5 surprising facts about dinosaurs
Our perception of dinosaurs is largely colored by movies like Jurassic Park and the small plastic toys we played as children. But did you know that T-Rex was actually bearing feathers and some dinosaur species were dancing and roaring around before mating?
1. Dinosaurs were dancing before sex
Even ravenous dinosaurs were dancing and making attractive sounds to charm their prospective mates.
Paleontologists have studied fossilized scratch marks in western Colorado, and their study shows that the two-footed dinosaurs, the theropods, invented a groundbreaking dance before mating.
“Can you imagine dinosaurs that get excited by dancing before they mate?” Professor Martin Lockley of the University of Colorado asks rhetorically in The Guardian.
Velociraptors and T-Rex, who lived in the twilight for 85-80 million and 66-65 million years ago respectively were also among the dancing theropods.
2. T-rex was feathered
Other studies also suggest that T. rex weighed more than nine tonnes as previously assumed. It made the predator too slow to run after most of its preys, and therefore the researchers believe that the dinosaurs king probably supplemented its diet with the remainings of other giants.
3. Dinosaurs mated via sewers
The most common theory of the mating method of the dinosaurs is that the dinosaurs – like the closely related birds and crocodiles – had a so-called “sewer” under their tails where urines, stools and sperm ran out of the body and they press their sewers together and then male squirts sperm into females sewer.
As with some male birds, you can also expect that the dinosaurs had a penis that was taken out of the crack and then penetrating into the female’s opening.
The scientists have not yet found a dinosaur fossil with a preserved genitals, and so the sewer theory remains as the most likely theory also among the paleontologists.
4. The Velociraptor was turkey-sized
The scary hunter of the Jurassic Park movies has proved somewhat less scary than assumed. The velociraptor was only 50 cm tall and weighed 15kg; the same as a little turkey.
A fossil from Mongolia in 2007 also shows that the velociraptors were dressed in feathers.
However, the velociraptor lived up to its name: Veloc means “speed” and raptor means “the one who seizes” in Latin. The little dinosaur could actually reach 60 km/h speed and seize its prey with a 9 cm long claw.
Its preys are consisted only of small mammals, reptiles and insects.
5. Dinosaurs are not extinct
In fact, there are still dinosaurs flying around us every day. Today’s birds, descendants of the so-called extinct dinosaurs are still classified as ‘dinosaurs’.
The evolution from dinosaur to bird occurred over millions of years and started with turning into two-legged animals and then followed by obtaining feathers and wings. Today, one thing especially relates the birds with the past dinosaurs is their hips.
The dinosaurs had a special hip through which they could stand upright, run faster and be active for longer than other reptiles and that anatomical special feature is shared by today’s birds.