Australian Dinosaur Story
Did you know?
Some dinosaurs are named after the area where they were found, for example
Muttaburrasaurus was found near the Queensland town of Muttaburra.
Climate in the past
Scientists have a good idea what past climates were like from the study of fossils of the animals and plants that lived at the time. They compare the fossils with similar animals and plants that live today. For example, fossils of many ferns would indicate a moist and temperate climate because that is the environment in which modern ferns live.
There would probably have been several hundred bones in a complete dinosaur skeleton, similar to large animals of today.
The colour and skin of dinosaurs
We know something about the scaly skin because there are fossil examples of the imprints of the skin in ancient mud. However the colours have not been preserved. The pictures in books showing colours are just the guesses of artists and are based upon what sort of environments the dinosaurs may have lived in.
Different dinosaur species
Scientists have so far found around 1000 different species of dinosaur
in many different parts of the world. More species continue to be found
and some of the most exciting current sites for dinosaur discoveries are
happening right here in Australia in the hard soils of central Queensland.
Warm blooded or cold blooded dinosaurs
This is a difficult question. It is believed that the giant Sauropods would have been cold blooded. Cold blooded animals do not need as much food as warm blooded ones, because they do not need to spend so much energy to keep warm. Even so, they would have needed to eat a huge amount of plants to feed such enormous bodies. It is believed that the Theropods may have been warm blooded. This would have allowed them to move about and hunt food even when times were cold.