Bones from Dinoland U.S.A.

Bones sinking like stones
All that we fought for
Homes, places we’ve grown
All of us are done for
And we live in a beautiful world
Yeah, we do, yeah, we do

“Don’t Panic” by Coldplay (1999)
King of the Terrible Lizards, New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Kajmeister photo.

Do we know everything about dinosaurs? What if they built cities out of rock that turned to the dust in which their bones lay? What if they wrote stories on parchment which disintegrated and scattered to the winds? We don’t know whether they spoke languages; their brains were too small–we assume–to do so. We know that some dinosaurs ate other dinosaurs based on the bones. That they walked upright, lived near rivers, protected their young, and covered all the continents, including Antarctica. Two hundred million years was a long time to flourish. Some of it is still a mystery.

Humans have only been discovering things about dinosaurs for about 200 hundred years (happy bicentennial Mary Ann Mantell!) There may be a lot more dino-history buried in those formations. We already know quite a lot from a relatively little, a lot to imagine from just a few bones. If a vertebrae is six feet tall, how big must the creature who carried it have been? (A: 75 ft long)

Apatosaurus vertebrae, Dinosaur Ridge, CO. Kajmeister photo
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