The Washington Post

Bad news about dinosaurs

Terrible Lizard! (Brian Choo/AP)

Dinosaurs, too?

Recently discovered fossilized remains of feathers suggest that dinosaurs had plumage — a thick, fuzzy covering that made them look a bit like emus, apparently.

Excuse me while I crawl off to cower somewhere, never to reemerge.

You know the only thing more terrifying than regular dinosaurs? Dinosaurs with feathers.

The fact that the dino was covered in feathers "doesn't make it less threatening or less fearsome," said University of Maryland scientist Thomas Holtz Jr. told the AP. As someone who used to work on a drag show, I can vouch that this is true.

In fact, feathers make scary things more frightening. Remember “The Birds”? Imagine that you come downstairs to find that a giant emu-sized lizard is robbing your home. Now imagine that the giant emu-sized lizard is wearing a boa.

Whether your antagonist is covered in giant feathers is the difference between worrying that your altercation may not end well and knowing that it won't. If someone approaches you on the subway with a weapon, you might survive. If someone approaches you on the subway with a weapon and a thick, pinkish, downy covering of feathers, make your peace with your maker.

The only thing more frightening than boa constrictors? Feather boa constrictors.

The word “dinosaur” comes from the Greek for “terrible lizard.” There is no Greek word for “giant feathery pinkish dinosaurs” because the Greeks could conceive of no such horror.

“Horse Feathers” is a classic Marx Brothers film. Dinosaur feathers is a gruesome and horrible reality.

What next, science? I can’t put anything past you. Next you’ll be telling me that neutrinos can’t travel faster than the speed of light, but they are covered in tiny feathers.

"Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul," wrote Emily Dickinson. I’m pretty sure that’s not hope. I’m pretty sure that’s a terrifying, flesh-eating velociraptor.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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