A science writer answers your dinosaur questions

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:25 pm on 12 December 2016

From dwarf dinosaurs to a Patagonian sauropod heavier than two commercial jet airliners…

75% of the dinosaur species we know today have been discovered since 1990, says science writer John Pickrell.

And he believes there are many more strange and exciting dinosaur discoveries still to come.

Those of us who can saw a certain blockbuster movie about dinosaurs the first time around may well have an outdated picture of them, he says.

“The sort of dinosaurs that ended up in Jurassic Park and the sort of dinosaurs people over 35 today would know about are species that were mostly discovered in North American more than 100 years ago.”

In the years since Jurassic Park there have been dinosaur finds of significance in Mongolia, Madagascar, Venezuela, Argentina and Africa, he says.

The discovery of a feathered dinosaur tail perfectly preserved in 99-million-year-old amber in Myanmar last week is an exciting follow-up to the dinosaur-era bird wings found earlier this year, says Pickering.

The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar.

The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar. Photo: Twitter

In the last year, about ten tonnes of amber has come out of the very ancient deposit which housed these treasures.

“I think there’s every chance that we’re going to be making some very exciting, very strange new discoveries about dinosaurs from that amber in coming years.”

John Pickrell is the editor of Australian Geographic magazine and the author of Flying Dinosaurs and Weird Dinosaurs.

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