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 Calling out falsehoods from Hollywood magic to outdated textbooks myths, this list is full of the facts when it comes to dinosaurs, not the commonly held myths and misconceptions regarding the massive creatures.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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Dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time
A common false dinosaur fact coming from the world of science-fiction, dinosaurs actually never coexisted with humans. The last dinosaur died out 62 million years before our first recognizable hominid ancestor appeared on Earth.
Jurassic Park will be a reality once we master cloning
One of the most commonly accepted dinosaur myths is that we will be able to clone and propagate dinosaurs once we get better at cloning. Not true! DNA has a fragile structure and breaks down soon after a creature’s death – and surely after 62 million years. So, sadly for all the “Jurassic Park” fans, it seems as though we won’t be having Disney-owned dino theme parks.
Archaeologists study dinosaurs
Archaeologists do study the past and they do plenty of digging, but they don’t study dinosaurs – they study humans (and some study animals and their relationships with humans) over the past three to four million years. Paleontologists are the scientists who study dinosaurs through paleontology: the study of fossils to learn about life in previous geological periods.
Some dinosaurs could fly
Again, nope! When we think of dinosaurs, we often think of the Pterodactyl or Ichthyosaur, but they’re not even dinos. The earliest vertebrates scientists have identified as developing powered flight, Pterosaurs were reptiles but not dinosaurs.
All dinosaurs lived at the same time
Though dino-shows would make us think all known-dinosaurs lived together during the same time period, this is a major dinosaur myth! The famous Tyrannosaurus and Brontosaurus (now identified as Apatosaurus) lived 65 million years apart, further apart than the last dinosaurs and the first humans.