It is not impossible to find ways of assessing dinosaur behavior thanks to the expertise of many paleontologists whose dedication to their field have uncovered many things about dinosaurs through the fossils they have discovered and examined. All of these fossils give us clues about the dinosaurs behavior and tell a story all their own.
Of course we can never know for sure but common sense prevails when undisputed proof is given. Fossils tell us there were many different sizes of dinosaurs, how they lived, what type of teeth they had , whether they roamed alone or in packs, the offence and defense they used, their reproduction, their skeletons, the size of their brains, their diets, their life style and even if they were a cold blooded animal or hot. This information all comes from the work of scientist. These are the conclusions of some of those findings.
Some dinosaurs lived in groups. This is revealed when many fossils were found together in bone beds which are a large amount of bones of the same species in one area. This was also revealed by fossilized track ways where many dinosaurs traveled together. Scientist has also found large groups of fossilized nests grouped together. It is believed that dinosaurs such as the Hypsilophodon grouped together for protection and the Velociraptor may have been together to cooperate in their hunting. It is also thought that some groups would have gathered for migratory purposes. However some of these gatherings may have been just temporary.
Nest, eggs and reproduction
Although there is very little known about dinosaur courtship, rivalry, pairing and mating, we do know that female dinosaurs hatched eggs after sexual reproduction. These eggs were elongated and had hard, brittle shells. Inside the shell they would be similar to those of a reptile, birds and primitive mammals. The eggs contained a membrane which was called the amnion to keep the embryo moist. It is known that some dinosaurs cared for their young while other just laid the egg and abandoned it. This has been proven from fossils found.
The biggest egg was found in France in 1869. It was Hypselosaurus eggs which were the shape of a football and measured 1 foot long, 10 inches wide with a volume of a half a gallon and is estimated to weigh 15.5 pounds. The smallest dinosaur egg found measured approximately one inch across. Since then there have been many fossilized eggs found. Without the embryo it is difficult to match the species of the dinosaur with the egg. One of the unanswered questions left to uncover is how the giant dinosaurs laid their eggs without breaking them but some scientist think that some of the dinosaurs had a tube similar to the turtles we know today.
Offence and defense
We know that some dinosaurs had large claws used for killing and tearing up their prey. These were also used to defend themselves, sometimes from their own kind. Dromaeosaurids and Megaraptors had huge retractable claws on each foot. Of course, we do have the Giganotosaurus and T. Rex that were so large they were at the top of the food chain and could eat any animals that they could catch. The only surviving dinosaur, the birds had both speed and agility evolved from speedy, bird like theropods. We can assume from the birds of today that the coelurosaurs had color vision and this would have helped them hunt and catch their prey. For defense some dinosaurs had horns, claws and spikes that helped them survive attacks from other dinosaurs. Some of the dinosaurs were so huge that other dinosaurs weren’t a threat. There were also dinosaurs with armored plated, leathery skin and with some of them even their eyelids were armored plated. For example to kill an Ankylosaurid it would have to be tipped over but the problem would be in tipping him over due to the size of the animal. Some used head butting as a defense this can be seen in some of the skulls that are found as were the tails, this is not readily accepted in the field of science.
Dinosaur’s life span
Maybe you’re wondering the life span of a dinosaur but this is one of the many questions that are not answered easily. Scientist has found out recently that there is bone, growth rings that just might answer this question. These lines can only be seen through a microscope. The bones are sliced into thin sections and viwed with a polaride lens and are similar to looking at the growth rings in a tree. Scientist also use information compared to the body size of the animal and compares it to the life span of animals that we have on earth today. This is used to deduce how heavy the dinosaurs were. It is a known fact that larger animals live longer than smaller ones. In the world of the dinosaur some lived to be a hundred years old. This helps to determine just how long dinosaurs lived.
Dinosaur food chain
We all know there was a food change in the time of the dinosaurs. This tells us that the large herbivores ate plants, and then the carnivores ate the plants along with the meat. The ones at the top of the food chain were carnivores and therefor their diet was met by eating other dinosaurs. These are more clues to substantiate the diets of dinosaurs.
It is a long winding road we have come sense the beginning of the first fossil found but if we look back over the last 200 years we can see just how far information on the dinosaur have come and all the research that you can find points to a very real animal that had many different traits. The one that we picture in our imagination with the help of scientific ways of accessing the dinosaur’s behavior is not far from the truth and the scientific information is there to back it up.