree.  At this point its totally wrong to portray Velociraptor, as well as many other dinosaurs including even Tyrannosaurus, without feathers.  Its just as wrong as portraying a saber-tooth cat without fur, honestly.  That being said I'm still not surprised that the movie monster Velociraptors will be featherless.

My painting of resting Velociraptors.  Lots of people don't recognize them because they're feathered and aren't attacking anything at that moment in time.

Jurassic Park is a science fiction movie, not an educational documentary.  True, many things about the dinosaurs in this franchise are great but there is also all sorts of wrong going on there too and the movie makers simply don't care.  They cover their butts by saying the Jurassic Park dinosaurs are genetically altered clones spliced with modern animal DNA and therefore they can vary from what science tells us yada-yada sure nice save I get it.  I have accepted this and I'm over it.  When I see a Jurassic Park film I'm not going with the mindset that I will be educated though.  Heck, the programs that are supposed to be educational on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet are often wrong too! The reason for this could be because since nobody has ever witnessed an extinct dinosaur, there is more freedom for mistakes when reconstructing them. 

What bothers me is that the rest of the public who may not have a clue about the real dinosaurs will go on thinking dinosaurs looked or behaved a certain way when facts show that they didn't.  The first Jurassic Park movie was released twenty years ago in 1993.  In it a dinosaur called Dilophosaurus was depicted as having a retractable frill and the ability to spit venom (it could spit venom in the book too which came out first by famous scifi author Michael Crichton).  TO THIS DAY...20 YEARS LATER...many people still think Dilophosaurus could spit venom and had a frill when there is no scientific evidence of it.  Those things were made up for the sake of the story.  Now this brings us to my real problem set in motion by Colin Trevorrow's decision.  I did some internet snooping and read some comments posted by folks after hearing the news.  Some things I read were...

"Thank God too, because can you imagine what T-Rex would look like all covered in plumage and feathers?"

Yes it would probably look like a real T. rex.  Ouch!  Right in the nostalgia!

"I dont do feathered dinosaurs"

Cool story, bro.  They had feathers regardless.  I can see you don't do apostrophes either!

"Who gave that idea anyway??? Feathery dino isn't scary"

The fact that Velociraptor shows direct evidence of having feathers gave that "idea" actually.  This comment ticks me off the most.  Something can't be scary or powerful if it has feathers?  Excuse me a second.....

Haliaeetus leucocephalus  United States of America's national symbol.  Revered for its power and majesty.  Fun Fact: It's covered in feathers.

*ring ring*

Bald Eagle: Hello?

CD: Hey, is this Bald Eagle?

BE: Yes it is.  Speaking?

CD: Hey Bald Eagle, its Christopher DiPiazza.  You got a minute?  I have some upsetting news.

BE: Oh hi Chris!  Great to hear from you!  What seems to be the problem?

CD: Well despite the fact that you are the animal that was chosen to represent the United States of America because of your power and majesty, some people think that any animal with feathers is automatically frail and wimpy.

BE: Oh no not this again.  Let me guess, these same people also don't accept that extinct dinosaurs are my close relatives let alone the fact that many of them had feathers too?

CD: Bingo.  Jurassic Park 4 stuff.

BE: *Sigh*  If I had actual palms one of them would definitely be on my face right now.  Let me spread the bir-er I mean word.  Thanks for the heads up.

Bufo bufo  Talons as long as my fingers but totally not scary at all.  Look at those silly feathers!

*ring ring*

Eurasian Eagle Owl: ughhh...hello?

BE: Hey Eagle Owl.  Its Bald Eagle.  Sorry to bother you at this hour of the day.

EEO: Oh hello Bald Eagle.  It's fine I suppose.  I was actually just about to get up anyway.  There is a family of skunks that just moved into the forest and I would like to eat some of them tonight.

BE:  Skunks?  Won't they spray you?

EEO:  They can try!  I have no sense of smell though.  Also the feathers around my face protect me from the spray itself which irritates the skin on other predators.  I am, after all, the biggest and most powerful owl in the world!

BE:  Ah yes I see...well funny you bring up your feathers, actually.  You see, in response to a decision made regarding the new Jurassic Park movie coming out, some science fiction fanboys on the internet seem to think that dinosaurs-

EEO: You mean other dinosaurs?  We are dinosaurs too don't forget!

BE: Of course of course please don't interrupt me again though I don't like it.  I am the symbol for America after all.  Show some respect!

EEO:  I'm European.  I don't really care.

BE: I'm going to pretend you didn't disrespect me for a second time and continue with my news.  Some science fiction fanboys seem to think that dinosaurs with feathers aren't scary.

EEO: O'rly?

BE: Ya'rly

EEO: Okay.  Let me go.  I'm going to make a call.

Aquila chrysaetos  I would so not be scared by that plumage-covered creature swooping down at me like that.

*ring ring*

Golden Eagle:  Hello?

EEO:  Hello, Golden Eagle, this is Eagle Owl.  How are things?

GE:  Oh hello Eagle Owl!  Good to hear from you.  Things are great!  I just got back from hunting some wolves!   

EEO: Impressive, my friend!  Good to know you are well!  Unfortunately there are a few people on the internet who think that if an animal has feathers it is automatically wimpy.

GE: That's impossible.  I have feathers.

EEO: As do I!  That's the problem.   

GE:  Don't these people know that I kill large prey many times my own size and I have even been known to attack humans?

EEO: Apparently not.  I was just as surprised when I first found out.  It all has to do with the whole feathered Velociraptor concept that was shot down for this new Jurassic Park movie. 

GE: Hmmmm.  Velociraptor eh?  We need some flightless bird help then.  Don't worry.  I know a guy. 

Casuarius casuarius  I don't see any relation to extinct theropod dinosaurs at all!
 *ring ring*

Cassowary: Yello?

GE:  Hey Cassowary, its Golden Eagle.  We have a problem.

C: Can the problem be fixed by slashing through metal car doors while relentlessly attacking people?  Because I can totally do that, you know.

GE: Somewhat.  People on the internet seem to think that dinosaurs like Velociraptor wouldn't be as scary or dangerous-looking with feathers.

C: But...I have feathers.

GE:  I know.

C: ...I look very similar to Velociraptor.  The family resemblance is striking.  A person would have to be an idiot not to realize the connection!

GE:  I know!

C:  ....Did I mention I can wreck a car door with my toenail?

GE:  Yes. Yes you did.


Jungle Fowl: Hey, I take offense to that!

GE: Jungle Fowl?  I don't remember inviting you!

JF:  I tapped into the line.  I heard the whole story.  I want in.  I'm a pro at terrorizing people!

C: Don't people eat you?

JF: Only if they get lucky.  I want in!  

Well that certainly ruffled some feathers (HAHA)!  Lets hope those birds don't actually find these poor ignorant people!  Do I think the director made a poor choice in excluding feathers?  Yes, but like I said before, the fact that Jurassic Park 4 isn't going to be up to date scientifically accurate shouldn't be a shock for anyone.

A meme I finally got around to making. 

NOTE: There is no scientific evidence that any of the species of bird included above can operate a telephone.  This is just speculation by the author to comically bring across a point. 

1 comment:

  1. I totally get where you are coming from. Just blame it on the frog DNA they used to fill the codes.