The first dinosaur bone ever found was in 1676. At the time, the scientists thought that the remains belonged to an elephant or some other large animal. It wasn't until a century later that it became clear that the fossils belonged to a Megalosaurus (great lizard).
In 1842, the anatomist Richard Owen put the Megalosaurus into a new group called Dinosauria - terrible lizards. Today the group contains over 700 different species of dinosaurs, although it's constantly being changed and there's new species being added all the time. Because of the various perceptions that movies and books have created, we've been given a rather different idea of what the creatures inhabiting Earth 65 million years ago were actually like. Here are the biggest busted dinosaur myths:
Not all reptiles were scaly
Dinosaurs were related to today's lizards and crocodiles but were a lot more scaly. There were, however, plant-eating lizards whose bodies were covered with feathers, like birds.
Not all dinosaurs were huge
Hollywood movies have impressed the image of dinosaurs being gigantic and scary creatures. Of course, T-Rex weighed over 5 tons and was 39.5 ft (12 m) tall. Argentinosaurus was even larger - 98.5 ft (30 m) long and weighing 80 tons. But not all dinosaurs were so impressive in size. Velociraptor was about the size of a dog, while Hesperonychus was the size of a rabbit. There were numerous other species of dinosaurs that were even smaller.
Not all dinosaurs vanished completely
Not all representatives of the clade went extinct with the collision of the asteroid. The smaller flying species survived and evolved into today's birds.
Dinosaurs weren't just brown and green colored
The pastel tones that dinosaurs are presented in today are quite depressing. In reality, there was a wide variety of colors among dinosaurs. Some of them evolved camouflage decorations to better blend in with the environment and stalk prey more easily.
Dinosaurs weren't bad parents
Many reptiles lay their eggs, bury them and then abandon their progeny. It is this that has led us to think that dinosaurs were bad parents. But scientists believe that dinosaurs were in fact caring parents and that they protected their nests with their lives. An example of this is Oviraptor. A skeleton of it was found protecting a nest of its eggs.
Dinosaurs weren't doomed from the beginning
Dinosaurs thrived on a global scale. They would probably still be inhabiting our planet today had it not been for the disastrous asteroid that hit Earth in the Mexico region.See more