Things You Should Know About Dinosaurs


dinosaurs fighting

Sound Intelligent Talking About Dinosaurs

Welcome to the 21st century where everything we know about dinosaurs comes from a single movie franchise. In the spirit of science being more interesting than Hollywood, I want to talk about some of the less widely known things adults may not know about dinosaurs. Take what you see in any of the Jurassic films and toss it out the window. Don’t get me wrong, I love every Jurassic Park movie. Yes even the third one. Even still, while the franchise may have rekindled the movie world’s love for dinosaurs, it didn’t do the scientific world any favors. At the end of the day, when grown adults talk about dinosaurs, they should at least have their facts straight.

Dinosaurs Just Looked Plain WILD

A Google search will show you just how diverse dinosaur forms were, but dinosaurs weren’t dull and gray. Dinosaurs looked as wild as a box of Fruit Loops, Toucan Sam and all. A recent study published in 2016 showed that some dinosaur eggs were actually a blue-green color, not just plain white or brown. Additionally, some dinosaur skin was dug up in 2004, and although we don’t know what color it was, we know it was striped. Dinosaurs looked wild. Which is the perfect segue into our next subject.

By Nobu Tamura @ Spinops

Dinosaurs Used Insulation

This is probably a little more well known than the rest. Some dinosaurs had feathers. The Jurassic Park franchise is famous for it’s velociraptors. Actual velociraptors were covered in feathers. In fact, the raptor family of dinosaurs had lots of feathers, but they weren’t the only ones. Paleontologists today believe that juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex may have had feathers. Don’t worry though, he shed them as an adult for the predatory stud look we all know and love. Which leads us to our next topic.

Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct

That’s some widely spread misinformation. Birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs. That’s right, birds. Now there were non-avian dinosaur types that went extinct 65 million years ago, but some dinosaurs are still alive and well today. In fact, birds rank above Mammals and Reptiles in number of species. Next time you think how cute that little cardinal is, or how much you want a parakeet around the house, just remember that his ancestor would have torn you apart and eaten you. And then your cat.

Dinosaurs Didn’t Roar

RAWR! Am I right? Nope. They were completely incapable of making that sound, even if they wanted to. Dinosaurs did not have a larynx like us. Now a bird’s voice box is called a syrinx, but dinosaurs didn’t have that either. Birds evolved that later. So what did dinosaurs vocalize with? At least one used a resonance chamber. A chance discovery in 1995 allowed paleontologists to recreate the resonance chamber of a particular dinosaur. They were then able to recreate the sounds made by that dinosaur! The sounds in this video are one of the most exciting dinosaur discoveries of all time. Just seeing the number of views and looking at the comments will show you that dinosaur lovers everywhere unanimously agree.

And speaking of sounds…

Dinosaurs Could Break The Sound Barrier

While Chuck Yeager my have been the first human to break the sound barrier in 1947, dinosaurs were doing it over a hundred million years earlier. Giant dinosaurs like Diplodocus and Brontosaurus were able to crack sonic booms with their tails. This particular sonic boom would sound more like a cannon than a jet.  Only the last 2-3 inches of the tail would actually travel at supersonic speeds.  Scientists have found healed injuries on the vertebrae consistent with repeated stress. Amazing to think you couldn’t hear a dinosaur coming, isn’t it?

Dinosaurs Could Swim

And probably not just the ones you’re thinking of. Most evidence of dinosaurs swimming has been from Theropods (Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor). Several tracks have been found from these dinosaurs semi-swimming. These dinosaurs would sort of doggie paddle their way across the water, leaving toe and tail impressions in the sand below. Perhaps it should be renamed dino paddling? Dinosaurs may go in the water for the same reasons as animals today. To get food, escape predators, or even just to get to the other side.

Dissolving Dinosaur Ignorance

As adults, we should know enough to not only get into trouble, but out of trouble too. Watch Jurassic World, enjoy Jurassic World, but remember dinosaurs in the real world were different. From sounds, to visuals, to basic misuse of the term dinosaur, what we really know about dinosaurs is vastly different than what we’re shown sometimes. The next time the know-it-all at work starts talking nonsense about dinosaurs, use your new found dino-knowledge to shut him down and get yourself out of trouble. Of course then you’ll impress that other know-it-all, who will forever now start talking over your head because she actually does know it all. Just come back here, and we’ll figure out what she’s talking about. Together.