The secret life of dinosaurs: exposed

Visualize entering a museum with the the iconic skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex standing vigilantly, towering on its haunches, its tiny front arms curled in the main exhibition hall. Its jaws wide as it appears to lunge for the skeleton of a nearby brontosaurus.

However, many museum visitors do not realize that their ideas of what dinosaurs looked like are wrong. The T-Rex was not an upright savage and the brontosaurus is not even a real dinosaur; both have been misnamed and misshapen by scientists for almost 80 years.

Students and community members were given a look into the past Tuesday at Bellingham City Council chambers when Western geology professor Thor Hansen gave a lecture titled "The Secret Lives of Dinosaurs."

In his lecture, Hansen discussed new discoveries in the fossil record and presented new theories about dinosaurs and their behavior, such as how they walked, based on the new discoveries.

Hansen said the title of the lecture was meant to be provocative. He said the bones do not give enough information to be able to know how dinosaurs acted, but bones do provide enough clues to make some assumptions based on the behaviors of modern-day animals.

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