As I have been stressing in my recent talks in Aarhus, Bristol and London the Image of the Dinosaur in modern times keeps changing at an alarming speed rate that many times threatens a good chunk of our work to become obsolete in a very short time. No time for the creation of Icons. Never mind, we have the tools to modify things now, and we should not be afraid to use them and above all, we should not be afraid of change… Science Fiction in this case is not arbitrary or mere fantasy; it can and must abide by the evidence. Palaeontology has become an ever-increasing dynamic science. Paradoxically, the more evidence we gather the more avenues to the imagination are opened. I have been saving the surprises of new illustrations for the time when my new “big”(really big!) book with Dr. Bakker comes to light next year, but in the meantime, here’s an advance preview: Yutyrannus, the feathered tyrannosaur.
You might think: well, many people (including me) have been restoring small or baby tyrannosaurs with feathers since the late nineties (or even before)… but this time we have the evidence in stone of a sizeable, albeit primitive tyrannosaur and worst of all: it opened the possibility that adult T. rexes might have been somewhat feathered too… a notion that I had always been reluctant to illustrate… Is this once again pushing serious dinosaur illustrators into the realm of “Science Fiction” like the notion of feathered dinosaurs did to so many many years ago? Well… here’s your answer. Now that we have Yutyrannus, things will never be the same from now on. It may well be that T. rex was not fully feathered; after all we have patches of T. rex skin that look “pebbly” (in the words of Bakker himself) and it might be that we find a complete T. rex with no feathers… but in the meantime we don’t know where those patches of skin come from… and then we have Yutyrannus!
T. rex feathered… are we joking? A feathered carnivore monster the size of a house? Watch this space in the future!