Ask a Paleontologist: What Was Dinosaur Skin Like? main content.

Ask a Paleontologist: What Was Dinosaur Skin Like?

by AMNH on

On Exhibit posts

Most dinosaur fossils found are bones, like those of this Apatosaurus.

But, on occasion, researchers unearth skin impressions as well. In a video, Research Associate Lowell Dingus and Mark A. Norell, chair of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, explain what we know about what the skin of extinct dinosaurs might have looked like. Perhaps, says Norell, it resembled the skin of chickens (pictured below) and other birds, which are all living dinosaurs.

Close-up photo of chicken feet
Did dinosaur skin look like this? 
Stephen Ausmus/Courtesy USDA ARS

Learn more in the video.

Learn more about the skin of sauropods, a group of Saurischian dinosaurs that includes Apatosaurushere.