Our new feathered friend: creating a realistic raptor
As anybody – teacher or student – who has attended one of our workshops will know, we love dinosaurs. We love everything about them – how they look, how they move, how they interact with one another. We love how versatile they are as a teaching aid and being able to instil that kind of passion into the kids we work with.
But what we love most about them is what we don’t know.
That might sound a little self-contradictory, but hear us out.
New developments for old dinosaurs
Like any science, palaeontology sees hundreds of new developments every year. Existing theories are tested, new ideas put forward, and research is carried out around the clock. While we tailor our dinosaur workshops to be entertaining, as educators we try to ensure they are scientifically accurate, too.
So it was, when creating the velociraptor for our new range of workshops, that we realised we would have alter our original vision.
Birds (and beasts) of a feather…
Velociraptors, like many dinosaurs, share a common ancestry with modern day birds. Indeed, a whole subsection of birds – notably birds of prey – are designated as raptors. Aside from the name, they also share tightly-gripping talons with their prehistoric ancestors. As dinosaur enthusiasts, we already knew this, of course.
However, there is also strong evidence that demonstrates velociraptors have more in common with birds than just a vice-like grip and a cool name. It also appears they had feathers.
Creating our new feathered friend
This new vision of what a velociraptor looked like is miles removed from what we encountered on the big screen in Jurassic Park. Still, we had a duty to the kids attending our workshop to provide education as well as entertainment, so we knew we had a job to do.
That job involved 18,000 feathers, each of which was individually stuck into the body of our velociraptor. We wanted them to resemble the exact feel and flow of a bird and, after 300 hours of work, we succeeded!
A “modern” velociraptor
So here it is, in all its avian glory. With design, planning, and production combined, it has taken the Teach Rex team more than a year to complete this latest addition to our crew. Not only is it a magnificent beast, it has an important role to play in our workshops. Pointing out popular misconceptions and how science is constantly evolving to counter this is an essential part of any educational journey.
Get in touch
We want to thank all the incredible and talented people that supported us on this journey for making it possible. If you want to book a velociraptor workshop for your school and meet our latest addition in person, contact Teach Rex today.