Do You Know Your Dinos? 13 Trivia Facts Inspired by our Dinosaur Bags
Just because something is a thing of the past, doesn’t mean we can’t love it fondly. As someone passionate about all things retro and vintage, I state this as a FACT. And there is nothing more timeless than a dinosaur - which is why I’m doubly obsessed with vintage dinosaur bags.
The dinosaur bag is the ultimate classic, and I dare you to disagree.
Dinosaurs have been around for over 240 million years - and they are here to stay in our hearts.
A dino is equally fabulous and fantastical and just a tad bit misunderstood, so I feel a sort of comradery there.
But staring at our loveable dinosaur bags made me realize it’s important for people to know just a bit more about them.
You most likely already know that the word dinosaur means ‘terrible lizard’ but you might not know things like the fact that dinosaurs weren’t killed by a meteor.
So, without further ado, it’s time for some DINOSAUR TRIVIA.
13 colossally cool dinosaur facts
Are you ready to get hit with some massively Mesozoic wisdom? Before we show off our cute dinosaur purses, here are some super fabulous facts you might not have known about dinosaurs.
1. Dinosaurs weren’t the first terrible lizards to rule the Earth
We often think of dinosaurs as being the first great rulers of our planet, but in reality, they had some fearsome predecessors. So fearsome and indestructible, in fact, that they are still around today.
That’s right, crocodiles (or at least a prehistoric version of them) were around long before the dinosaurs.
So were some other large reptiles, like archosaurs, pelycosaurs and therapsids (think of a naked mole rat mixed with a saber tooth tiger that is actually a reptile) - none of which is a dinosaur.
And, when the first dinosaurs evolved during the mid Triassic period 230 million years ago, they were quite small.
No dinosaurs gave crocodiles a run for their money until the Jurassic period - 30 million years later.
2. Your favourite dinos probably didn’t exist at the same time
Don’t let Jurassic Park fool you.
Not all the dinosaurs lived at the same time.
In fact, the T-rex wasn’t even alive in the Jurassic period - but the Stegosaurus was.
And Stegosaurus was extinct tens of millions of years before T-rex even graced the Earth with its presence.
This meme might help you get an idea of what I’m talking about.
Although they were late-comers to the scene, T-rex and Triceratops certainly came in (and went out) with a bang. Those short-lived sauruses are some of the most popular dinosaurs of all time.
3. Your favourite dinos...might not even be dinosaurs
I hate to burst your bubble here, but I really must tell you...
Pterodactyls are not dinosaurs.
Neither are Dimetrodons, Mosasaurs, Elasmosaurs, Ichthyosaurs or any other air or water-loving beasts we know and love.
Isn’t that the absolute worst thing you’ve heard since you were told Pluto ISN’T A PLANET!?
(And I’m still getting over that one.)
Dinosaur specifically applies ONLY to land-dwelling reptiles with a certain hip structure for an upright walking stance.
Which means all the swimming, flying and crawling prehistoric giants we grew up reading about in dinosaur books are, in fact, not dinosaurs.
But, being a lover of old-fashioned things, they’re still dinosaurs to me.
I won’t tell if you won’t.
4. Dinosaurs reigned for more than 165 million years
I shouldn’t have poked fun at T-rex for being short-lived. (Though he certainly was short-armed.)
WE are short-lived.
Human civilization as we know it only began about 6,000 years ago.
We are BABIES. (Though rather smart babies if I do say so myself.)
Dinosaurs, on the other hand, ruled for over 165 million years, which is 27,500 times longer than we have ruled anything - so I think the dinosaurs deserve a little respect here.
I mean, they’re only the most successful vertebrates to ever colonise Earth.
5. You classify a dinosaur by the shape of their hips
You already know there is something distinctly hippy going on with dinosaurs - because I told you the hips of Dimetrodons and Pterodactyls discount them - but there is even more to it than that.
While you might think that dinosaurs would be divided into groups of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores...they aren’t.
They are divided in two groups based solely on their hip shape.
Saurischian means ‘lizard-hipped,’ which refers to the fact that one of the bones in the hip region points forward.
This group contains all the carnivorous dinosaurs, as well as the herbivorous sauropods (think Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus).
Ornithischian, on the other hand, means ‘bird-hipped,’ in which all the bones in the hips point backwards.
The group is made up of the rest of the herbivorous dinosaurs, from Iguanodon to Triceratops to
6. Not all dinosaurs were cold-blooded
Just because modern reptiles are cold-blooded, doesn’t mean dinosaurs were.
There is a solid case that some dinosaurs were warm-blooded like mammals.
Just think about the way dinosaurs must have moved. A giant sauropod would certainly have been cold-blooded, but a speedy raptor or ornithopod would have been hard-pressed to keep up with their active lifestyle with a cold-blooded metabolism.
7. Dinosaurs had varying levels of intelligence
Just as people have a whole range of IQs, so did the dinosaurs.
Their resident Einstein was the Troodon, which had a very large brain for its body size - similar to that of an ostrich or emu.
Now I know we don’t usually consider ‘bird-brain’ a compliment, but in this case it is.
The Troodon had better vision than most humans and grasping hands it could use as tools, which made it a fearsome hunter.
And then there was the sweet Stegosaurus.
Despite its considerable mass, the Stegosaurus had a brain the size of a walnut.
You can now see how an emu-sized brain could make you superior.
8. Most dinosaurs wouldn’t have eaten you
If you imagine dinosaurs roaming the Earth, you might worry that an apex predator would make a short end of you. But the majority of dinosaurs wouldn’t even have considered you a snack.
That’s because 65% of the dinosaurs were herbivores, and of the remaining 35%, some were omnivores that ate a mix of leafy greens, eggs, insects and small mammals.
There were far fewer fierce carnivores than there were gentle giants.
9. There is no such thing as a Brontosaurus
Brontosaurus was one of my favourite dinosaurs growing up, so this one hit me in the feels.
Luckily, the Brontosaurus does live on, just under a different name.
That’s because the Brontosaurus was misidentified in the first place, thanks to a VERY INTENSE bone war between paleontologists Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope.
The Bone Wars started so these rivals could see once and for all who was best in the field. They were competing to see who could discover the most species of dinosaurs. So, I suppose it’s understandable that an extra dino ended up in the mix. They really WANTED Brontosaurus to exist.
BUT, my fabulous thunder lizards, the Brontosaurus bones were really just older adult Apatosaurus bones all along.
10. Velociraptors might not be what you think
I know I know, at this point you’re thinking: ‘is nothing sacred!?”
Don’t worry, Velociraptors did exist, and they were, in fact, actually dinosaurs.
They were also the size of turkeys.
Of course, a scratch-happy turkey was probably not the look Steven Speilberg was going for.
The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were actually modeled after Deinonychus, a very similar (but much larger) beast.
Since the name ‘Deinonychus’ didn’t have the same dramatic factor as ‘Velociraptor’ they decided not to change the name.
11. Some mammals lived at the same time as dinosaurs
Mammals didn’t magically appear after the dinosaurs went extinct - they were already living beside each other!
Most prehistoric mammals evolved from therapsid reptiles (the naked mole rat-looking ones). Now remember, therapsids were around before most species of dinosaurs even existed, so mammals have very old roots.
Mammals came to be at least 178 million years ago, and they were more complex and diverse than you might think.
While the large mammals died out during the dinosaur extinction event, the smaller rodents lived on. Which simply goes to show - rodents can survive anything.
12. Dinosaurs weren’t killed in an meteor blast
When that meteor hit the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago, it didn’t obliterate the dinosaurs. There wasn’t some fiery mass-extinction.
In fact, the crater was only 112 miles wide.
This left us with a lot of lovely cenotes to swim in (thanks Mother Nature!) but didn’t kill the dinosaurs.
The meteor did set off the chain of events that would ultimately end the dinosaur age, but in reality, the extinction event dragged on for hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of years.
This was also heavily aided by massive volcanic eruptions that split what is now India in half and filled the air with mercury.
Climate change, spurred on by the meteor and volcanic eruptions, is what really did the dinos in.
Global temperatures plunged, sunlight dwindled and vegetation died out - living little for large dinos to survive on.
13. The relatives of dinosaurs are still among us
All signs point to birds being the descendants of dinosaurs.
Ironically enough, birds evolved from lizard-hipped dinosaurs, not bird-hipped dinosaurs. (Go figure.)
It seems that some feathered dinosaurs survived the ‘extinction event’ and went on to become the beaky little beasts that gleefully wake us in the morning.
I believe it.
Just look at a bird: those beady eyes, those pointy talons. Don’t try to tell me that’s NOT a dinosaur.
Perhaps my love of dinosaurs has something to do with my love of birds. Because I LOVE birds. They are absolutely my favourite thing.
Birds are so expressive and awkward, and it’s amazing to think that somewhere in that feathery floof are the last remnants of dino DNA.
Wicker Darling exists solely because of my love of birds (and my specific NEED for a pink flamingo purse), so you dino-enthusiasts can thank my ornith-obsession for your chonky dinosaur bags.
For these dinosaur bags are chonky delights indeed. And it’s high time for all of you to meet them.
Meet the dinosaur bags that inspired this post!
If you’ve read this far, you obviously have a thing for dinosaurs - so you should probably have a dinosaur bag on your arm. Here are our first four dinosaur bags from Wicker Darling (but there are bound to be more to come).
I know, I know, Brontosaurus wasn’t really a dinosaur, but the pun was too good to pass up!
Plus, we love all things vintage at Wicker Darling, so what’s better than a vintage dinosaur name!?
This dinosaur bag is the cutest dinosaur bag that ever stomped the Earth.
Charlotte Bronte-saurus is an emerald green dinosaur purse with light green belly and tan leather handles. Her stout wicker build was handmade in the Philippines, just like all our limited edition dinosaur handbags.
This dinosaur bag in particular is lined with HOT PINK fabric, and she is chalk FULL of personality as well.
Charlotte really knows how to stick her neck out for you, and will be happy to hold all your important belongings (so long as keep her nice and dry).
Mary the Triceratops
If you’re more into the regal, crown-wearing sort of dinosaur bag, then we have THREE for you.
That’s right, three triceratops purses!
The OG Triceratops in our herd is Mary, the aqua-ish dinosaur bag inspired by Mary Anning, the English paleontologist who did pioneering work in Jurassic marine life and discovered the first pterosaur to boot!
Mary the Triceratops was our very first dinosaur bag at Wicker Darling, and though she is now enjoying a happy retirement, her legacy of wicker dinos lives on.
Our second resident Triceratops is Patricia, the lilac-coloured dinosaur bag. The delightful dino was named after Dr Patricia Vickers-Rich, a professor of Palaeontology and Palaeobiology in our very own Australia.
Patricia shares the same shapely form as Mary - she’s just found her own true colours. Patricia is purple through and through, with a lilac interior and deep lavender leather handles.
If wicker bags aren’t really your style (gasp!), we still have something for dino-lovers at Wicker Darling.
This dinosaur bag is less a purse and more a COIN purse. A cute little mini coin purse at that.
Meet Benedict, the very lucky lad who would love to hold your chapstick, keys, coins and other HIGHLY important things.
The name Benedict means ‘blessed,’ which is what you would be to have this dinosaur bag in your life.
This green leather dinosaur coin purse would be the perfect addition to any purse strap or key chain. Heck, I’d even wear him on my belt loops!
A dinosaur bag for everyone
Whether you’re looking for a green dinosaur purse or a purple one, there’s a dinosaur bag for all sorts at Wicker Darling, and more could be stomping into the workroom at any minute.
And, if these dainty dinos aren’t quite your cup of tea, there are plenty of wicker animal bags that will be.
With new styles dropping every single month, it’s always worth taking a peek at what’s in stock!