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Fossil clues

Why is it difficult to interpret dinosaurs fossils?

Digging for Dino Fossils.

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.

Dinosaur Fossil Bone

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.

Continue on the Discovery Trail

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(if only we had a time machine)

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