Paradigm SHIFTED

… decisively: not the “Cover of the Rolling Stone” as I have been calling it but, of course, that of Scientific American. I thought at first they were a bit late to the party, as it was the late John Ostrom who started the ball rolling with his discovery of Deinonychus, which he reported in SA in an article which suggested warm bloodedness but did not QUITE say feathers. That must have been (a lot?) more than thirty years ago. Robert Bakker soon called T rex the “20,000 pound Roadrunner from Hell”, but as far as I can see it was my old friend John McLoughlin who first dressed raptors in feathers in the popular press– 1979? I’m sure he’ll tell me.

Now proud Tyrannosaurs have them, in mainstream publications. On second thought, SA deserves great credit. It may be slow compared to the avant garde, but it is the FIRST popular magazine to portray a feathered tyrant, as well as the first to broach the ideas that led to it.

Two more thoughts. I counted only four sentences in- text that said “feather”– after paradigms shift, they seem “normal”.

Second, what do readers think about those poor naked chickens coming in the new Jurassic Park thing? And what about the less sophisticated public?

1 comment

  1. GAWD, I can hardly wait for the new "Jurassic World" to debut! And you have to at least allow that the Jurassic Park series of movies have had THE BEST Dinosaur depictions from Hollywood thus far–or at least forced other depictions to improve enormously–I really did enjoy that Disney kiddie film "Dinosaur", even if the dinos did talk(sheesh!)–and despite it's kiddie theme, what an incredibly TRAUMATIC meteor blitz at the beginning! No doubt gave quite a few young-uns some nightmares! But back to the upcoming "Jurassic World" and other Hollywood films. In order to make them more palatable to a geek like myself, I just conjure up logical/scientific/common sense explanations for various inaccuracies or discrepancies–it can be a rather fun exercise! In this particular film's depictions, I would perhaps envision the dinos portrayed as perhaps TROPICAL rather than more TEMPERANT varieties of the species–like modern tropical elephants being nearly hairless, versus very hairy woolly mammoths! Or perhaps, and just as realistically, you could postulate that these dinos in captivity are no doubt very frustrated creatures, and pluck themselves bald like neurotic parrots! Or perhaps have really bad cases of feather mites. Or both! You know, we gotta help the ignoramouses in Hollywood out all we can by USING OUR IMAGINATIONS! Which is what going to the movies is all about anyway, right?….L.B.

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