How Were Dinosaurs Like People?

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People used to think that dinosaurs were big, lumbering animals who were always involved in fights with each other. We've all heard stories of the brave triceratops fighting against the fierce Tyrannosaurus rex. Yes, dinosaurs did fight each other and preyed on each other to survive.

But scientists are discovering more and more that dinosaurs were less "dinosaur-like" than we thought. In fact, some scientists now believe that dinosaurs behaved much like mammals did and do. Mammals, of course, include humans--people, just like you.

Here are some ways that dinosaurs were like people:

  • When baby dinosaurs were born to many species, the mother and many times even the father dinosaurs would stay with the babies in the nest, protecting them from predators. Many species, of course, left their babies to fend for themselves. But more and more, scientists are finding evidence of parents protecting babies in the nest.
  • The same can be said for feeding the baby dinosaurs. Many parents are thought to have brought food back to the nest, instead of taking the baby dinosaurs out on the hunt.
  • Scientists also now think that dinosaurs formed communities, or extended families. Dinosaurs that had trouble protecting themselves from predators traveled in large packs. A hungry meat-eating dinosaur would be less likely to attack a herd of 30 plant-eating dinosaurs.
  • This community idea worked on the other side of the food chain, too. Predators formed packs, to make the kill easier. One predator against a family of 7 plant-eaters didn't have much of a chance. But 4 or 5 predators against that same family of 7 plant-eaters had a very good chance of getting all the food they needed to survive.

These are just some of the ways that dinosaurs were like people. They protected and fed their young, and they formed communities for protection and survival.

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David White