Using innovative scientific techniques and a flood of recently discovered fossils, paleontologists are rewriting what we know about dinosaurs – from the color of their skin and features, to how they were raised and how they evolved.
Groundbreaking new science is changing what we know about how dinosaurs looked and today, National Geographic is unveiling their October Issue, Reimaging Dinosaurs, which revolves around the astonishing fact that for the last two decades, there have been an average of 40 dinosaur finds per year, making the dinosaurs that most people are familiar and grew up with (either in museums, in textbook or story books), factually incorrect!
This issue takes one of the first comprehensive looks at dinosaurs as a species of animal in almost two decades and showcases updated scientific research from paleontologists that may differ from what you know about how dinosaurs move, hatch, grow, look, socialize and more.
- The Spinosaurus is mostly aquatic and has a tail designed for propulsion in water and curved claws more suited for catching prey in water rather than walking on land.
- Deinonychus appears to have had blush eggs similar to those of modern birds, suggesting that their nests were in open-air. The egg coloring and patterning provides them with the ability to camouflage in the open environment. Additionally, this also indicates that the Deinonychus brooded its offspring.
- New research and finds allow us to piece together how dinosaurs developed, matured and reached their enormous sizes, giving us a better understanding of the entire cycle of life of dinosaurs.
- Researchers now know that many dinosaurs had feathers of some kind that came in a variety of colors, based on their fossilized pigments. Other species had patterned skin coloring for display or camouflage.
- Advances in 3D technology are allowing researchers to reconstruct details of dinosaur’s anatomy, including inner ears, brain regions and soft tissue crests, which sheds new light on the mental and sensory abilities of dinosaurs and their capacity for social behavior.
For the full story of this discovery, read the National Geographic article HERE, visit our content hub at natgeo.com/dinos and see the exclusive National Geographic visuals HERE (with usage requirements). Visuals include renderings showing comparison versions of each of the 5 profiled dinosaurs (what we thought they looked like vs. what we now know they looked like), as well as animations (video) of each.
Visit National Geographic’s Family Hub for a kid-friendly take on this announcement.
Michael Greshko: Michael Greshko is a writer for National Geographic’s science desk, covering everything from dinosaurs to dark matter. He has been featured on BBC World News America, CBS News, CBS This Morning and NPR’s 1A. Michael is based out of Washington, D.C. See his report on the discovery of the Nodosaur dinosaur here and find him on Twitter @michaelgreshko.
Caitlin Holbrook: Caitlin.Holbrook@natgeo.com
Chandler Hueth: Chandler.Hueth@natgeo.com