What colors were dinosaurs?

Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

Listen to hear the answer.


Episode Number: 120

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US


Hello and welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is about dinosaurs.

What colors were dinosaurs?

Direct fossil evidence for dinosaur skin color is unknown. Paleontologists think that some dinosaurs likely had protective coloration, such as pale undersides to reduce shadows, irregular color patterns, such as camouflage, to make them less visible in vegetation, and so on. Those dinosaurs that had enough armor, such as the stegosaurs and ceratopsians, may not have needed protective coloration but may have been brightly colored as a warning to predators or as a display for finding a mate. Most dinosaurs probably were as brightly colored as modern lizards, snakes, or birds.

And now you know. Join us every weekday for a new CoreFact. If you're looking for more in-depth science coverage, please check out the USGS CoreCast at usgs.gov/corecast. To have your own question potentially featured on the air, send it to corefacts@usgs.gov or leave a voicemail with us at 703-648-5600; however do remember that this is a long distance charge, so long distance fees do apply