Not so ferocious after all!

Today I was at my computer in my office, when a colleague of mine stopped by to ask me something. The first thing I noticed was her shirt. Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and Pterodactyls all over the place! This immediately brought my memory back when I was 10, and my father coming back for a trip brought me a small model of Diplodocus. Not considering the fact that was purple (I would have appreciated a bit more realism) It was really well done in terms of proportions and components.

I think everyone of us grew with the idea that Dinosaurs are giant clumsy lizards, which can be either Denver-like or ferocious and cruel as a T-rex. Well, thing might have been a bit  different. My personal idea of Dinosaurs start to change when I red about the Oviraptor. Its remains were found atop a pile of eggs. At that time they thought that the giant and mean lizard was actually stealing the eggs. New findings then revealed that the poor guy was actually keeping their babies warm, by brooding its eggs. Pretty much as the cute chickens, ducks and penguins do. Similarly to the latter, the cute Oviraptor had also feathers. Surprisingly, recently found fossils [1-2] seem to indicate that actually the majority of Dinosaurs might have been feathered. So basically not only all the cousins of the Oviraptor and the first bird-like Archaeopteryx. Also, there is a possibility that the feather might have resembled the fluffy ornamental plumage of modern bird.

If this is going to be confirmed by new findings, we would need to change our idea of Dinosaurs and the way we represent them. I already imagine the tons of books and toys that will need to be trashed in the name of the scientific rigour. However, I believe that in many the picture of  a T-rex will not change, it will be hard to imagine the terrible predator simply as a giant fluffy and cuddly chicken or ostrich with short harms a big teeth. Not so ferocious after all!

  1. A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scalesPascal Godefroit, Sofia M. Sinitsa, Danielle Dhouailly, Yuri L. Bolotsky, Alexander V. Sizov, Maria E. McNamara, Michael J. Benton, Paul Spagna. Science 25 Jul 2014 : 451-455
  2. A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous AmberLida Xing, Ryan C. McKellar,Xing Xu, Gang Li, Ming Bai, W. Scott Persons IV, Tetsuto Miyashita, Michael J. Benton, Jianping Zhang, Alexander P. Wolfe, Qiru Yi, Kuowei Tseng, Hao Ran, and Philip J. Currie.Current Biology, online 8 Dec 2016
  3. Image in the header was taken from the article of Carolyn Gramling

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