Dinosaur Day is celebrated on May 15 and June 1 by people young and old to relive their most fascinating dinosaur fantasies. Even though scientists have found many dinosaur fossils dating back millions of years in different parts of the world, there is still so much that people don’t know about these majestic reptiles. Dinosaur Day is the perfect time to increase our knowledge about the different types of dinosaurs, what they looked like, what they ate, and what ultimately happened to them.
History of Dinosaur Day
Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. They were reptiles and ancestors of the common lizards, snakes, turtles, and crocodiles that exist today. Dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic era or Age of Reptiles, which started about 252 million years ago.
The first complete dinosaur skeleton to be found was an iguanodon in 1878. ‘Dinosaur’ stems from the words ‘terrible lizard’ in Greek. The name was invented by a famous scientist called Richard Owen in 1842.
Fossil footprints give us clues about the way dinosaurs moved about. The birds you see today are believed to be descendants of the dinosaurs and rocks from that era show that the last of the dinosaurs roamed the Earth 64 million years ago. There have been many theories about why dinosaurs became extinct. A change in the temperature of the Earth seems the most likely reason. Since they were cold-blooded, dinosaurs could not have survived without the warmth from the sun. Many scientists now agree that, 46 million years ago, a huge meteorite struck the Earth. It created a gigantic cloud of dust and cut out the sunlight for months, maybe even years, which led to the eventual decline of the Earth’s temperature.
Dinosaur Day timeline
William Buckland reveals about a non-avian dinosaur in a scientific journal.
The fossil of a brachiosaurus is found, which is 40 feet tall and 75 feet long!
Mary Higby Schweitzer discovers soft tissue inside a 68-million-year-old tyrannosaurus fossil.
Researchers declare the African T. rex to be the last dinosaur to live before extinction.
Dinosaur Day FAQs
Where can you see dinosaurs in the U.K.?
The top 10 best UK dinosaur attractions and days out:
- Dinosaur Isle, Isle of Wight.
- Natural History Museum, London.
- Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs, London.
- Jurassic Coast, Dorset.
- National Museum of Scotland.
- Gulliver’s Dinosaur & Farm Park, Milton Keynes.
- Dan-yr-Ogof, The National Showcaves Centre for Wales.
What year were the dinosaurs extinct?
“Dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago (at the end of the Cretaceous Period), after living on Earth for about 165 million years,” according to USGS.
Where can I see a dinosaur?
According to “USA Today,” the 10 best places to see dinosaurs in the U.S. are:
- Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia.
- Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado/Utah.
- Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, Orlando.
- Field Museum, Chicago.
- Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Alberta, Canada.
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta.
- American Museum of Natural History, New York City.
Dinosaur Day Activities
Bake fossil cookies
These cookies are a fun spin on conventional sugar cookies. Simply cut small rounds out of store-bought cookie dough. Stomp toy dinosaur feet into the cookie to resemble dinosaur fossils. Make sure the toy figurines are non-toxic and sanitize them with soap and water first.
Build a dino
Puzzles are a great form of mental exercise. Building a wooden 3D dinosaur model is not only fun but once you’ve built it, you can paint it and use it as a cute showpiece in your home.
Visit a museum of natural history
Many cities have a museum of natural history. All you need to do is go to your nearest museum of natural history and you can get a peek into the enthralling world of dinosaurs.
5 Facts About Dinosaur Fossils That Will Blow Your Mind
Real dinosaur bones aren’t displayed in museums
Dinosaur skeletons in museums are plaster casts, molded from real bones.
Dinosaur fossils can be anywhere and everywhere!
Dinosaur fossils have been found on all seven continents, even in Antarctica.
They can be super long
The longest known dinosaur is the diplodocus whose skeleton is up to 79 feet long.
The largest dinosaur museum is in China
The Shandong Tianyu Museum of Natural History is the largest dinosaur museum in the world with over 1,000 fossilized dinosaurs.
Fossilized dinosaur poop exists
Fossilized feces of dinosaurs are studied to understand their diet and body functioning.
Why We Love Dinosaur Day
Dinosaurs make subjects like history fun
Dinosaur Day is a great way to help kids develop an interest in subjects like history, biology, and other less common subjects such as paleontology.
They are part of evolution
By studying dinosaurs, we get to learn about various biological organisms that have evolved over the years.
Their history highlights the extinction crisis
Through the history of dinosaurs, we can try to come up with ways to help our planet stay resilient against environmental changes and save endangered species from extinction.
Dinosaur Day dates