There's going to be a Jurassic Park 4, and there's some super-vague details coming out about what it's like. (Some kind of "scary" dinosaur will make a cameo?) The director is Colin Trevorrow, and last month he sent out this tweet:
No feathers. #JP4
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) March 20, 2013
We've known for a while now that many dinosaurs were feathered, instead of the more reptilian look we've been giving them. Which means this movie will be inaccurate. New Scientist has rounded up a couple quotes from scientists who are earnestly upset by this:
My guess is that the director wants to maintain consistency across all 4 movies. You can't have naked raptors in JP 1, 2, and 3 and have them feathered in 4.
I don't think that the statement: "The whole conceit of Jurassic Park is impossible" excuses this oversight. Obviously one has to balance story with accuracy in science fiction, not letting the science get in the way of the storytelling so much so that it ruins the conceit of the movie. In this case, I see how caving into the impossibility of the DNA preservation would destroy the franchise, but how would putting feathers on the dinosaurs ruin anything? It's a disservice to the millions of man-hours that were put into making the original Jurassic park's breathtakingly believable skeletons, movement, textures. Where's the downside in an update of the skins?
In our suspension of disbelief some suspension is more conscious than others. We are all pretty aware of the far-fetchedness of the DNA plotline, and many would even have a gut reaction against this main conceit even if science supported it. The basic appearance of the dinosaurs sinks in more subconsciously, and works it's way in deeper without a second thought from the viewer though.
My vote is feathers.
I'm very tired of people not getting this; the raptors in Jurassic park are mutants just like every other dinosaur in the park. The DNA used maybe have been corrupted and damaged. As said in the movie and in the novels, they considerably altered the DNA with other species, which may have led to them distinct genetic differences. As shown his genetically engineered chickens, just minute alteration to the DNA can render a bird without feathers. So it's not so far fetched that those genes responsible for feathers are nixed. Also, the scientists in the book (of the setting of the early 90s) probably would be none the wiser that anything was wrong. Michael Crichton (may he rest in peace) addressed this.
No matter how much we say "they had feathers" it doesn't change the fact that they are not true in velociraptors in any way, and they never were. So no, they can't add feathers. It's not a matter of what looks cool or what is right, it's what is canon and consistent.
I think it would be cool to see them with feathers, but you'd have to dig up Michael Crichton, then bring him back to life, and then ask him to rewrite the two books.
I hope that the one they bring back is the ch ch chchchcch raaaaah thing, you know, the one that spits that black $h1t.
As for the feathers issue: while it would be more accurate, it would make the dinosaurs look like big birds, and significantly less scary. Why would they EVER do that? They've never let factual science get in the way of good storytelling, so why would they start now?
So roughly 30 of the over 1,500 known dinosaurs may have had feathers and now all of them are supposed to be feathered?
I DO NOT CARE if the "movie scientists" have feathers, leather, or both, on their dino. Does not matter at all to me. What does matter is that WHATEVER the movie is based on, it works with the other things and people in the movie.
Since when is the "Jurrassic Park" franchise required to be factually informative? It's fiction, Doc. Did you stop off at the Superman franchise to take mandatory shots on their fiction too? Just dino movies?
The fact is that these movies have done a great job at portraying the popular, SCIENCE driven image of what dinosaurs were believed to have been at the time when Chricton first learned of the potential of DNA. Now scientists want to force some change on the dead guy's vision? Do you attack the Wizard of Oz too? We all knew King Kong was fake. Really; we did. Frantically screaming women, blonde or not, have never soothed savage beasts, but they do get killed by them. The greed, innocence, and hubris of the people in that movie were all very real, giving a believability to a production that would have been nothing without it.
So are the scientists only mad about this movie, or are they trying to influence ANY ACTUAL DINO EXHIBIT somewhere? Because I still have yet to see any display by which ANYONE WOULD EVER KNOW DINOS AND FEATHERS WENT TOGETHER AT ALL.
this video really does well to explain it all. It's a Discovery News piece that talks about wether or not we could extract DNA from amber or any other sources.
Just the therapods and a few others had feathers. From a movie standpoint, a giant chicken isn't going to be taken seriously.
The real questions is; can they make the next movie even worse the the third?
Seriously, if they want to portray the dinosaurs as we currently think they looked like then the whole series need to be rebooted. You can't portray the same animal looking that different with out blowing up continuity.
"You can't have naked raptors in JP 1, 2, and 3 and have them feathered in 4." Uhhh, yes you can, it's a movie.
I'd like to see the dinos have feathers, but I won't throw a hissy fit if they don't. I disagree that feathers will make them less frightening, why would that possibly matter, the animation, SFX, plot, acting and camerawork will more than make up for the feathers. Do an image search for Dinosaur Feathers and see what comes up, some of those depictions are pretty frightening to me.
Assuming that funding for DNA research remains constant and that researchers are successful in cloning a wooly mammoth in 2015, I am pretty certain we will be able to resurrect a dinosaur by 2100...
...not that that would be a good idea...
...but the technology will very likely get there.
I say this even knowing that dinosaur DNA ...FROM THE PAST ...is usually too broken down to replicate.
But with all the successful advances in forensic reconstruction of hard drives occurring in law enforcement, I foresee similar techniques being applied to DNA strands.
To make a computer analogy...DNA essentially has four bits (A,G,T, C) which can combine along a strand to make bytes and, after that, directories and files.
It is just a matter of learning enough about the current DNA of animals to backwards engineer a dinosaur's DNA.
The religious right will, of course, insist that the dinosaurs have feathers.
Can't say I totally disagree.
There really IS a little too much public nudity these days.
And T-Rex unclothed?
Hideous! Absolutely hideous!
Take a lesson where it's offered.
Why feathers now?
And especially on animals supposedly known of for a century or more?
Didn't they see the imprints of feathers in earlier “fossils”? How can they see feathers now when none were seen before? Look at the Wikipedia entry on feathered dinosaurs. The earliest reference is only in the '80'2. Then a few “results” during the '90's, and, since 2000, more than a dozen “positive proofs”. Why, for more than a century, was there no indication of feathers?
Could it be that it's all a lie? An attempt to make insipid an idea that so many held for so long?
This may cause this not to be printed or to be removed, but, just another anomalous unprecedented event to add to the list of “the most significant 'terrorist' attack of all time”; “the worst hurricane season on record”; “the Aron Ralston event”; “the Columbia burn up”; “the worst tsunami in history”; “the successful ditching of a plane in water and its managing to stay afloat with hundreds of people in its wings”; “the first black president of the U.S.”; the first Papal resignation in six centuries; American staging an unprovoked invasion of a non aggressor nation.
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I see the same mistake being made so much, if you want the real answer to why feathers or why not feathers then just follow the money. First any storyteller would already be leaning towards canon over science but more importantly rendering feathers on any dino body in the movie would be more difficult and time consuming. Therefore feathers cost more money. I love science but if I were making the movie and had a choice of feathers and less dinosaurs in the movie based on budget restraints or no feathers and more dinosaurs, I would choose the latter too.
"Why, for more than a century, was there no indication of feathers?"
There was, in fact the first feathered fossils were uncovered right at the dawn of paleontology, during the mid-19th century. It's just that feathered specimens were either misclassified as "not dinosaurs", or the scientists simply didn't look hard enough to notice the presence of feathers. Dinosaur research took a deep dive during the mid-20th century, because people deemed them uninteresting and not worthy of further scientific investigation, and as such, many great discoveries were sloppily dismissed.
After the discovery of the various new and exquisite fossil sites, especially those in China in the '90s, fossil hunting quickly took of in the area, producing numerous feathered finds -- hence the big "boom" in new discoveries and scientific interest. These then lead the paleontologists to reanalyze some of their former finds, such as the North American ornithomimosaurs, yielding even more proof for feathers.
There. Hardly sounds as crazy if you actually look at what's been going on.
Part of what's great about the Crichton novel and the first JP movie is that they made a deliberate effort to modernize the perception of dinosaurs based on leading scientific facts of their time rather than popular imagination. Even then there was talk about the behavior an done structure resembling birds.
Just because the plot is fictional and implausible doesn't mean creatures need to be. I, for one, would love to see dinosaurs the way science understands them today.
The creatures in Jurassic Park are not supposed to be dinosaurs, but genetically engineered creatures derived from dinosaur and frog DNA. As andrew_graphics said, the original story specifically mentioned that the DNA went through several versions of alteration, the main goal of which was to increase the animals' value as a theme park attraction. What would most people want to see more? A feathered T-Rex that runs at a top speed of 15 mph and prefers to scavenge if it can, or a sleek, vicious killing machine that can almost catch up to a Jeep? I personally would have paid more for accuracy, but that isn't what InGen thought would make them the most profit on ticket sales.
In any case, the mistake (whether or not it was one) was already made in the original story, and unless this movie is intended to be yet another reboot, correcting it now would just not make sense with the story as a whole.