Dr. Jack Horner | Conversations with Scientists & Astronauts


Paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner talks with students and answers their questions about paleontology, dinosaurs and more!

He explains that he tries to figure out what dinosaurs were like when they were living, and what they did for a living. He explains how difficult it is to separate fossils from the rocks they're buried in. He explains how dinosaur bones are examined to determine how the muscles were attached, and then they make a model, put the muscles and then try to guess how the skin would look. They can tell what the texture of the skin was, but they are not able to tell the color.

He discusses how, in 1978, they found a whole nest full of baby dinosaur skeletons. Because they were found together in a nest, they then knew that dinosaurs took care of their young. They know this because they were in a nest, and their legs were not developed well enough to walk, and this tells them that they were taken care of by their parents. The first baby dinosaurs were found in Mongolia, in Asia, near China. They were found with dinosaur eggs. People thought they were baby dragons because they didn't know about dinosaurs then. 

Birds and dinosaurs are related, in that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. They can tell this because their bones are hollow and they have three toes, just like birds. 

Dinosaurs lived all over the world, even in Antarctica. But there was no ice in the world then. 

It's important to study dinosaurs because it helps us to understand life on the planet before human beings lived. 

Dr. Horner tells the children that he had difficulty in school because he has dyslexia and has trouble reading, but now he writes books.

Dr. Horner served as Steven Spielberg's technical advisor for Jurassic Park