Jurassic Park may be about to get a makeover. A new study finds that Tyrannosaurus rex and its relatives did not look like crocodiles, with teeth jutting from their maws in all their full, razor-sharp glory. Instead, these dinosaurs covered their chompers with lips, more like today’s lizards.
“This is a nice, concise answer to a question that has been asked for a long time,” says Emily Lessner, a vertebrate paleontologist at Denver Museum of Nature and Science, who was not involved in the new study. But not all experts are convinced.
Both paleontologists and paleoartists have long debated whether theropods—a group of carnivorous dinosaurs that includes T. rex—had lips. Reconstructions by scientists in the 1920s and ’30s showed them with flesh over their teeth, says Thomas Cullen, a paleobiologist at Auburn University. But popular media, including the 1993 movie Jurassic Park, popularized dinos with large, prominent teeth