Lizard

Do we really know what dinosaurs looked liked or how they behaved?

Dinosaur. Photo copyrighted.

Putting a dinosaur skeleton together is not easy. It is often like putting together a very difficult jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing or damaged. The skeletons are usually very incomplete. Many dinosaur fossils are discovered badly damaged. Bones are often found crushed or bent by the great weight of the dirt and rock above. Sometimes parts from different creatures are mixed together. This just adds to the confusion.

Unfortunately, some scientists have not been careful enough in their descriptions of dinosaurs. They have told grand stories of how dinosaurs looked and behaved. All of these descriptions are based on guesswork - the imaginations of people who have never seen a living dinosaur.

Some scientists have made complete pictures of dinosaurs based on just a single bone or tooth or leg. Such pictures are based on many guesses and very little facts. The scientists' ideas often turn out to be wrong when more facts are discovered.

Dinosaur fossils are not found with labels or photographs attached showing what the animals looked like. That is why no pictures of dinosaurs are exactly right. Every dinosaur painting is sure to contain at least some wrong information. No artist ever saw the living, breathing animals - complete with skin, flesh and color.

For instance, imagine never having seen or heard of a poodle or a peacock. One day you find the jumbled bones of one buried in the ground. You try to put the bones together to form a skeleton. And then you try to draw a picture of what the animal looked like when alive. But bones cannot tell the whole story. Even if you are a very good artist, it would be a miracle if you drew a true picture of a poodle or a peacock just from the bones and your imagination.

If scientists could climb into a time machine and travel to the past, they could get much better information. Only then would they know the true appearance of dinosaurs or what they ate and how they really behaved. Scientists might be very surprised at what they would learn.

Excerpt from The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible, Accent Books, 1987

Author: Paul S. Taylor of Films for Christ. Copyright © 1995, Films for Christ, All Rights Reserved

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