Did you have an obsession with dinosaurs as a kid? Yep, us too!
In this minisode, we’re chatting more with Dr. Francois Therrien from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller about the bird dinosaur connection, and a favourite classic movie….Jurassic Park.
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By studying the palaeoecology of extinct animals, François Therrien aims to determine how animals behaved when they were alive, and what the world they lived in looked like. For the palaeoecology of extinct animals, François uses two different approaches. The shapes of animals’ bones help him determine the behaviours of extinct animals (e.g., how they hunted, walked, laid their eggs). He also studies the features and chemical composition of ancient soils (called paleosols) to reconstruct the environments and climatic conditions the animals lived in.
Jody Allair is an avid birder and naturalist who enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for the natural world. He is the Director of Community Engagement at Birds Canada and has written numerous articles on birds, birding and connecting with nature. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @JodyAllair.
You're listening to the world of birds Canada podcast.Andrea Gress:
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Warblers. Today we're bringing you even more dinosaur content because we had a lot of fun with our last episode. If you haven't listened yet, head back and check it out. Our producer Jodie layer chatted with Francois Tyrian from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. All about the connection between birds and dinosaurs. So for this many so we wanted to chat a bit more about the bird dinosaur connection. But we also wanted to find out the answer to the biggest question we were all wondering after the last episode. Why don't the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park have feathersAndres Jimenez Monge:
when you go birding Francoise from the living birds, which one is the one that will be closest to dinosaurs?Francois Therrain:
Usually we put passerines passerine birds as being the more derived the highest on the Fillory evolutionary tree. If you put it that way, then the most primitive birds would be the Palaeognathae. So Tinamou is Ostriches, Emus, Cassowary. Those are all the most primitive birds that we have. But they're probably look nothing like what primitive primitive modern birds quote unquote will have look like you have from the Cretaceous before the extinction of dinosaurs. You have some birds that are closely they're found in Antarctica, four out of you can imagine this species are actually very closely related to Gallo and Surrey so basically two ducks and and fouls and they don't look anything like ostriches, but they're higher up on the evolutionary evolutionary tree of birds.Andres Jimenez Monge:
So what you're telling me is that when I go "dinon-watching" is when I'm watching Tinamous, ostriches, Emus, chickens and ducksFrancois Therrain:
pretty much had those are among the most primitive birds that we have today. So you can imagine hey, if the ancestors of chickens were there during the Cretaceous, maybe a velociraptor could eat chicken or paleo-chickens. And I actually evolved the taste for chicken,Jody Allair:
Paleo-chickenAndres Jimenez Monge:
good or when I eat chicken? Yeah, when I eat chicken I could it be eaten the same as the Velociraptor was eatingJody Allair:
or eaten basically what a velociraptor would taste like, potentially right?Andres Jimenez Monge:
Oh my God the taste of Velociraptor in my mouth... this is fantastic.Jody Allair:
Okay, so I have to follow up on this question of what are the most primitive birds and I have to ask about Jurassic Park. Why does Velociraptor and the other theropods in Jurassic Park? Not have full feathered coatings? Isn't this a well known thing now that they should have feathers?Francois Therrain:
Yes, that's a very good question. The thing is, it's all related to the ontological discoveries and the timing of those discoveries. The first Jurassic Park movie came out in 1993. So that was a full three years before the first fossils of feathered dinosaurs were discovered. So at the time, people have floated out there the idea that maybe some dinosaurs at least those very close to modern viewers may have had feathers, but we had no idea. First, we had no proof. And second, we had no idea how far down the family tree of theropods feathers would be found. Now, with the discovery in 1996 of feathers, and all subsequent discoveries after that, now we know that almost all meat eating dinosaurs were covered with feathers, not all modern looking feathers, but at least with dyno fuzz. And we know that Velociraptor, we don't have the feather impressions for on fossils of Velociaptor, but we have on the forearm Velociraptor what's called quill knobs. So the anchor site for the flight feathers at foreign wings and believe it or not, we know that Velociraptor had wings. So now the question is okay, we know that Velociraptor was feathered had wings. Why don't we see that in the Jurassic Park movies? While there's lots of fan colleges that have asked that question to the directors and the producers of drastic Park? And the answer was always the same. A feathered dinosaur is not scary enough. So that's why nobody wanted to portray a meat eating dinosaur with feathers because they say it looks like a chicken. Three chickens. So that's why there's been that big resistance to putting feathers on dinosaurs in Jurassic Park movie, Flash news. The New Jurassic World movie that's coming out later this year in 2022. We will see down away meat eating dinosaurs with feathers. If you look at the trailer for the new Jurassic Park movie, you'll see that T Rex Jurassic. Right now Rex has dyno fuzz on its body although we don't have any evidence that T Rex and fuzz but now they put Daniel first and then we see some meat eating dinosaurs that are fully feathered. So finally, the producers and the directors of the movies have heard the call and the public and they want to see feathered dinosaurs to catch up with paleontological knowledge. And then starting in the New Jurassic World movie, we will see feathered theropods.Jody Allair:
I feel like the early creators of Jurassic of the Jurassic Park movies have probably never heard of a Cassowary but I don't think there is a more intimidating animal on the planetFrancois Therrain:
and they are very dangerous and vicious. They are lots of people have been killed by guests hilarious so yeah,Jody Allair:
that's right. Yeah. No if you if you need any evidence of how intimidating a bird can be, yeah, Cassowaries are pretty crazy. Francoise, a thank you. Thank you so much.Francois Therrain:
It was a pleasure. Thank you.