Paleontologists, make up your mind! The T-rex were covered with scales, not feathers.
Most of the recreations out there around tyrannosaurs show these huge animals as frightening - and slightly weird creatures with those short arms - with huge teeth and scaly bodies. Even in the movies, especially in Jurassic Park: The Dinosaur Park, the bugs were portrayed in this way.
However, considering that many species of dinosaurs - including some close T-rex ancestors and “cousins”, as well as their current descendants, the birds - had their bodies covered with feathers, scientists reasoned that tyrannosaurs should also be feathered creatures. . The idea, by the way, has become so widespread and accepted that many of the representations of these animals have been updated to show them as feathered carnivores. Look:
Feathered (Deviant Art / arvalis)
Erase it all!
According to Ben Guarino of The Washington Post, according to a new study, presented by paleontologists at the University of New England, Australia, tyrannosaurs did not have feathery bodies at all, but relied on that scaly skin to which We're used to it. This means that Spielberg portrayed the lizards relatively correctly!
According to Ben, it was not very easy to study the skin of tyrannosaurs, since they have been extinct for about 65 million years, and scientists of the past destroyed several fossilized specimens by rescuing the bones of lizards. But Australian paleontologists have examined skin samples of tyrannosaurs, as well as four of their relatives - Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Tarbosaurus, and Gorgosaurus.
T-rex skin (Peter Larson / Bell et al. Biol. Lett.)
More precisely, the researchers analyzed specimens of the dinosaur's tail, neck, abdomen, pelvis and chest and found no trace of feathers. Thus, paleontologists believe that if these animals had feathers, they would be restricted only to the back, running the length of the reptile columns.
On why tyrannosaurs had no feathers - while many of their relatives did -, scientists argue that one possible explanation would be the size of the lizards. Large animals have trouble dissipating excess heat from their bodies, and the T-rex were about the size of a bus. So having their bodies covered in feathers would only make sense if they lived in very cold places, which was not the case.
Paleontologists also pointed out that while many theropods — bipedal dinosaurs such as tyrannosaurs — actually had their bodies covered with feathers, most dinosaurs had scaly skin, similar to that of today's reptiles.
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