What Color Were Dinosaurs… Really?

What Color Were Dinosaurs… Really?

One of the highlights of going to a natural
history museum is seeing the ancient, the extinct, the giant — animals like dinosaurs
are huge attractions, but the thing is… what you can see isn’t entirely accurate…
the color’s all wrong. Some of the first dinosaur fossils were discovered
in the 17th century. The discoverer thought it was part of a giant
human! It wasn’t for nearly two centuries that
scientists would realize these bones belonged not to giants, dragons or pre-flood Biblical
creatures, but to multi-million-year-old dinosaurs. Immediately, scientists started trying to
gather and arrange bones and fragments into shapes and species — many of which they (very
famously) got wrong. Putting bones together, and knowing what a
dinosaur looks like is a big leap. And that’s where PaleoArt comes in! Imagine for a second you have never seen a
living human, no one has. But someone found a fossilized skeleton. You don’t know much about this animal, or
what it looked like on the outside. What does its skin look like, does it have
scales? Fur? Feathers? What color would the skin be? Would it be camouflaged? Someone who looks into this, would be a PaleoArtist. These artists recreate extinct animals and
plants, and they’re they ones who decided what color dinosaur skin actually is. Because tbh, no one knows. In the 19th century, paleoartists took dinosaur
bones; and they used contemporary giants like elephants and rhinos as well as reptiles to
inspire their idea of what animals would have that skeleton. This is how we got massive, tail-dragging
animals plodding hither and thither. Not accurate. Over time, scientists debated the finer points
of these animals. Like, whether the head was held up above the
body — like a giraffe, or at body level. How would they pump blood? How would these bones move if they had muscles…
and the drawings evolved… By the 1960s and 70s, dinosaurs had trimmed
up, they were looking lighter and fitter — and less grey! More colorful! But the skin… THE SKIN. We’ve found fossilized skin, and it can
tell us the texture, look, and feel of a dinosaur, but not color. Fossilization turns dino hyde to stone — meaning
no melanin, no melanosomes, no color. At least, not that we can see… In 2013 a Canadian scanning company took a
textured bit of skin and bounced infrared wavelengths off of it hoping to reveal the
fossilized melanosomes — the bits of skin that hold its color. They based this on earlier studies that tried
to see if fossilized melanosome shapes could show us what color they were. People really want to know this y’all. Aaaaand, they’re still researching… They’ve used this method successfully with
well-preserved feathers, which dinosaurs were definitely covered in. And FEATHERS could have had numerous colors,
just like the birds dinosaurs evolved into. But feathers aren’t skin color. Though it’s maddening — scientists are
still in the dark on this. The “most accurate depiction” of a dinosaur
(as it was billed) makes the tiny Psittacosaurus look cute, and… brown — which they found
by lasers scanning the melanosomes in the skin! But the connection is debated. And, as long as we’re copying birds, coloring
is often sex specific. Females are brown, but males are flashy. That said the shading camouflage makes this
one of the most accurate dinosaur depictions ever! For now. Ultimately, and for much of our depictive
history of these animals, we’ve sort of been… ‘winging it’ using data that’s
available at the time! But everything may change soon. In May 2017, a beautifully preserved fossilized
nodosaur was revealed… found in a Canadian mine! It was basically mummified! They scanned the skin and found the presence
of reddish pigments! RED. ISH! Aaand that’s it so far. We can’t get pics. They’re exclusive! But, I’m sure you can find them. This dinosaur is gorgeous, we got the hook
up on pics Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada. If you notice, still no color. It just looks like stone. But, they scanned the skin and found the presence
of reddish pigments! RED. ISH! It’s not a much, but a start! In the end, the dinosaurs in your imagination
was seeded by the imagination of paleoartists. Their work is what created dinosaurs in movies,
museums and theme parks. They fill in the skin on top of the skeletons,
creating this rich tapestry of ancient life… and for now, a fictional one… Thanks to HelloFresh for sponsoring this episode. HelloFresh is the meal kit delivery service that makes
cooking more fun so you can focus on the whole experience, not just the final plate. Meals are less than $10 each and they now
offer light, spring meals, and have just introduced breakfast options! For $30 off your first week of deliveries,
visit hellofresh.com and enterwhen you subscribe!

Randy Schultz

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100 thoughts on “What Color Were Dinosaurs… Really?

  1. Johnny J says:

    Watch a video on the color of dinosaurs and get hungry.

  2. Robin McCourt says:

    "Males are flashy" ?

  3. matt says:

    love your videos!! keep them coming!

  4. John Ruud says:

    Did dinosaurs have penises?

  5. Abilash Brian says:

    good info Trace im wondering……what if predicting the skin tone considering the external factors like weather& environmental conditions by reversing earth's timeline…….and narrowing possibilities down……

  6. I like memes says:

    Microraptor and Archaeopteryx were black.

  7. Shockwave474 says:

    I used to think they were green. Now I have no idea. We know now that woolly mammoths were a sort of strawberry blond because people have found frozen specimens, but I don't know of any frozen dinosaurs out there.

  8. FightersEndurance says:

    How can you say the dinosaur skin colors in video or pictures are wrong if there is little to reveal what they really were in the first place?

  9. Sean Payton says:

    that hello fresh plug at the end is next level sellout cuckery.

  10. Luke Hanson says:

    0:26 well, actually… most creationist scientists still believe that dinosaurs were actually pre-flood biblical creatures.

  11. A Balint says:

    what about using DNA samples to get a hint of what the pigments were? (nowadays)

  12. Osiris Malkovich says:

    Paleo art is still more accurate than the Paleo diet.

  13. Bunny Love says:

    dinosaurs are related to lizards so they should be somewhat similar to them

  14. Neo T says:

    The most important phrase of most these seeker videos is "more research is needed". It's annoying when journalists get hold of a paper and write it down like it's a fact. No, this is what we found, but more research is needed.

  15. Quoc Ha says:

    the dinosaur toy in the thumbnail i have it

  16. Khushdeep Brar says:

    I was at the opening of the nodosaur fossil reveal at the royal Terrell for a field trip it was epic!

  17. Samantha Prewitt says:

    Not only the colors but dinosaurs them selfs were fake!

  18. Max Ramsey says:

    I feel so bad Trace had to do that placement haha.

  19. Soals says:

    I like how the end of this video becomes a cooking show. Weren't we talking about dinosaurs what happened.

  20. Jg3000 says:

    Whatever color you want the dinosaur to be.

  21. Michael Basurto says:


  22. ColWilBald says:

    So they are rainbow
    Edit:dinosaurs didn't evolve to birds,pterosaurs (not technically dinosaurs) did

  23. Palm Beach says:

    whenever I think of dinosaurs the Jurassic Park movie creatures comes to my mind and I know that they are not accurate but I so wish.

  24. Hynes Paul says:

    At least we know they were ONE of the TWO GENDERS we have here…xD

  25. Attichan The Skyentist says:

    but we know what colors feathered dinosaurs were for a fact. and scales on moseasaurus

  26. lisa7525 says:

    I think dinosaurs had dull green, brown, or grey colors to help with blending into the environment, similar to modern animals.

  27. Michael Subialdea says:

    They never existed

  28. Giovanni Gonzalez says:

    what is the dinosaur skeleton were just bones put together from other kinds of animals

  29. Christopher Chamberlain says:

    Ima bout to bring some bad news to my 4 yr old nephew

  30. Malachi _ Footballboss says:

    A well presreved mosasour was found in 2014 ,it had three tiny bits of scales the first two were on the back and it was black and one was on the belly was white like modern day sharks it made sense so that there could not see the from below or above same thing with most largre predatory dionsaurs look at some top predators today they are dark skinned so that they can hide so T rex may have looked like an aligator

  31. AmericaTheEngravy sauce says:

    everybody knows that the dinosaurs were white. just like santa and jesus.

  32. Asdf101 says:

    When we finally figure it out, they better remake jurassic park with the correct colors

  33. Chad Jennings says:

    neon yellow and purple

  34. Daemon Xdog says:


  35. the forgotten one says:

    I wish I had a pet dinosaur

    But they would be eating my leg when I woke up from night time

  36. Alexis' Fishin', Huntin', and Farming Show says:

    Unicorns are realy. Unicornis means rhino

  37. vibe3d says:

    So even scientists are guessing shit? WTF?

  38. Kent Edward says:

    hell nawh!! so all this time believing Barney's skin is colored purple is a lie?

  39. Zen says:

    pls don't be pink

  40. Jotaro Kujo says:

    Microraptor gui is iridescent black

  41. Opptatt Adresse says:

    i like to think this is pre-flood (noah), since the only ones who survived IT seems to be the aeros and organisms in deep the sea and ice

  42. wrybreadspread says:

    This is a good upload. It explains the nuances of paleontology and paleo art, and reinforces the correct notion that if the previous paleontologists were incorrect in their info it was because there their data was insufficient.

    Still, this humble YouTube watcher would submit that to call our museum information "speculative" better serves the cause of science than to call it "fictional".

  43. Dalton Hill says:

    I can imagine T-rex having stripes like a tiger since they both live in forests and need camoflouge. Just my personal opinion.

  44. Jack SFM 37 says:

    0:47 what do you think am I then? a door?

  45. Connor Vaughn says:

    What if Dinosaurs had human like skin or skin like a naked mole rat…. That kinda sounds terrifying.

  46. Connor Vaughn says:

    Didn't this guy kiss Lacy Greens ass on DNews and go on some sort of tangent about how men are inferior to women and how that somehow equals equality?

  47. Capone Ardelean says:

    Does anyone else have the toy dinosaur that was in the thumbnail?

  48. Leon Dang says:

    Imagine if we were inaccurate and the t-rex was pink and fluffy

  49. Lucifer morningstar says:

    so we are told by "paleontologists" people how dead things looked like? i wont believe them until they have solid proof

  50. MetaSimian says:

    Soon we will have a full DNA map of the T-Rex and all this speculation will appear to be intellectual wankery.

  51. Dee B says:


  52. Boruto Uzumaki says:

    When humans will end, robots will try to find out what colour humans were lol

  53. Boruto Uzumaki says:

    Dinosaurs were pink

  54. John Beal says:

    Is it unrealistic to use modern birds as a reference for the skin color of dinosaurs?

  55. Cameron Rowan says:

    All dinosaurs are fake. The bones and fossils were planted by Lord Xenu after losing a bet to the giants of Saturn.

  56. Jazz Cortinez says:

    was there.brown or red

  57. Mariam Bibi Hafejee says:

    We will never know what colour dinosaurs were. Even the most perfect fossil which preserves the slightest detail does not reveal the colours of the dinosaurs. The colours you see on paleoarts are guessworks/speculative.

  58. TheGreatPenguinBoii says:

    It's gonna be nearly impossible to find out physical features of dinosaurs that are like if certain dinos had feathers, or this, what color they were.

  59. Joey says:

    Barney the trex was real guys

  60. IntegralBif says:

    Royal Tyrell Museum kicks ass. Best Museum ever.

  61. Lensflare Deviant says:

    The short version of the answer is found at about 1:20ish.. "We don't really know" and that's all that can be said. The rest of the video is time wasted.

  62. Kaiser Frost says:

    This stupid, lazy Hello Fresh crap is why we need to bring back home ec. How have you been surviving if you can't cook?

  63. Redtailcatboi 930 says:

    Oohh i forget one thihg for my birthday bring me a rainbow t rex plz

  64. Redtailcatboi 930 says:

    10000% of people are stupied

  65. Zom Bee Nature says:

    Don't say "y'all". I immediately ignored everything you said after that one word.
    Everyone, please watch my little nature videos. There is no talking in them. Shhh!

  66. ISHAN Eragon says:

    What if they find frozen dinosaur in Antarctica/ Artic?

  67. Cod3 br3aK3r says:


  68. Jack Megannety says:

    @jmegart on ig

  69. Man Of War says:

    put some wings on them and they look like dragons.

  70. *i Don't Want Google To Know My Name* says:

    So much evolution bs mentioned in this video!!

  71. Lucies Cafe says:

    Dino’s got feathers

  72. potatos2 g says:


  73. PrittyScalykityka t says:

    OMG FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS I HAVE BEEN ASKING MYSELF "OH,WHAT IS THE TRUE COLOR OF DINOS?WHAT IF A T-REX WAS PINK?"YOU MIGHT BE ASKING URSELF,WHY DOES A 9 YEAR OLD ASK HER SELF THESE QUESTION? well,my friends,im not a normal kiddo,i practicly act like a teenager but not a "oh im just gonna party all night"NO i act like a teen who wants to graduate to become an explorer and not be like those other kids that wish to be a police or a doctor or a constructor but NO i am not normal i acually look at the world and think to myself what if the earth was bigger than it already is today?What if we aren't part of the monkey family?Have scientest really discover the whole entire sea by now?Tbh at this point im just proving that im not a normal neighborhood kiddo

  74. I Hate Cats says:

    I wish I could shape-shift so I can show scientist what dinosaurs looked like, sound like, etc. And get paid 1,000 dollars per dinosaur.

  75. Pursued Mist521 says:

    Dinosaurs are AWESOME!

  76. Aggro Zorbz says:


  77. Sisir Kadiveti says:

    Donald trump would ban all dinosaurs from the world except the white ones if they still existed

  78. Batman says:

    Dinosaurs are just BIG birds who cant fly

  79. ADEL RAAD says:

    fake fake

  80. Chance Coleman says:

    This is fake

  81. Chance Coleman says:

    Dinosaurs can be any color

  82. Mabus Beast says:

    Dinosaurs were definitely camouflaged

  83. Minecraft Steve says:


  84. Leo Simms says:

    $30 says he didn’t actually eat the meal????

  85. Desiree Wolf says:

    I want a neon blue raptor

  86. Minnah .K says:

    What if all dinosaurs were the SAME colour? ???

  87. Donavan LoForte says:

    They were pink skinned. Like birds no? Covered with beautiful feathers

  88. Hugh Mungus says:

    That thing was Hugh Mungus

  89. celtkelly says:

    Dinosaurs have fethers

  90. The Legion says:

    Rip Dodos

  91. Anbrozin says:

    3:41 the subtitles aren't in sync for a bit :0 Pls fix this Seeker

  92. A person says:

    The dinosaur toy in the thumbnail is the same one I HAVE!

  93. LyleDeYounges says:

    The uncertainty and the speculation about what dinosaurs looked like is what makes them so fascinating, and yet so frustrating… we get to chose what we're most 'comfortable' with, aesthetically, but we all just really want a conclusion – that we might never get, because of hundreds of million years of evolution and the overwhelming amount of dinosaur species from different geological time periods and systems.

  94. Antonina Cawley says:

    The only commonsense is they had to blend with things around them. Then again you still don't know. Becauce look at zebras, giraffe, leopards and tigers.

  95. Rage Against The Dice says:

    Brilliant video, dino skin colouring is becoming an obsession for me at the moment…

  96. Jo says:

    Wait wait wait… 2:45 "dinosaurs were definitely covered in feathers" mind blown

  97. HamStuff says:

    What a stupid question.
    They're purple. Like Barney.

  98. Ciara Rae says:

    Someone made up dinosaur noises without ever hearing one..

  99. The Science Man says:

    They tried this on a T- Rex. The image showed that it might have had feathers mostly on body, a orange stripe above its eyes,

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