SCIENTISTS CHANGE TYRANNOSAURUS IMAGE AGAIN, THEY ACTUALLY HAD BIG LIPS
It’s been quite a while now that the Tyrannosaurus Rex has been a major visual in the mind’s eye of the public consciousness. Mostly, this is because of the Jurassic Park movies. It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since the first movie came out. But even before that, we thought we knew what these apex predators from millions of years looked like. And, to be fair, the more recent movies really changed how we thought they moved more than anything else. We thought of them as lumbering, lizard giants for decades before Jurassic Park showed us how they could pounce and sprint like sharks on land. But we keep learning more. Like, they had weird, scaly big lips, too?
TYRANNOSAURUS BIG LIPS WERE COVERED IN SCALES, AND THEY COULD LIKELY GRIMACE, TOO
It seems so. And this new understanding will take just a bit longer to truly encompass in our imaginations. Instead of the all-too-familiar crocodilian smile even when their jaws are closed tooth action, the Tyrannosaurus Rex had big lips covering their teeth and could conceivably allowed them to make all sorts of facial expressions. Just think of the menacing dog you ever saw and how many ways they could make their lips change shape. Is that a grimace or a smile? Because the T.Rex likely could do all of those things, too. But on a scale, with scales, one could shudder to comprehend.
BUT WHAT COLOR WERE THESE BIG LIPS? AND DID THE T. REX ALSO HAVE BRIGHT, COLORFUL FEATHERS?
So how did scientists come up with this latest understanding? Thru analyses of the dental histology of both crocodylians and theropod dinosaurs, the latter of which includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex. These analyses leads scientists to believe that the T. Rex had complete coverage of the marginal dentition with extraoral tissue when the mouth was closed. And that pretty much means lips. But lips. Maybe red? Well, as to color we don’t really know too much at all yet. For all we know, there could have been T. Rex running around with bright yellow feathers and fire engine red lips.
While not likely, that’s entirely possible! And conservatives thought drag queens were threatening.