What Color Were Dinosaurs?

Movies often depict dinosaurs as being greenish brown in color, but how do we know this? What color were dinosaurs, really?

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In the mid-19th century, modern paleontology really started to flourish as scientists began searching for and reconstructing dinosaur fossils. Ever since, everything about dinosaurs has captured the human imagination. Jurassic World is the newest movie to bring the animals to life and people around the world seem to love it-raking in over $500 million over its opening weekend.

Trace got the opportunity to sit down with Jack Horner, a paleontologist and technical advisor to all Jurassic movies (read: official dinosaur expert). They discussed some of our most burning dinosaur-related questions: what color was dinosaur skin? How do we know they had feathers? How do paleontologists know they are assembling dinosaur fossils correctly (they were doing it wrong for a long time)?

Did you see Jurassic World? What'd you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Learn More:
Dinosaurs Shook Their Tail Feathers (Discovery News)
"Some dinosaurs danced and literally shook their tail feathers to attract potential mates, researchers say."

John R. Horner - About (Montana State University)

What Color Were the Dinosaurs? (Scholastic.com)
"While skin impressions have been found - suggesting a pebbly or scaly texture - no real dinosaur skin remains."

First Dinosaur Fossil Discoveries (Enchantedlearning.com)
"People have been finding dinosaur fossils for hundreds of years, probably even thousands of years. The Greeks and Romans may have found fossils, giving rise to their many ogre and griffin legends."

Scientists study rare dinosaur skin fossil to determine skin color for first time (Phys.org)
"One of the only well preserved dinosaur skin samples ever found is being tested at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron to determine skin color and to explain why the fossilized specimen remained intact after 70-million years."