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DarthMetaKnight
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08 Jun 2018, 10:14 pm

Hi all. Tonight, I want to talk about how dinosaurs are portrayed in the media.

Here's a phrase that I'm sick of hearing "Tyrannosaurus can't have feathers! It's supposed to be scary!"

Why do so many people think that dinosaurs are "supposed to" be scary? Dinosaurs were animals. Animals don't care what we think about them. They aren't "supposed to" be anything. They just are. If scientific evidence proves that dinosaurs had feathers, then they had feathers.

I'm really starting to hate Jurassic Park. That movie gave dinosaurs a new surge of popularity, but it also ruined dinosaurs by trying too hard to make them scary.

Remember that one scene in Jurassic Park where the T. Rex is chasing the van? That scene makes no sense. Jurassic Park is clearly full of plant-eating dinosaurs ... so why is the T. Rex chasing the car? T. Rex had a magnificent sense of smell. It should know that there are sauropods nearby. Also, most real predators give up after a chase that long. The Velociraptor scenes are absurd too. First of all, real Velociraptors were not that big. Second, Velociraptors evolved to hunt other dinosaurs. Why do the raptors in the movie prefer to hunt odd, giant mammals that never coexisted with their ancestors? Furthermore, why are the raptors portrayed as disgusting monsters?

I've noticed that Hollywood filmmakers have a hypocritical attitude towards predators. Modern predators, such as lions and wolves, are portrayed as beautiful, noble animals. Prehistoric predators are portrayed as horrifying abominations.

Feathered dinosaurs aren't scary? Good. People shouldn't be scared of dinosaurs. We should be willing to see majestic beauty in dinosaurs, just as we see majestic beauty in wolves and lions.

This majesty is lost if we portray dinosaurs as giant lizards. Dinosaurs were not lizards. They were more closely related to eagles than they were to lizards. When a dinosaur has feathers, like an eagle, people can look at it in a new way.


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naturalplastic
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09 Jun 2018, 5:06 am

Why do you get so worked up about it? :lol:

Its a money making Hollywood movie made for the unscientific masses.

Like worrying about what Isaac Newton would think about Superman ( when Super Man takes off into the sky his feet should punch massive holes into the sidewalk because "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction").

Twenty years ago I was looking at a little booklet about the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park put out by the movie studio as a companion to the movie. And it stated that raptor dinosaurs were "smart as chimps". They may have been smarter than the average vertebrate of their own Cretatious time, but their brain-body ratio was probably on a pair with possums or chickens today. Nowhere near that of even lemurs today, much less that of monkeys or apes. So yes, Jurassic Park is not font of paleontogical wisdom. The movie franchise's crimes against the facts go back a long time.

Though on the other hand they actually did make a scientific "prediction". The movie had a fictitious species of raptor that was larger than known species in the first movie. And later fossil hunters found a real species of raptor of similar size to it in the rock strata.



DarthMetaKnight
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09 Jun 2018, 3:32 pm

I love dinosaurs and I don't like it when they are misrepresented.

Yes, the masses are unscientific. Hollywood shouldn't try to make the problem worse. We should expose people to the beauty of real science.

Overall, Hollywood seems to think that prehistoric nature was significantly more brutal than modern nature. In the media, modern nature is often portrayed as innocent and cutesy. The Lorax is a good example of this ... but prehistoric nature is always portrayed as brutal for some reason.

In other words, Hollywood seems to think that nature was uber-macho for millions of years ... and then it suddenly became cute and pretty recently.


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09 Jun 2018, 5:47 pm

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
I love dinosaurs and I don't like it when they are misrepresented ... Hollywood seems to think that nature was uber-macho for millions of years ... and then it suddenly became cute and pretty recently.
"Kill or be killed; eat or be eaten" has been the way of living things since the first organisms began reproducing. Dinosaurs were no exception.

Unless you have evidence that completely and successfully refutes evidence that has been collect scientifically, you may just have to live with the facts as we know them -- dinosaurs were essentially mindless brutes that were either predator or prey.


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DarthMetaKnight
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09 Jun 2018, 8:29 pm

Fnord wrote:
"Kill or be killed; eat or be eaten" has been the way of living things since the first organisms began reproducing. Dinosaurs were no exception.

Unless you have evidence that completely and successfully refutes evidence that has been collect scientifically, you may just have to live with the facts as we know them -- dinosaurs were essentially mindless brutes that were either predator or prey.


Nature is more complex than that. Is there brutality in nature? Yes, but many animals are capable of forming social bonds and caring for their young.

How exactly were dinosaurs "mindless brutes"? Many were capable of raising their young and pack hunting. Pack hunting is brutal, but it isn't mindless.

Given that dinosaurs were closely related to birds, many of them may have been capable of song and dance as well.


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Fnord
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10 Jun 2018, 4:22 pm

False analogies. Even mindless brutes have instincts — alligators are extremely protective of their own young, yet will often devour the young of other gators.

Remember, birds evolved from dinosaurs, and Dinos were more like flesh-ripping gators than cute little birdies in both form and function.


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“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3-16, 1969)