A Feathery Dinosaur Tail Was Found In Amber, So Maybe ‘Jurassic World’ Should Rethink Its Designs

Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow has handed off directing duties to J.A. Bayona for the film’s sequel because of his commitment to Star Wars: Episode IX, but the two directors seem to be on the same wavelength, at least when it comes to animatronic dinosaurs, anyway. But perhaps they need to rethink their feather stance as a newly discovered piece of remains locked in amber have further confirmed previously held ideas.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter recently, Bayona said, “We love animatronics and we’re trying to do as much with them as possible.”

It echoes Trevorrow’s sentiments from back in October. “There will be animatronics for sure. We’ll follow the same general rule as all of the films in the franchise which is the animatronic dinosaurs are best used when standing still or moving at the hips or the neck,” he said “We’ve written some opportunities for animatronics into this movie because it has to start at the script level and I can definitely tell you that Bayona has the same priorities, he is all about going practical whenever possible.”

Bayona said audiences are used to CGI and might be reluctant toward animatronics. “But at the same time, I think animatronics bring soul and reality to it,” he said. “We’re trying to find the balance between animatronics and CGI in order to cheat the audience so they don’t know what they’re seeing.”

Whether it’s using animatronic or CGI dinosaurs, however, it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing feathers on the Jurassic World‘s sequels. Especially in light of this tweet from Trevorrow.

But a recent discovery suggests maybe the film should rethink that decision. You probably already know birds being descendants of some dinosaurs has been a widely accepted belief for a while now. You probably also remember Jurassic Park addressing that. The series took liberties with science but by the third film it had changed up the velociraptors, putting quills on the head of the males. (Feathers were too much for CGI at the time.) Fast forward to Jurassic World and its bit of meta commentary about Dr. Wu creating the dinosaurs to exist as the public perceives them rather than as they truly were, hence, no feathers.

But it might be nice to see feathers show up in the Jurassic World sequel if for nothing else than a nod to paleontologist Lida Xing’s amazing new discovery.

“Inside the lump of resin is a 1.4-inch appendage covered in delicate feathers, described as chestnut brown with a pale or white underside,” according to National Geographic. “The presence of articulated tail vertebrae in the sample enabled researchers to rule out the possibility that the feathers belonged to a prehistoric bird.”

As Dr. Wu said, we mostly think of dinosaurs as scary or imposing, not cute, but the description CNN provides of this find makes me want a new pet, even if it would eat my face off in the night:

The tail section belongs to a young coelurosaurian — from the same group of dinosaurs as the predatory velociraptors and the tyrannosaurus. The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand.

If you’re inclined to get into the real nitty-gritty science check out the report here.