Digging Dinosaurs” presents those aspects of dinosaur exploration and discovery that really interest people:

From my 10 years of field experience, I tell you how it actually feels:

  • to spend weeks in the blistering heat and dust of the Badlands.
  • to meet that rattlesnake or scorpion you really weren’t expecting.
  • to look for (and find!) exciting fossil remains of dinosaurs and other animals that are over 70 million years old.
  • to spend hours — or days — carefully extracting these bones from the surrounding rock and transporting them to the museum.
  • to spend days — or weeks — gently cleaning and preparing them for storage or display.

If time and numbers permit, I wind up the program by inviting audience members to handle real dinosaur fossils and discover how easy it is to tell the difference between bone and rocks. How do you know it’s really dinosaur bone? Find out for yourself!

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Randy Lyons Presents

Dino Fun Facts
Did dinosaurs fly?

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We've all seen images of flying reptiles from the Mesozoic Era (or "Age of the Dinosaurs"). They are usually shown with wings of bare skin stretched between their fingers and bodies, and long beak-shaped mouths. Some of them had tails. Some of them had fancy crests on the backs of their heads. Some were the size of robins and some had wing spans of fifty feet.

They were remarkably successful creatures that lived for millions of years -- almost throughout the entire Mesozoic. Collectively, they are called "Pterosaurs."

But they weren't dinosaurs.

Science only works when there are very specific definitions for words. And the word "dinosaur" refers only to reptiles that lived on land, had a very specific hip structure (which will be discussed in another Fun Fact), plus a variety of other body features that pterosaurs did not have.


Fossils of dinosaurs with feathers have been discovered, starting with the discovery of Archaeopteryx in Germany the late 19th century and continuing up through the discovery of dozens of wonderful animals in Liaoning Province in northern China over the last 20 years. Careful analysis of these feathers shows that these dinosaurs were completely capable of flight.

So yes, some dinosaurs flew -- but not the animals that you might have expected.

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