NG KiDS chats to Dinosaur Expert Jack Horner!

Are you a dino fan? Excited about the new mega movie Jurassic World?!

NG KiDS talked to world-leading paleontologist Jack Horner, who provided dinosaur facts and information to the team on Jurassic World. Find out what he had to say about the fascinating prehistoric creatures that once roamed our planet...


National Geographic Kids: Hi Jack! Our readers love dinosaurs - what’s your favourite dinosaur?


Jack Horner: My favourite would have to be the Maiasaura, which was the first dinosaur I named! The Maiasaura was an important discovery for paleontologists because it showed us that dinosaurs cared for their young. It also moved us away from the idea that dinosaurs were very reptilian, towards thinking of them as more like birds.

NGK: Do you think that one day we will be able to bring dinosaurs back to life again, like in Jurassic Park and Jurassic World?

JH: Yes, I think we can bring them back. I don’t think we’ll ever find dinosaur DNA, so it won’t be like in Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. But birds are descendants of dinosaurs, and I think that one day we’ll be able to get enough ancestral DNA from birds to make animals look very similar to extinct dinosaurs.


Jurassic World

NGK: Wow - that's amazing! We know that we can learn about the size and shape of dinosaurs from their skeletons, but how do we know what colour they were?

JH: Dinosaurs were 'diurnal', which means they lived during the daytime, and diurnal animals communicate with colour. This is why we have such colourful birds and reptiles. Mammals evolved from nocturnal creatures, which is why they aren't normally bright and colourful. We can't say exactly what colour dinosaurs were but - because they were diurnal reptiles, and they are ancestors of our planet's birds - we do know they would have been colourful.

NGK: And what about their behaviour? Can we learn about how dinosaurs interacted with each other from fossils?
JH: We can figure out a few things about how they behaved. For example, we know they cared for their young, because we find baby dinosaur skeletons in nests. They’re bigger than they would have been when they hatched, so somebody must have brought them food. Sometimes, we find lots and lots of dinosaur skeletons in one place, which indicates they travelled in herds. But some of our ideas of how they behaved are guesses based on their bird relatives.


Jurassic World!

NGK: How realistic are the dinosaurs in the Jurassic World, then?
JH: Some of the characteristics are probably quite realistic, but others maybe not. For example, we know the Velociraptor had feathers and was probably very colourful. In Jurassic World, the Velociraptors are quite blue, but they're not feathery. I doubt the dinosaurs would have growled like they do in the movies either - I think they’d have sounded more like birds, but with deeper calls. The dinosaurs in the movies have been created to scare the audience, more than to show what they were really like as living creatures.


NGK: Do you think one day we'll get to see a different side to dinosaurs in a big movie like Jurassic World? Perhaps a more friendly side?!
JH: Yes - well, I sure hope so!


NGK: What advice would you give to any of our readers who want to follow in your footsteps and one day become a 
palaeontologist?

JH: I would say watch for something coming! We’re starting to change the whole idea of what dinosaurs were like as living animals - and I think that in the next year or so we'll think of dinosaurs very differently. It’s a very exciting time!

NGK: It definitely sounds exciting! Thanks for answering our questions, Jack!


Jurassic World!

Jurassic World roars into cinemas 11 June 2015!


Your Comments

carolina
hi
Lewis the-sperm whale!!!
I love dinosaurs there totally awesome!Sperm whales and Lego ningago are awesome as well!
kamyn
BAM
Euan
That sounded like a very exciting interview. I mean Jack Horner OMG. I am very intrested in dinosaurs and I hope, in the future, to study fossils and maybe bring dinosaurs back to life. I mean the nice ones. Not like the T-Rex I would never bring that alive!
(2002://())£)
Movies ( Jurassic world/ park ) are epic ! Have your' l watched it
lol 123456789
its so cool
NerdMonster
This movie is EPIC! Though I doubt that if it were real, we wouldn't think that. Nor would the families of the people eaten.
privatehackerlolol
lolllllllllllllllllll
privatehackerlolol
great facts
privatehackerlolol
trolol
Aren4Tatos
OH SON WOW TATS SO MMLGGGG
bigman01
cool (being sarcastic)
MollySmith
cool
isabel marshall
i love jurassic world
starboard
AMAZING SHOCK
Dinos
Awesome! I love Jurassic World, I've watched it and it's amazing. Thank you, national geographic, for your amazing facts.
yousif
Jack Horner is awesome because he trained velociraptors
toffee81
Amazing! Such a cool page. I hope i will live to see Jurassic World being actually built. Although reluctantly i have to say i probably will not be able to live 150 years or so. I watched Jurassic World a few times and agree with Jack Horner that in some places it does not seem realistic but likewise in some places it makes you grip your chair even tighter while your watching! Toffee81 :-)
isiah
asomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Cutesparklingirl
cool!
awesomekid11
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MeetEater
cool
P
Scarey
Aditri
exiting!
5foranimals
best movie ever
crazycreature
awesome i have seen jurrasic world its scary and sad but exiting
Priyam-Chakraborty123124
I GOT THE CD ND AM WAITING TO WATCH IT!
wolf775pro
your right sam that movie is the best because i watched it and i am 11 too!
AnimalJamRules
I've seen it, it was amazing!!!
Sam
It is really good Jurassic world although 11 and over should see it
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