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Top 5 Myths About Dinosaurs

VO: AJ
Script written by Q.V. Hough Sure we think we know Dinosaurs, but it seems we've actually been playing a game broken telephone over the last 66 million years. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Myths, the series that finds the biggest myths people actually believe, and dispels them one by one. In today's instalment, we’re taking a look at perceived truths of dinosaurs that just don't line up with facts. Special thanks to our user Brendyn Robertson or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 5 Myths About Dinosaurs

 
Sure we think we know Dinosaurs, but it seems we’ve actually been playing a game broken telephone over the last 66 million years. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths, the series that finds the biggest myths people actually believe, and dispels them one by one. In today’s instalment, we’re taking a look at perceived truths of dinosaurs that just don’t line up with facts.
 

#5: Dinosaurs Always Lived in Warm Climates

 
Often in film, dinosaurs appear in a tropical climate, full of vibrant colors. However, during their 160 million year existence, the slow onset of climate change meant that dinosaurs could adapt to much cooler temperatures. In turn, some theorize that the sex of offspring may have been determined by the temperature of the nest, which meant that a changing climate led to a lack of procreation. And while experts continue to debate exactly how the dinosaurs became extinct, we do know that Polar Dinosaurs existed in the High Arctic, Alaska and even Antarctica, where they survived for weeks at a time in pure darkness. Though the visual nature of such a climate, it doesn’t quite make for a jolly Hollywood flick, it’s a sad reality that Polar Dinos knew all too well.
 

#4: Velociraptors Were…These Things!

 
So, you’ve seen “Jurassic Park” and think you know the physical makeup of a velociraptor. Well, in reality, they were less monstrous and more like a plump little chicken. In a clever Hollywood trick, the raptors of “Jurassic Park” are based on the Deinonychus, which is slightly older and much bigger. And you may be surprised to learn that velociraptors only weighed 30 pounds, give or take, in all their feathered glory. These dinosaurs were short and stout, which means they’re small legs probably didn’t make them all that fast either. Alas, the velociraptor’s legacy lives on in cinema, as the wildly inaccurate representation continues.
 

#3: The Tyrannosaurus Rex Had Weak Arms

 
In 1905, the paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn theorized that T-Rex arms functioned as a “grasping form in copulation.” And the jokes have evolved ever since. While the diminutive forelimbs of the Tyrannosaurus Rex can’t be ignored and scholars continue to muse over their actual purpose, they were, in fact, quite powerful. It’s actually been estimated that each muscular arm could lift over 400 pounds. Depictions of T-Rexes would have us believe that they flailed puny arms around while roaming about, but in actuality these limbs were around 3 feet! Additionally, the T-Rex reached heights of 40 feet and weighed approximately 7 to 10 tons, and whether they were procreating or trying to balance themselves after a fall, the supposed weak arms provided major assistance.
 

#2: An Asteroid Killed all the Dinosaurs

 
In popular mythology, people often refer to an “asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.” And while the impact alone did signal an impending extinction, the preceding shift in climate conditions led to a decline long before the Yucatan Peninsula blast. For one, the continental drift produced cooler temperatures over millions of years. And when combined with lower sea levels, the once adaptable habitats transformed into bleak living conditions for the dinosaurs – not to mention the devastating effects of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. So, while it’s true that a massive asteroid undoubtedly killed every dinosaur in close proximity 66 millions years ago, along with nearly every mammal species on the planet, it didn’t immediately kill all dinosaurs but rather made the already threatening conditions even more difficult for sustained life.
 
 

#1: All the Dinosaurs Died Out

 
So after that nasty little asteroid, the dinosaurs were all gone – tata, bye-bye, right? Well, of course, the non-avian forms became extinct millions upon millions of years ago. But in the great outdoors, the dinosaurs live on! ...sorta! Birds actually evolved from smaller dinosaurs called theropods during the Mesozoic Era, which means they are relatives of both the T-Rex and velociraptor. Surely, it can be exciting to study the monstrous skeletal remains of dinosaurs, or to romanticize their existence in glorious 3D, but the fact remains that nature and evolution has left us with plenty to appreciate in its natural form. Even crocodiles have been around for 180 millions of years and they too are living descendants of the dinosaurs, preserving the glorious dino legacy.
 
So how many of these myths did you believe? Here’s what google searchers are asking about Dinosaurs: Did Dinosaurs REALLY exist? Do Dinosaurs have ears? What kind of dinosaur is Barney?
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