I'd say somewhere down the middle - not completely featherless, but not covered with feathers/down to the point that it looks like a giant chicken. I know Jurassic Park III gets a lot of heck, but the quills on the raptors in that film might be a basis for what early feathers on dinosaurs looked like and where they might've been placed.
I find it funny that people think that feathers would make it 'not scary', as if we don't have modern day birds smaller than I am that aren't nightmares-geese(I can vouch for this one), swans, turkeys(wild ones especially), birds of prey being territorial, cassowarys, ostrich... Even chickens are apparently terrifying given the number of videos I've seen of people running in fear just cause one chased them.
But a T-rex (or any large dinosaur) with feathers is suddenly, NOT scary? I call shenanigans.
I like the idea of a little of both design-wise and based on the general gist I've picked up on following Suarian and bits of dino news. Mostly "naked" with some feathers on the back of the head/neck flowing down the nape of the neck and onto the back like a shawl or cape. Maybe a little coming down onto the outer facing portion of the forelimbs, but featherless underneath like an ostrich.
Also wattles, I demand ludicrous chicken wattles. I'm skeptical of the likelihood of such a feature, feels like it'd be a liability in a fight, but it's fun to imagine.
My issue with wattles and other such display structures on large theropods is two fold. First, such structures are rarely seen in extant predatory animals as they call unnecessary attention to an animal that often needs to be unseen to get a meal. Second the amount of weight of the skin that would be hanging off of the head and neck would be a lot. Seems like that would be quite the disadvantage. That all being said I think those structures on herbivores and much smaller theropods are totally cool. 👍
That makes sense, and perhaps would be why when I do imagine such structures on large theropods they seem so comical. Thanks.
I'll also have to revise my statement after reading the new Saurian blog post, I didn't realize one of the scale impressions was from the back of the neck which would certainly -as those on Saurian and the paleontologists already concluded- exclude that place as the last likely bastion for large feather coverage. The alternative, imagining bits and patches of feathers conveniently skirting the scale patches would certainly be unusual and unlikely.
Yeah every time I see a tiny feather cape on the back of a rex now it feels like clinging to an outdated idea. Like when people were drawing feathered raptors that still had Jurassic Park scaly raptor heads haha
I love both scaley and feathered rexes, but I personally would like to believe it would have "somewhat" of a feather coat. From your most recent design, it has scales, and while I think your design looks awesome I still prefer the now outdated version due to the originality.
Well... Not completely. From the new evidence of scales on the hips, all the Saurian team needs to do is to remove some of the feathers off of that part of the body, and it's not out of the question that the feathers could have existed between the scales but so far we have no direct evidence of that.
You know I am on the Saurian team right? I'm the guy that designs the rex. The paleontologists we consulted said that the amount of feathers on our rex and by extension your diagram are outdated. Naked/scaly is much more likely.
Being a very large animal T-Rex would've only need a full feathery coat if it was living in freezing conditions like its relative Yutyrannus. The majority of the animal in life would be covered in scales with a ridge of quills running along its back.
Scientifically speaking, T. Rex's probably had something like rudimentary feathers or quills based on their ancestors and close relatives. My evolutionary bio professor had this great chart about it but I can't find it in my notes anymore
I kind of imagine the largest theropods to be mostly scaly but with short hair-like feathers, perhaps between the scales. Not that a bushy-feathered Tyrannosaurus is out of the question, but with the varied (albeit, small) patches of scales found it seems more than likely that T. rex was mostly scaly.
Elephants, hippos, and rhinos are all massive, warm-blooded mammals which live in warm climates. The combination of their endothermy and environment meant that they lost almost all of their hair (well, hippos could've lost hair to be hydrodynamic, but still). Now, dinosaurs are generally considered to be endothermic, and a t. rex was an animal the size of an elephant, which lived in a subtropical climate; i.e. it was warm and humid. I can't imagine a massive, endothermic animal that lives in a warm climate having a total covering of feathers. Little patches here-and-there, but not heavily feathered at all.
Given that there's been recent studies saying it may not have had feathers, and Saurian is now going back to the naked look, I'm honestly not sure. My actual default answer isn't a "should it be this or that" but more "it should be whatever it was." Given that we don't know for certain which one it was yet, I feel like I don't really have a place to say. I really liked the idea of a feathered rex, mostly because it challenged the status quo and helped step further away from the idea that all dinosaurs looked like Jurassic Park's movie monsters. But the argument became so personal and heated on both sides, feathers vs no feathers, and I myself also got wrapped up in it, hoping that feathers were proven, a sort of victory for the animal being, well, just a living being.
But at the same time, I'm not gonna then turn around and deny facts if it turns out it wasn't feathered. The rex was whatever it was, and the more we find out about these amazing creatures, the more we'll know. I think I just ultimately am interested in however they looked, or behaved, as someone who loves animals. But I don't want to try and think about what best looks cool. (Even if the idea of a giant feathered rex was an amazing concept)
My rule of thumb has been this: Males often times have display features, something to use to attract females. As such, if the T.rex is supposed to be male, I would give it some sort of mane going down its back and neck, colored something like a red hawk, a color that would look nice while not hindering the animals stalking and hunting abilities by being to noticeable. Something like that. If the T.rex is supposed to be female, females usually are duller colors, little to no displays, etc, so I would give it little to none (it would at least not standout or be very noticeable if she did have it). I feel that fits the fossil evidence while also leaving possibilities to be creative and experiment with different designs and concepts.
No hard evidence of feathers on T Rex, no. it's incredibly rare for feathers to fossilize, though (you have to have very fine particles, such as volcanic ash) so they could have them and the feathers could just not fossilize. However, many therapod dinosaurs, including members of the tyrannosaur family, have been found with feathers, so it is fairly reasonable to reconstruct T Rex with feathers. It's not quite guesswork, as there is evidence to support a partially feathered Rex. Of course, there is also hard evidence of T Rex having scales on some parts of its body. The most likely reconstruction is part scaly and part feathered, perhaps like an Ostrich. I'm no expert, just a Dino enthusiast.
You're welcome. I'd recommend you look up some more knowledgeable sources to get better info than I can give, if you're curious. As I said, I'm no expert, just a massive dino fan who listens to experts