(WHTM) — For decades it was the accepted wisdom-all dinosaurs walked around buck nekkid.
Artists’ conceptions, movies, illustrations in scientific articles, in fact just about everywhere you looked, dinosaurs were depicted with smooth skin, or skins with some texture, usually based on reptile scales.
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There was that annoying exception, the fully feathered Archaeopteryx, discovered in 1860. But it was considered a sort of proto-bird, already evolved away from dinosaur ancestors.
But as more dinosaur fossils were unearthed, so were more dinosaur feathers. By the late 20th century it was becoming clear to paleontologists that feathered dinosaurs were a thing. Then in 2015, the feather question was settled for good, with the discovery in China of Zhenyuanlong, a close relative to Velociraptor, the popular murder chicken from the “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” movies. The fossil, preserved in a quiet lakebed, had all its feathers preserved. As paleontologist Stephen Brusatte put it in an article for The Conversation, “Far from being a scaly-skinned reptilian monster, Velociraptor would have been a fluffy, feathered poodle from hell.”
And lo and behold, 2022’s “Jurassic World Dominion” had (drum roll, please) a feathered dinosaur.
So now the feathered dinosaur has officially clawed its way into the popular imagination. And with it just a few days from Halloween, you may be wondering – is it possible to get a dinosaur costume with feathers?
Well, the answer is yes-but the price tag is going to bite harder than Blue the velociraptor. An online search for “dinosaur costumes with feathers” turns up a lot of high-end dinosaur-making companies, which produce the sort of super-realistic walking dinosaur outfits that stroll around at dinosaur shows, special events, fairs, and the like. A lot of them now have feathers as part of their detailing-and they cost thousands of dollars. (Given the work and materials that go into them, the prices are actually quite reasonable, but…)
If you’re looking for something for your child, in the less-than-a-hundred-dollar range, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. None of the children’s costumes I turned up on the web have feathers or even feather patterns. If there’s a pattern on the costume at all, it’s reptilian scales.
Most of these costumes, of course, were designed and manufactured before Halloween, and probably before “Jurassic World Dominion” came out in June. I suspect next year low-cost feathered dinosaur costumes will be more widely available. In the meantime, if you’re a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, you could try taping, tying, gluing, or sewing faux feathers to your dinosaur costume.
Poking sewing needles into an inflatable T-Rex costume is highly discouraged.
Here are some links to the high-end costumes:
For the Conversation article about feathered dinosaurs, click here.