What Colors Were Dinosaurs And Can They See Them (Science Behind the Fiction) | SYFY WIRE

Jurassic World: What color were dinosaurs? A paleontologist weighs in!

Contributed by
Jun 22, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is out in theaters, and it's once again giving moviegoers an appreciation for the killer dinosaurs. Fallen Kingdom reflects some of the additional scientific knowledge that's been gained in the 25 years since Jurassic Park hit cinema screens, but it's far from a completely accurate depiction of what dinosaurs were really like. The truth is that there's still a lot about these prehistoric creatures that remains unknown, including their color. But some scientists have made a career out of their search for answers.

"What really keeps me going is I just want to see if we're clever enough to figure it out so we'll have some idea," said Mark Norell. "It's just kind of the curiosity of... stuff that keeps driving me."

Norell is a renowned paleontologist and molecular geneticist who has researched dinosaurs for many years. SYFY WIRE recently spoke with Norell about the scientific accuracy of the Jurassic Park franchise. But in this video, Norell explored a simple question: what colors were the dinosaurs?

"I think when you talk about what color animals were... it's really what color do we perceive," explained Norell. “Because mammals have really bad vision. We see terribly. There's only a small group of mammals that can see in color. It's like us, chimps, gorillas, and orangutans. Every other mammal sees black and white. Birds see in color, and not only do they see in color, they see colors we can't see because they see way into the ultraviolet... that we can't see."

Norell went on to note that scientists have come to believe that dinosaurs were "brilliantly colored" by making educated guesses and inferences after examining modern reptiles. There are also other ways to determine dinosaur colors, which Norell cites as potential examples.

For more fun dinosaur facts, you can watch the entire video below!

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker