The list of dinosaur species we believe to have been feathered is expanding all of the time. After decades of hypothesis, paleontoligists literally started digging up evidence in the 90s. In 2007, the Velociraptor was confirmed to have feathers by the discovery of "quill knobs" on a well preserved fossil.
This was too late to impact the first and second Jurassic Park films, and the third just made a concession to it, redesigning the creatures to give them a few quill-ish protrusions on the head.
So will Jurassic Park 4 have the baldies of parts one and two, the "lightly-coiffed" variants of part three, or more scientist-pleasing, quill-covered things?
Here's a tweet from the film's director, Colin Trevorrow:
No feathers. #JP4
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) March 20, 2013
Well, the Jurassic Park films have often been caught out by advances in paleontological understanding, and I'm sure our grasp on dinosaur biology and behaviour will only continue to evolve. I think it makes sense to just stick with the initially created rules rather than trying to keep pace with or second-guess reality.
Remember that business in the first Jurassic film about the T-Rex not being able to see its prey if they don't move? Now, nobody believes that any more, but hey, it can still be used for fun. And it's now part of the Jurassic Park "universe" because it wasn't just a theory in the film, it was how that T-Rex operated. Inside the films, it's now pretty much a rule of nature.
What's more, a feathered dinosaur just doesn't read as being "dinosaury," so the connotations that come with these scary, leathery, monsters from the depths of time would be weakened, and we don't want that.
Could Jurassic Park 4 be used to educate the masses about dinosaur misconceptions? Sure. Should it? Not necessarily.
Trevorrow will start shooting Jurassic Park 4 soon. I wonder what it's actually going to be about? And don't say "Dinosaurs"…