What’s wrong with this picture?

Obsoletus rexHard to believe, but the movie Jurassic Park is obsolete. Remember seeing those eerily realistic eyes of Tyrannosaurus rex staring at you from the screen? Remember getting a chill from the awesome, scaly, lethal majesty of the killer king of the dinosaurs? Me too. But something’s gone terribly wrong with that image. You see, old rexy turns out not to be the scaly horror Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton presented to us more then a decade ago.

Don’t worry, T rex didn’t suddenly decide to eat plants, or chill out until he’s just too lazy to bother chasing you down and chomping you into mush. No. He’d still be happy to do that, if you’d bring him back and plunk him in the middle of a bunch of people. But the Spielberg/Crichton image of the king decked out in scales from head to toe has come to its inevitable day of extinction. The movies that scared us so effectively with reptilian, armor plated terror have met their Waterloo.

The New KingYou see, the Lizard King just isn’t, well, a lizard any more. According to new fossils discovered in China, rex and his relatives were covered in thick fur like wolves or grizzly bears. Bye bye scales. Hello the hair of his chinny chin chin. Don’t worry. Rex still retains his crown as the nastiest predator ever to stride the earth, and his appetite for eating critters the size of you and me in a single bite. He still commands the greatest measure of fear and respect. But those scary, scaly images in Jurassic Park? They’re passe. Part of a bygone era. Over with for good. Gone the way of the, er, dinosaur.

This has been coming for some time and I’m well prepared for this new day. You see, I’ve been putting wool on my dinosaurs for more than a decade, including a bristling mane on T rex. What next, a wooly duckbilled dinosaur? Oh yeah, they’ve found fossils of Edmontosaurus, one of the biggest of the duckbills, well above the Arctic Circle so get ready for that too. And by the way, I wrote about one of those in Dinosaur Wars: Counterattack way back in 2002. So there.

As I’ve been willing to tell anyone who’d listen for some time now, the time is right for a new Hollywood movie smash blockbuster hit, in which the dinos all wear coats of feathers and fur. Dinosaur Wars has been waiting in the wings and now, as real science catches up to my fiction writing, I think the time is right for a new screen image of the dinosaur. Sorry Spielberg. Sorry Crichton. Sorry Disney’s Dinosaur, and sorry all who made even earlier movies full of scaly monsters. Like an asteroid coming in from the heavens, scientific knowledge has brought the day of extinction down upon your images of dinosaurs, and ushered in the day of my furry and feathered friends.

About Tom Hopp

Thomas P Hopp is a scientist and author living in Seattle. He writes Peyton McKean mystery stories and the Dinosaur Wars science fiction series.
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2 Responses to What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. dHarrison says:

    And Tom, you will also be proven correct about the anatomy of a killer hormone, hCG:
    http://thomas-hopp.com/blog/2012/03/17/anatomy-of-a-killer-hormone/

    • Tom Hopp says:

      Thanks, Denise, and let’s hope so. hCG and T rex are both horrendous, deadly monsters when they get out of control.

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