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Author Topic: how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?  (Read 16867 times)

paul.fr

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« on: 19/05/2007 09:28:29 »
when you visit a museum or match movies, the dinosaurs are all sorts of colours. how do we know what colour each dinosaur was?


 

another_someone

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #1 on: 19/05/2007 10:56:22 »
We don't - they make up colours for public consumption.

Unless we were to find a dinosaur preserved in ice (very unlikely since at the time of the dinosaurs the Earth was ice free), or in some other way preserved in a manner that would maintain its flesh colour (mostly, we don't even maintain its flesh, let alone the colour of its flesh), then I cannot see it to be practical to know what colour it is.

Maybe one day we might be able to reconstitute the DNA of some dinosaurs, and learn to understand that DNA well enough to read the colour of the animal that would have grown from it (and hope the colour was not too environmentally sensitive); but at present we certainly are not there.
 

paul.fr

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #2 on: 19/05/2007 20:24:27 »
What! it's all made up!!! Whilst i accept that many will be shades or green, tan and brown, is it possible that there were albino and pink Dinosaurs?
 

Offline JimBob

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #3 on: 19/05/2007 21:15:28 »
Between 1830 & 1833 Charles Lyell published his books entitled Principles of Geology. It was subtitled "An Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface by Reference to Causes now in Operation"

This antique subtitle has been shortened to "The present is the key to the past." This principle is also know as "Uniformitarianism"  All this is is the assumption that the process observed in nature today are the same as those that have operated in the past.

SO - how does this apply to dinosaurs? If we assume reptiles to be the closest living model of dinosaur then the color we see in the present reptiles is what we can expect for dinosaurs. Snakes and some lizard do exhibit albinoism, so there could have been albino dinosaurs.

But we do not know, will never know. What we DO KNOW is what some dinosaur skin looks like from impressions formed in mud and now preserved in stone. We also are getting information that such genera of dinosaurs a Tyrannosaurs have feathers. DON'T PANIC. T. Rex isn't going to fly in through your kitchen window from some unexplored mountain top. The feathers are for insulation.



 

another_someone

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #4 on: 20/05/2007 00:12:01 »
If we assume reptiles to be the closest living model of dinosaur then the color we see in the present reptiles is what we can expect for dinosaurs.

But, as you hinted, this itself is an assumption that is open to question (at least for some dinosaurs); and in any case, we have seen quite rapid changes in colour of animals over much shorter periods of time than the 65 million years since the dinosaurs walked the Earth (and dinosaurs themselves lived for a period longer than they have been extinct).
 

Offline tony6789

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #5 on: 31/05/2007 13:59:17 »
an albino dino...now thats a funny image!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #6 on: 06/06/2007 11:27:44 »
an albino dino...now thats a funny image!

Or how about 1 with dreadlocks!
:D

 

Offline Raliel

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #7 on: 10/06/2007 12:54:08 »
The simple answer is that we look at modern animals and use them as a basis for guessing what colours dinosaurs would have had.... Hadrosaurs were possibly the most colourful as they seem to have developed remarkable display features in the form of crests. If we look at modern birds and lizards we can get a good idea of what they would have looked like.
as more feathered Dino fossils emerge, wqe can also imagine that many had display plumage..... imagine a T-Rex with a ruff of crimson and blue feathers that it could erect for display ( like a cockerel )
« Last Edit: 10/06/2007 12:57:01 by Raliel »
 

Offline ukmicky

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #8 on: 10/06/2007 16:59:13 »
As well as display plumage there are other factors which determine the colour of something such as the ability to absorb heat from the sun (warm blooded vs cold)or the ability to hide within your surroundings. If you look around you today we have animals with almost every colour imagineable and dinosaurs probably also came just as varied with the differences determined by their lifestyle
 

jolly

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #9 on: 11/06/2007 13:23:40 »
Dinos were, alot of them related to birds, So many would probably of had feathers, others were anphibians and other reptiles, the croc is one of the few survivers that hasnt changed much! But all the colours they use to today as another-someone said are made up! But really dinos never got wiped out they all evolved as time progressed!

Many birds today are of dino desent! as is the croc!
 

Offline Raliel

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #10 on: 13/06/2007 10:00:48 »
Actually crocodiles and Aligators are reptiles, not Dinosaurs..... Interestingly the Pterosaurs were not directly related to Dinosaurs either, they were a seperate branch of reptile  that had developed, they may have had a common root ancestor back in the mammal-like reptile days of the Earth... On the subject of birds being Dinosaurs..... it has been discovered that T-Rex is closely related to the modern chicken ( they share a lot of very similar protien sequences )
 

Offline pete_inthehills

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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
« Reply #11 on: 06/08/2007 21:51:15 »
In rare occurances an imprint of dinosaur skin has been preserved.  These can tell us what the skin looked like.  Or more accurately, what that portion of the skin looked like.  But we don't know its colouration.  We'll need time travel for that!

pete
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how do we know what colour dinosaurs wre?
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