Typically, the classic image of Tyrannosaurus rex doesn’t include feathers; look at any dinosaur movie for proof of that. In recent years, however, it’s come out that a lot of the scaly dinosaurs we’ve come to know and love were actually covered in feathers. That might be a hard reality for some of us to swallow, but T. rex enthusiasts don’t have to, because a new study seems to confirm that the strong-jawed dino was actually the scaly creature we’ve always thought it was (via The Washington Post).
Phil R. Bell, a paleontologist at Australia’s University of New England told The Washington Postthat the research “shows without question that T. rex had scaly skin.” Along with the T. rex, Bell and his colleagues examined skin from relatives Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus, and Tarbosaurus, and found it to be scaly, suggesting that if T. rex did have feathers at all, they likely would have only been on its back or spine. They may have had feathers, but they probably didn’t look like giant killer chickens.
Bell says that one reason this may be the case is because T. rex was just so darn big. “Probably the sexiest option is gigantism,” he said. “Big animals have trouble shedding excess heat, so being covered in feathers is not a good idea unless you live somewhere cold.”
T. rex probably looked pretty much how we suspect it did. All is well in the dinosaur world, although we have to admit that a giant bird with the biting power of three cars would have been pretty cool too. Let us know in the comments what you hope T. rex actually looked like!
Featured image: Universal Pictures