Knowing how dinosaurs look

Knowing how dinosaurs look

Nobody today has ever seen a dinosaur in real life. We may have seen museum models and illustrations, but we don't know if dinosaurs really looked like that.

The best skeletons are only 90% complete, and even specialists called paleoartists have to make informed guesses.

8 STASHED

How do we know what dinosaurs looked like?

popsci.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • Stance: Without cartilage and connective tissues, experts map extinct skeletons against how birds and reptiles stand and walk.
  • Head: Dinosaurs were terrestrial and may have needed to trap moisture inside their mouths. That's why many depictions have partial lips similar to lizards.
  • Muscle and fat: Paleontologists most often refer to the same muscle groups in birds. A T. rex is given a thicker neck because he could bite through bones.

8 STASHED

Small structures named melanosomes vary in colour depending on their shape: Black ones are sausage-like, and reds are round. A well-preserved M.guid feather shone raven. Nanostructures also suggest it had an iridescent sheen.

Close relatives to the T. rex have protofeathers on their heads, backs, and tails, suggesting that the T. rex may have had too.

8 STASHED

  • Limbs: The structure of the bones can show how appendages moved. The T.rex used to be shown with its hands facing down but a 2018 analysis of turkey and alligator shoulders worked out that their palms may have turned in. The angle between M. gui's shoulder blades and rib cage may not have allowed its wings to flap.
  • Skin: A small piece of fossilised skin of a T. re was found in Montana and helped artists make a stamp of the texture to apply to the rest of the body.

8 STASHED

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for 175 million years

Dinosaurs first appeared between 247 and 240 million years ago. An extinction event wiped them out 65,5 million years ago, except for the avian dinosaurs.

Scientists think the extinction was likely because of an asteroid impact, chemicals from erupting volcanoes, climate change and other factors.

9 STASHED

1 LIKE

A Brief History of Dinosaurs

livescience.com

Plausibility of Jurassic Park

In 1993, Newsweek ran an article affirming the scientific plausibility of Jurassic Park. They pointed out that two Berkeley scientists announced that they had cloned 40m-year-old bee DNA after finding the insect preserved in amber.

But to replicate a dinosaur genome, you would need billions of DNA building blocks. They could not harvest more than 250. Moreover, the amber-based experiments of the bee DNA finding were likely based on false results. Lastly, no one has ever found any dinosaur DNA since DNA degrades over time.

16 STASHED

1 LIKE

Reality bites: Could Jurassic Park actually happen?

theguardian.com

Dinosaurs by different names

People have always known about dinosaurs but called them by different names.

  • Old legends that put Western dragons in caves or underground may have originated with fossils.
  • The plumed serpent is described in mythologies of Mexico and Latin America.
  • The Rainbox Serpent of Aboriginal tales was since the beginning of time.
  • The Asian dragon combines features of many animals.

81 STASHED

1 LIKE

Why We Love Dinosaurs

nautil.us