25 Myths About Dinosaurs You Might Need To Stop Believing

Posted by , Updated on December 22, 2015


Dinosaurs are some of our favorite creatures to have ever ruled the Earth. Hulking beasts at the top of the food chain whose carnivorous tastes led them to eat whatever was in sight, right? Well, all three of the statements in the last sentence are not completely true. Dinosaurs were an incredibly diverse species that spanned many millions of years – far far longer than we’ve been on Earth. The most popular dinosaur movie so far – Jurassic Park – may be entertaining, but most of what it presents on dinos is inaccurate. (Even the name is wrong – its dinosaurs didn’t even live in Jurassic times!) Calling out falsehoods from Hollywood magic to outdated textbooks myths, this list is full of the facts when it comes to dinosaurs, not the commonly held myths and misconceptions regarding the massive creatures. Have you heard that dinosaurs were slow and stupid? (They weren’t.) What about that dinosaurs were all wiped out by an asteroid impact? (Not entirely true.) Whether you’re an amateur paleontologist or just grew up watching “The Flintstones”, there’s sure to be a dinosaur myth on this list you haven’t heard of yet. Read on to find out if you believe any of these 25 myths about dinosaurs you might need to stop believing.

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An asteroid strike killed off the thriving dinosaurs

asteroid collisionSource: Smithsonian, Image: Wikipedia

This commonly-held dinosaur myth is heavily debated by paleontologists. Though it’s mostly accepted that the asteroid strike wiped out the last of the dinosaurs, some scientists believe dinosaurs had already been declining for many millennia.


Dinosaurs were all scaly

Deinonychus - feathered dinosaurSource: University of Alberta, Image: Wikipedia

Despite our images of the T-Rex and Stegosaurus, not all dinosaurs were scale-covered, hulking beasts. The past two decades of paleontological research has unearthed numerous dinosaur species which were covered in feathers. Despite their feathers, they were flightless, likely using them for insulation or in mating rituals.


Dinosaurs were weak, easily extinctable creatures

Triceratops-vs-T-RexSource: Smithsonian, Image: Wikipedia

Not so! Dinosaurs hold the record for dominating the planet longer than any other land animal. Ruling over 150 million years, dinosaurs were masters of adaption and evolution.


Dinosaurs were stupid

Carcharodontosaurus skullSource: Dr. Dave Hone via The Guardian, Image: Wikipedia

Those who believe dinosaurs were evolutionarily weak also tend to think the creatures were pretty stupid. Paleontologists aren’t too on-board with this assumption. Though intelligence is hard to determine (especially for such ancient creatures), scientists have found examples of parenting, social behavior, and group living among dinosaurs. And many species even have brains quite large for their size.


Dinosaurs were warm- or cold-blooded

Dimetrodon with sunSource: Smithsonian, Image: Wikipedia

Though the animals we’re familiar with today are either warm- or cold-blooded, the same doesn’t apply to dinos! Paleontologists have found dinosaurs from the Mesozoic Period were neither warm- nor cold-blooded; rather, their being “dinosaur-blooded” was a unique form of body heating and cooling that appears to have changed with the dinosaur’s metabolism over its lifetime.

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