how do we know dinosaurs are reptiles

Are Dinosaurs Reptiles?

The question of whether dinosaurs can be classified as reptiles is difficult to answer definitively. On one hand, there are many similarities between dinosaurs and reptiles, but on the other, there are some features and characteristics of reptiles that dinosaurs do not share. Ultimately, the answer largely depends on how you define a reptile.

Similarities Between Dinosaurs & Reptiles

Dinosaurs and reptiles share many similarities:

  • Scales: Both dinosaurs and reptiles have scales which cover much of their skin, giving them protection from predators and the environment.
  • Laying Eggs: Dinosaurs and reptiles both lay eggs from which their young hatch.
  • Cold-Blooded: Dinosaurs and reptiles are both cold-blooded, meaning that their body temperature is regulated by their external environment, such as the sun.

Differences Between Dinosaurs & Reptiles

Despite the similarities between them, there are also some key differences:

  • Size: While both dinosaurs and reptiles were quite large animals, dinosaurs were much bigger than most reptiles.
  • Feathers: Many dinosaurs have been found to have feathers, while reptiles do not.
  • Fact of Extinction: Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, while reptiles are still alive and well today.


Overall, it is difficult to definitively say whether or not dinosaurs are reptiles. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between them. Ultimately, the answer will depend on how you define a reptile.

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