What colors were dinosaurs?

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Episode Number: 120

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Location Taken: US

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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.

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