People have searched for the truth about dinosaurs for centuries. While previous generations may have considered them dragon remnants or fossils placed into the ground by God to test humanity's faith, the real picture has become clearer with each new dinosaur discovery. Research has also illuminated the similarities between dinosaurs and birds - dinosaurs had feathers, among other bird-like traits.
Several of the most important questions, like learning how dinosaurs behaved or what they looked and sounded like, have ambiguous answers at best. Dino researchers have dug up fossils and examined them for generations, but now some question the validity of a few widely believed conclusions. Along with the discovery of many new dinosaur species, our knowledge about dinosaurs has completely changed. Check out the most shocking facts about these giants.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex Definitely Wasn’t Fast Enough To Chase A Jeep
One of the most famous scenes in Jurassic Park features a Tyrannosaurus rex chasing down a group of the film's protagonists as they speed away in a Jeep. However, despite the impressive size of its legs, the T. rex was probably not able to run much at all. Scientists previously estimated the T. rex could travel at speeds as high as 33 mph, but a 2017 study using complex computer models estimated the creature could only travel a maximum of 12 mph.
Most Dinosaurs Had Feathers
Books and educational materials traditionally depicted dinosaurs as giant lizards. However, this is beginning to change as their evolutionary connection to birds is becoming increasingly apparent. The idea of a dino with plumage is difficult to imagine, but the majority of paleontologists now agree most - if not all - dinosaurs had feathers.
The discovery didn't happen all at once, but in stages, as researchers discovered more feathered specimens, and the truth became impossible to ignore. Since feathers don't usually preserve well, it took years before scientists discovered enough fossils to support the hypothesis. At first, only flesh-eating dinosaurs purportedly had feathers, but the discovery of a well-preserved, feathered herbivore species in 2014 compelled paleontologists to consider perhaps all dinosaurs were downy.
The Brontosaurus Was Real After All
The Brontosaurus is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs, thanks to frequent mentions on the TV show The Flintstones. For a long time, however, many paleontologists didn't believe the species existed. The Brontosaurus came about when a paleontologist misidentified an Apatosaurus skeleton during the overly competitive fossil-hunting competition termed the "Bone Wars."
In 2015, a research team challenged this belief when they found "significant differences" between typical Apatosauruses and the original Brontosaurus specimen. The Brontosaurus appears poised to finally re-enter the history books.
The Triceratops Kind Of Didn’t Exist
In 2010, a study revealed the Triceratops species didn't exist, and the internet flew into a panic at the disappearance of one of the coolest-looking dinosaurs. The truth turned out slightly more complex. Researchers found the previously uncovered Triceratops specimens were younger Torasauruses, rather than their own distinct species. However, as the original research paper mentioned, researchers coined the name Triceratops a few years before Torosaurus, so the official name of the species remains the former.