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Old 2nd August 2019, 10:20 AM   #1
wasapi
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The color of dinosaurs.

Is there any way in the future, that the actual color of dinosaurs will be revealed? From what I have read, it is believed that some had patterns, stripes, spots . . .

The theory that they were dull colors that blended in with the surroundings, may have been true for some. But I doubt it is true of all.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 10:28 AM   #2
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Wikipedia on dinosaur coloration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_coloration
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Old 2nd August 2019, 10:33 AM   #3
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The Color of Dinosaurs is an excellent name for a fancy cologne!
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Old 2nd August 2019, 10:38 AM   #4
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To a very, very limited extent maybe. Otherwise it's a question for St. Mary's Institute.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The Color of Dinosaurs is an excellent name for a fancy cologne!
Great idea! You market it and I will do the design. How about rainbow colored dinosaurs?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 12:36 PM   #6
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Rainbow feathered dromeosaurs.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 01:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Rainbow feathered dromeosaurs.

....would be just as camouflaged as the dull dark ones. Ever gone pheasant hunting? Down right gaudy birds, until you try to find a downed one in a corn field.

Or look closely at an Alligator lizard. Beautiful coloration of the scales.

A question that might help- did/do reptile eyes see in color? The gaudiest animals are species that see in color, to attract mates.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 01:18 PM   #8
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They were able to recover very limited amount of melatonin from a fossilized Sinosauropteryx and determined to be, basically, raccoon colored.

Quote:
For now, we can't answer that question for every dino, but when it comes to Sinosauropteryx, the picture is nearly complete. And very raccoon-like. These little beasts, which were only about a meter (three feet) long, had a robber mask around their eyes, dark, reddish coloration on their backs, a pale belly, and long striped tails.
https://curiosity.com/topics/how-do-...ere-curiosity/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0127134245.htm
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/n...colors-nature/
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Old 2nd August 2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
<snip>

A question that might help- did/do reptile eyes see in color? The gaudiest animals are species that see in color, to attract mates.
Many birds have four primary colours and can see wavelengths you humans cannot. They have been hunting in daylight for a very long time. This kept manuals confined to hunting at night time, where colour vision is not needed.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 04:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Many birds have four primary colours and can see wavelengths you humans cannot. They have been hunting in daylight for a very long time. This kept manuals confined to hunting at night time, where colour vision is not needed.
"You humans"? What are you then?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:53 PM   #11
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Color variation provides advantages to predators and prey, it can also factor in sexual selection.

Dinosaurs were around for a long time.

If we could go back in time, I'd expect camouflage colors, lurid colors, etc. the whole gamut.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
To a very, very limited extent maybe. Otherwise it's a question for St. Mary's Institute.
I love those books
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Old 2nd August 2019, 09:18 PM   #13
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Surprisingly there is more and more evidence of color on several dinosaurs.

More importantly, birds are colorful and birds are dinosaurs. So even the extinct dinosaurs likely had the full range of coloration we see in birds.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 09:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ron Obvious View Post
"You humans"? What are you then?
I am an Australian magpie.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 12:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ron Obvious View Post
"You humans"? What are you then?
I think you'll find he is one of our lizard overlords*, do not believe any cover up story like he has evolved into a bird! Wake up sheeples.


But on that basis his opinion on colour vision in dinosaurs is certainly valid.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 06:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
They were able to recover very limited amount of melatonin melanin from a fossilized Sinosauropteryx and determined to be, basically, raccoon colored.
Fixed that for you.

Fred
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Old 3rd August 2019, 06:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ron Obvious View Post
"You humans"? What are you then?
On the internet, no one knows you're a magpie.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 08:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The Color of Dinosaurs is an excellent name for a fancy cologne!
Or a Booker Prize winning novel.

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Old 3rd August 2019, 11:29 AM   #19
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Mammals traded off their fuller color vision for traits like warm-bloodedness and the speed and thought advantages that gives their brains. They were also able to develop better night vision. Think of it like today's TVs which use current to always be ready to turn on instantly as opposed to having to warm up first (if you're old enough to remember that kind).

It wasn't till primates came along that mammal brains could get the energy resources to have both rods and cones (at the cost of lousier night vision) and see the wider range of color again.

Having owned a fair amount of reptile pets, I can definitely say the more advanced ones, like lizards, see color. Can't really say in snakes, they use scent, heat and simple movement detection more than full vision, I believe.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 02:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Surprisingly there is more and more evidence of color on several dinosaurs.

More importantly, birds are colorful and birds are dinosaurs. So even the extinct dinosaurs likely had the full range of coloration we see in birds.
If you shave a parrot to see its skin it gets super angry.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 06:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Color variation provides advantages to predators and prey, it can also factor in sexual selection.

Dinosaurs were around for a long time.

If we could go back in time, I'd expect camouflage colors, lurid colors, etc. the whole gamut.
Maybe even plaid, my favorite color!
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Old 3rd August 2019, 07:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Wolrab View Post
Maybe even plaid, my favorite color!
Thatís ludicrous
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Old 3rd August 2019, 08:17 PM   #23
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For several years I worked for an iguana-rescue. I took in one, Tyson, who was from Peru. Beautiful colors. Aqua, greens, some orange, and jet-black, inky markings, such as beautiful 'eye-makeup'.

Archie I had for 17 years, and was from Columbia. He had a great deal of striking orange and green, mother-of-pearl skin covering his shields. He had never been caged, hung out in the trees around the house, and came in when I called him.

Finally, he got up one morning, went outside in the sun, ate his salad, came in to take a nap, and died in his sleep.

Yes, but it was impossible to watch him, to live with him, and not think of dinosaurs.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 08:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
For several years I worked for an iguana-rescue. I took in one, Tyson, who was from Peru. Beautiful colors. Aqua, greens, some orange, and jet-black, inky markings, such as beautiful 'eye-makeup'.

Archie I had for 17 years, and was from Columbia. He had a great deal of striking orange and green, mother-of-pearl skin covering his shields. He had never been caged, hung out in the trees around the house, and came in when I called him.

Finally, he got up one morning, went outside in the sun, ate his salad, came in to take a nap, and died in his sleep.

Yes, but it was impossible to watch him, to live with him, and not think of dinosaurs.
On your final point...

I have a couple of chickens, I've seen them kill a rat.

I have no doubt that we share our world with dinosaurs. (Fortunately mine are quite small, and want to be my friends. )

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Old 3rd August 2019, 09:46 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
Mammals traded off their fuller color vision for traits like warm-bloodedness and the speed and thought advantages that gives their brains. They were also able to develop better night vision. Think of it like today's TVs which use current to always be ready to turn on instantly as opposed to having to warm up first (if you're old enough to remember that kind).

It wasn't till primates came along that mammal brains could get the energy resources to have both rods and cones (at the cost of lousier night vision) and see the wider range of color again.

Having owned a fair amount of reptile pets, I can definitely say the more advanced ones, like lizards, see color. Can't really say in snakes, they use scent, heat and simple movement detection more than full vision, I believe.
Because mammals hunted at night they developed senses, such as hearing, smell and whiskers for sensing the air movements. Only mammals have three bones in their inner ear so they can hear a greater range of sound frequencies than reptiles. Snakes do not have a good sense of smell, they use their sense of TASTE instead. That is why they stick their tongue out.
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Old 4th August 2019, 03:43 PM   #26
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I'm trying to imagine a pastel pink T-Rex, sporting a feathery mane of teals and yellows....
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Old 4th August 2019, 08:27 PM   #27
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I don't know but a documentary I watched on TV this very morning indicated they were purple.
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Old 5th August 2019, 01:44 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
This kept manuals confined to hunting at night time, where colour vision is not needed.
Were they printed in different languages as well?
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Old 6th August 2019, 01:51 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
Mammals traded off their fuller color vision for traits like warm-bloodedness and the speed and thought advantages that gives their brains.
I don't think there's a trade-off between "speed and thought" and colour vision. As to warm-bloodedness, again I don't think there's a relationship between that and colour vision, and further many dinosaurs, like birds, were warm blooded.

Quote:
They were also able to develop better night vision.
That's the real trade-off. As rjh01 has said, if you're active at night you're not going to be seeing in colour anyway.
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Old 6th August 2019, 02:24 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If you shave a parrot to see its skin it gets super angry.

And extremely ugly!

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I AGREE

If I'd been a dinosaur, I think I would have grown feathers, too.
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Old 8th August 2019, 11:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
That's the real trade-off. As rjh01 has said, if you're active at night you're not going to be seeing in colour anyway.
Why not? Lots of animals, from insects to owls have excellent colour vision at night. There was a recent article in Scientific American about this. Apparently, at night, some animals trade visual acuity, or visual speed for light collection. They either do not see as sharply as during day, because they bunch more cones to catch the light, or they do not perceive motion as well as during the day, because they gather light for a longer time to form the image.

The article stated that whenever colour vision was checked in night active animals, it was always found to be excellent, contrary to what was expected.
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Old 8th August 2019, 11:28 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Why not? Lots of animals, from insects to owls have excellent colour vision at night. There was a recent article in Scientific American about this. Apparently, at night, some animals trade visual acuity, or visual speed for light collection. They either do not see as sharply as during day, because they bunch more cones to catch the light, or they do not perceive motion as well as during the day, because they gather light for a longer time to form the image.

The article stated that whenever colour vision was checked in night active animals, it was always found to be excellent, contrary to what was expected.
That's very interesting. I made an unwarranted assumption based on our poor colour vision low light conditions that it would be a general problem. Thanks!
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Old 9th August 2019, 02:11 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Why not? Lots of animals, from insects to owls have excellent colour vision at night. There was a recent article in Scientific American about this. Apparently, at night, some animals trade visual acuity, or visual speed for light collection. They either do not see as sharply as during day, because they bunch more cones to catch the light, or they do not perceive motion as well as during the day, because they gather light for a longer time to form the image.

The article stated that whenever colour vision was checked in night active animals, it was always found to be excellent, contrary to what was expected.
Have you a link for this, especially for birds? I have other information.


Quote:
First, owl eyes are dominated by densely packed retinal rods. All animal eyes have photoreceptors shaped like cones and rods. Retinal cones function best in bright light and are responsible for color vision. Rods are much more sensitive and function best in dim lights. Owls have almost a million rods per square millimeter (1,550 per square inch). Humans have about 200,000 rods per square millimeter (310 per square inch).
https://www.nationalgeographic.org/m...-eye-view-wbt/

Also owl eyes are bigger than what you would expect. This would allow them to see more details at night time.
Quote:
As expected from their habits and visual ecology, raptors and owls have enlarged eyes, with masses 1.4 and 2.2 times greater than average birds of the same weight.
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d...rspb.1999.0652



Colour at night time would not be very useful. An ability to see at night time would give huge advantages over creatures that have poor vision. Combine that with an ability to fly silently and your prey has little chance.
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Old 9th August 2019, 04:27 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Apparently, at night, some animals trade visual acuity, or visual speed for light collection. They either do not see as sharply as during day... or they do not perceive motion as well as during the day...

The article stated that whenever colour vision was checked in night active animals, it was always found to be excellent, contrary to what was expected.
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
That's very interesting. I made an unwarranted assumption based on our poor colour vision low light conditions that it would be a general problem.
Something must be sacrificed to make up for the short supply of light. But exactly what that will be depends on the exact mechanism by which night vision is achieved.

►If it's done by clogging up the retina with more rods, then you just can't have as many cones, so yes, what you lose then is what cones provide, which is mainly color discrimination. Of the four basic types that most amniotes (I think even most vertebrates) have, mammals lost two types and gained rods. Then some mammals added a third type of cone back in, putting our vision somewhere between the extremes. In film cameras, doing night vision this way equates to making film with as much as possible of whichever one single light-reacting compound you know of is the most sensitive, instead of making film with a set of different compounds that respond best to different colors of light. In digital cameras, there is no hardware that equates to rods; each pixel of the sensor consists of three physical subpixels that act more like cones. But you could either build a sensor with only one type of light-receiving unit for each pixel, or mimic the effect with custom software that combines the data from the three color subpixels for each pixel to get a single boosted value for each entire pixel (essentially making a set of "cones" act together like a single "rod").

►If it's done by slowing down the response timing of the cones, then no rods are needed so you don't need to decrease your cone count, but it will mean you're slower to detect movement and moving things get blurred more. In cameras, this equates to leaving the shutter open longer or adjusting something called "ISO" (sensor/film sensitivity; the speed with which a film or sensor responds to light). And if you can't adjust this timing factor but are stuck with it for life, then everything in daylight will look like you're staring right at the sun. (And making such adjustments is harder than it sounds; the difference you'd need to be able to cover is a factor of hundreds, the equivalent of shutter speeds from under a tenth of a second to multiple whole minutes and ISOs from under 100 to numbers in the tens of thousands, and most biochemical processes just won't scale up or down in speed that radically.)

►If it's done by widening the pupils (the equivalent of the "aperture" or "F-stop" in cameras) to let in more light to hit the sensor, you're sacrificing focus. Photographers actually play with this effect on purpose sometimes; just do an image search for the word "bokeh" for drastic examples. But the artistic merits of a partially defocused image seldom translate well into a life-or-death advantage for an entirely focusless image.

►You can also boost your ability to glean meaning from whatever images your eyes can collect, with what they call "processing power". Animals that take this approach have a bigger visual cortex. In film world, this equates to controlling how long your pictures are left in each chemical solution in the darkroom, or even letting some parts of a picture spend more time with the darkroom chemicals on them than other parts of the same picture before you clean it all off to stop the reactions. In digital cameras, most of the development of their abilities in the last couple of decades, other than the development of sensors with more & more pixels, has been the development of algorithms to apply to an image even though the image was taken with puny crappy hardware. If you choose from a couple dozen "scene" settings in a digital camera, you're choosing between a couple dozen algorithms to apply to the image after the sensor is done collecting the light (along with different shutter, F-stop, & sensor sensitivity settings). A really basic simple example for night vision would be, if you're getting data that only stimulates the pixels up to about 50% of their capacity at the most, just doubling all of the numbers, essentially pretending that 50% is 100% and 41% is 82% and so on. Of course, the real algorithms you'd usually use are more complex than that, which is why it's taken years to develop them and get computers that can run them fast enough in the digital world and animals can end up investing in thousands or millions more neurons dedicated to the task. We do most of this subconsciously, which is why what we think of as white and black is contextual; the brightest or darkest thing in one setting might not be so bright or dark in another setting, but we still reset our momentary perception of white & black to the range of whatever is actually in front of us at the moment. But there are also conscious behavioral aspects of it, like staring longer as something confusing to give your brain more time to work on it. In any case, for cameras or animals, this aspect of vision doesn't involve tinkering with the sensors in any way at all, so the sacrifices are generally not in vision but in whatever else it takes to carry that much processing power around.

================================================

None of this necessarily matters to an animal's color, though, because an animal's color might have nothing to do with what the same animal or others of its own species can see. It might be about what some other species sees. Even plants come in colors.

================================================

Similar sets of multiple kinds of factors can also apply to hearing. For example, only mammals have outer ear structures (the artificial equivalent of which would be the "parabolic" part of parabolic microphones), but, lacking that, an owl's whole head & face has been reshaped to try to essentially turn it all into one big ear.

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Old 9th August 2019, 04:30 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Is there any way in the future, that the actual color of dinosaurs will be revealed? From what I have read, it is believed that some had patterns, stripes, spots . . .

The theory that they were dull colors that blended in with the surroundings, may have been true for some. But I doubt it is true of all.
Given that many had feathers and that those feathers were probably initially for sexual selection, I'd bet they were pretty colourful (at least the males, like currently-living dinosaurs). Maybe quite vocal, as well. But different species probably used them for other purposes as well, and maybe some of them could glide or fly as well.

Either way, imagining a T-Rex as a giant chicken with teeth is even more scary than the earlier depictions.
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Old 9th August 2019, 06:42 AM   #36
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Paleoart has been stuck in an odd rut because if it adds any unique ornamentation, coloration, or physicals features to animals it gets shouted down as "But that's not realistic!" despite the fact that some dinosaurs must have had these kind of features.

Here's the metaphor I use. Imagine it's 10 million years in the future and some far future descendant of John Hammond decides he's going to open up Cenozoic Park, comprised of cloned animals from our time that they only know about from fossilized skeletal remains. Let's say he gets a bunch of DNA and clones... An African Bush Elephant, an Indian Peacock, a Jackson Chameleon, and an Eastern Striped Skunk and at the point all they know about those animals is what they could logically and reasonably get from fossilized remains.

You can see where this is going. They wouldn't been expecting huge flappy ears and a two meter long prehensile nose, a massive pop up multi-colored plumage display, color changing skin, and a stink spray attack.

So dinosaurs, as a far reaching family of animals that filled countless ecological niches, certainly had behaviors, ornamentation, and physical features equivalent to some of that. Not to say there were literally trunked or scent spraying dinosaurs, but dinosaurs had crazy, weird stuff we have no idea about.

Or as XKCD put it:



That's why I wasn't as bothered by the frilled, venom spitting Dilophosaur in the movies. If John Hammond had cloned a half dozen dinosaurs species and not one of them had had some weird out of nowhere biological feature, that would have been unrealistic. (My other issues along those lines is that in Jurassic Park John Hammond someone by pure magical coincidence cloned most popular dinosaurs instead of a bunch of less well known (or even totally unknown) species.)

But that's the no-win paradox. It's would be unrealistic for dinosaurs to be exactly as we imagine them because... well we know we don't have all the info, but we also aren't allowed to just speculate on what those unknowns might be because that's "unrealistic." Damned if you do, damned if you don't. We know dinosaurs had these features, but we discouraged from speculating on any individual example of it.

So, and futurism suffers from this same problem, whenever dinosaurs are presented in fiction it's always done "safely" which is NOT the same thing as honest or accurate. It's just people afraid to add anything unique but possible to them.

There's a spectacular book called All Yesterdays which approaches this in different fashion, presenting hypothetical recreations of dinosaurs and other extinct animals with bright garish colors, spots and stripes, plumage and other ornamentation, neck wattles, varying levels of fat*, stuff like that. It's pure speculation and it openly admits it but I think it makes a good point.

*One of the worst problems that Paleo-art is only now just starting to get out from under is an absolute aversion to putting any type of meat or fat on dinosaurs, almost always presenting them as essentially shrinkwrapped skin over their skeletons although, again logically, dinosaurs probably varied as much in their builds as modern animals and almost certainly ranged from shrink wrapped skinny to downright hippo fat.
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Old 9th August 2019, 06:51 AM   #37
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I'm just imagining how cute any dinosaur would be if it were super plump! Triceratopses would be chubby trundly things! Squeeeeeeeeee!
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Old 9th August 2019, 07:06 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm just imagining how cute any dinosaur would be if it were super plump! Triceratopses would be chubby trundly things! Squeeeeeeeeee!
The horns were just to support the hammock.
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Old 9th August 2019, 09:32 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Have you a link for this, especially for birds? I have other information.
I read the paper edition of Scientific American, and the online version is behind a paywall: Animals Use Brain Tricks to See in the Dark
I do not have the printed edition with me, but I'll try to find it and quote whatever it says about birds.
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Old 9th August 2019, 05:41 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's why I wasn't as bothered by the frilled, venom spitting Dilophosaur in the movies. If John Hammond had cloned a half dozen dinosaurs species and not one of them had had some weird out of nowhere biological feature, that would have been unrealistic. (My other issues along those lines is that in Jurassic Park John Hammond someone by pure magical coincidence cloned most popular dinosaurs instead of a bunch of less well known (or even totally unknown) species.)

But that's the no-win paradox. It's would be unrealistic for dinosaurs to be exactly as we imagine them because... well we know we don't have all the info, but we also aren't allowed to just speculate on what those unknowns might be because that's "unrealistic." Damned if you do, damned if you don't. We know dinosaurs had these features, but we discouraged from speculating on any individual example of it.
I love this article.
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