All throughout history, dinosaur bones have been discovered by humans, although they weren’t often recognized for what they actually were. To the ancient Chinese and other countries around the world, they viewed dinosaur bones as the remnants of large dragons or other mythical creatures.
It wouldn’t be until the 17th century that dinosaurs would be given the study that they deserved. This is when dinosaur bones were first officially collected, examined, and cataloged. Thus, began the world’s fascination with dinosaurs.
A fascination that can be clearly seen in our popular movies, popular culture, and the holidays that we observe. One holiday that celebrates this fascination is Dinosaur Day — a day that falls on June 1st and allows all of us to tap into our own inner love for dinosaurs.
The History Of Dinosaur Day
Robert Plot is credited with discovering the first dinosaur bone, although people have been finding these bones for thousands of years. Plot didn’t identify the bones as belonging to a dinosaur, however. Instead, he identified them as belonging to a giant humanoid, which definitely isn’t true.
What he actually found and described was the lower end of a thighbone that had formed the knee of a Megalosaurus. So, no Plot didn’t find a giant. It wouldn’t be until William Buckland, an Oxford University professor of geology, that someone correctly identified a dinosaur fossil for what it actually was.
In 1819, Buckland found some fossils, and 5 years later, he described them scientifically and named them. All through the 19th century, paleontologists searched for fossils. This would culminate in what is now known as The Bone Wars.
Between the 1870s and 1890, Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope had a rivalry to uncover dinosaur bones that would eventually ruin both of them. However, the Bone Wars wasn’t a complete loss because it did lead to the public’s love affair with dinosaurs. A love affair that exists to this very day.
Some Amazing Facts About Dinosaurs
Before we jump to the part of the article where we talk about how Dinosaur Day is celebrated, we would like to take a few moments to list some of the amazing dinosaur facts that we’ve discovered. Let’s take a look at them below.
- The fossils of dinosaurs have been found on all 7 continents.
- Right now, there are over 700 known species of dinosaurs. All are extinct, of course.
- Modern birds share a common ancestor with non-avian dinosaurs.
Observing Dinosaur Day
Our recommendation for anyone wishing to observe Dinosaur Day is for them to visit a museum or other scientific institution where dinosaur facts can be obtained. Some of our favorites include the Dinosaur National Monument located on the border of Colorado and Utah, the American Museum of Natural History, the Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut, the Natural History Museum of London, the Field Museum in Chicago, and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.
Of course, not everyone observing this holiday is looking for scientifically accurate depictions of dinosaurs. Some people just want the thrill of dinosaurs. If that’s the case, then the Jurassic World movies are a good place to start. Other movies include The Land Before Time, The Dinosaur Project, and The Good Dinosaur. For everyone celebrating this holiday, we encourage them to spread their love of dinosaurs around the world using the hashtag #DinosaurDay.