Controversy Over Dinosaur Feathers Continues

In the comments of a recent article about Jurassic World, yet another fan of the series brought up one issue with the Jurassic Park film series that has irked many fans and scientists over the past years — the lack of feathers on the film’s iconic Velociraptors.

Since the first film’s 1993 release, scientists have learned that Velociraptors and Deinonychus, the dinosaur that the film’s raptors were likely based on, had feathers like birds instead of smooth skin or scales like reptiles.

In light of this information, there was an attempt to give some raptors a sprinkling of quills on their heads in Jurassic Park III, but nothing more was done.

From science blogs to National Geographic, the debate over this controversy has only grown stronger. A lot of fans, perhaps among them Dan Newlin, believe that film directors have a duty to present audiences, especially young moviegoers, with a more realistic vision of dinosaurs.

Another commentator countered that the lack of feathers is something that might be explained away, and hopefully will be explained, by the use of frog DNA. Dr. John Hammond and his geneticists didn’t have complete raptor DNA samples from the material they harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber. As a result, the lack of feathers, or only a few feathers on the isolated habitat of Isla Sorna, actually makes sense because the raptors are more reptile-like than bird-like.

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