Some people say that you can still find dinosaurs, if you browse the halls of Parliament long enough.
Of course, you know that’s a joke. But there are still plenty of things you probably believe about the prehistoric creatures that are just as wrong. And with the upcoming release of Jurassic World this June, we’re sure everyone is about to become an “expert.” So get ready to do some digging of your own, because we’re about to excavate the truth.
Dinosaurs aren’t lizards
They couldn’t fly…
Yup, never happened. But what about pterodactyls, you ask? They weren’t actually dinosaurs, they were just flying reptiles that lived during the age of dinosaurs. But they never fell into the same category.
…Even though most dinosaurs were covered in feathers
The dinosaurs you’re used to seeing in movies are scaly beasts, but mounting evidence is convincing experts that most, if not all, dinosaurs had feathers. Except they didn’t use them to fly (as stated above). It’s believed the feathers provided warmth, but were also used to attract mates.
The small arms of a T-rex? They really were pointless
You’ve probably wondered how such a massive animal would use such tiny limbs, and paleontologists have long been scratching their heads over the same question. While they know the dinosaur’s arms were quite strong, able to bench press about 400 pounds each, experts are beginning to think the arms were a result of an evolutionary lag. As the creature’s head and teeth were modified to become its primary weapon, its head became larger while it’s arms got smaller—which would explain the awkward undersized limbs left over. But there are some other theories, as some believe the T-rex used its arms to latch onto a partner while mating.
They used highways to get around
They may not have had cars, but dinosaurs certainly had roads. A prehistoric dinosaur thoroughfare was found in B.C., where hundreds of prints from various extinct carnivores and herbivores can be found pressed into a rocky surface. The area was thought to be an important route for the allosaurus, a Jurassic Park look-alike with a huge head and rows of teeth.
Dinosaurs liked Canada…a lot
The Toronto Raptors are really onto something. Just ask the Edmontosaurus (named after Edmonton, Alberta), or the Albertosaurus (named after Alberta), or the Edmontonia (also named after Edmonton), or the Lambeosaurus (named after Canadian paleontologist Lawrence Lambe).
We won’t ever be able to clone a dinosaur
Sorry, Jurassic Park fans. DNA is actually a very fragile molecule, which breaks down and becomes unusable shortly after the death of an animal. That means we won’t ever be able to clone the prehistoric creatures.
Scientists aren’t sure if the Brontosaurus actually existed
We’ve all seen them on The Flintstones, but the discovery of the Brontosaurus was originally thought to be the result of a bitter rivalry between two paleontologists who were trying to out-perform the other. Yale Professor Othniel Charles Marsh came across the partial skeleton of an Apatosaurus, which was missing its skull. In his apparent rush to beat his rival, Marsh used the head of another dinosaur just to complete the skeleton. That’s how the brontosaurus was thought to be born. But now a new study has found the skeleton Marsh originally studied actually had a wider neck than the Apatosaurus, and argues that the creature is worthy of its own name. Officially, it’s classification is still up in the air.
Most dinosaurs, even the largest ones, were vegetarians
“Would you like some carrots with your human?” Contrary to what you’ve seen on TV, carnivorous predators like the Tyrannosaurus Rex are generally the exception to the rule in the dinosaur kingdom. Most would spend their days eating massive amounts of plant matter (which experts believe might have given them bad gas).
Dinosaurs may have thrived in polar environments
University of Alberta researchers returned from Antarctica in 2011 with evidence that the dinosaurs didn’t just survive in the south pole, they might have flourished. In an area about half the size of a football field, paleontologists discovered what could be the remains of up to three different species of dinosaur. While the area wouldn’t have been quite as frozen during the prehistoric era, it still would’ve been located in the south pole region.