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Palaeontology

How did dinosaurs sleep ?

By T.K. Randall
October 13, 2012 · Comment icon 31 comments



Image Credit: CC 2.0 Jordi Payà
Despite everything we've learned about the dinosaurs we still know very little about how they slept.
With no live specimens to observe palaeontologists are left to speculate on many aspects of dinosaur sleeping behaviours. For example did the giant sauropod dinosaurs sleep standing up ? In 2004 the fossil remains of a small feathered dinosaur called Mei long were discovered curled up in a roosting position similar to that observed in modern birds.

Another interesting find was made in 1936 when the partial skeleton of a Segisaurus was discovered with its legs tucked beneath its body and its arms in a resting position. Unfortunately however dinosaur fossils preserved in a sleeping position are few and far between.
Bone by bone and study by study, paleontologists are learning more than ever before about dinosaurs. But there are still many aspects about prehistoric biology that we know little about. In fact, some of the simplest facets of dinosaur lives remain elusive.


Source: Smithsonian | Comments (31)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by Eldorado 10 years ago
there is no evidence that dinosaurs ever slept at all Extinction via coke addiction? (lol)
Comment icon #23 Posted by Abramelin 10 years ago
Extinction via coke addiction? (lol) That would explain their vicious character. thinking of my ex now
Comment icon #24 Posted by Cherry- 10 years ago
Its gonna be adorable if they would hang from their tail lol..
Comment icon #25 Posted by Abramelin 10 years ago
Its gonna be adorable if they would hang from their tail lol.. I'd like to see that tree where T-Rex was hanging from, lol.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Gohot 10 years ago
I think if you look at birds you will find that some dinosaurs slept like this, especially bipedal, and very likely the four legged type like our current horses, bovine. And some even resting on their sides like rhinos.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Abramelin 10 years ago
The bigger the creature the more likely it was to sleep standing up, think about it for a second what happens to a beached whale it hits dry land and slowly crushes itself. Granted it doesn't have legs and so can't adjust itself But still how much bigger were the dinos than the whales of today? even with the dino's legs many of them weighed a lot more than a whale and to top that many preditors hunt at night, If this was also true with dino preditors then being asleep on the ground was a death sentence for anything caught that way. You can't compare whales with dinosaurs because whales evolved... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by Walnut Whip 10 years ago
I'd like to see that tree where T-Rex was hanging from, lol. I would as well because it'll be as big as a Redwood. It'll be so huge it would be worthy of a nickname today. Tbh I can't see any dinosaurs perching in a tree. People tend to put too much emphasis on the fact that birds are living dinosaurs. If dinosaurs are going to sleep it will be on their feet or with their legs tucked in. It really depends on their size and I'm sure whichever species it is will have found a system. But one thing I know for sure are T-Rex's prey sleeping with one eye open.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Jinxdom 10 years ago
I never really thought about after I fell asleep on me feet with my back on a wall. Although now all I can picture is other dinos playing a game of T-rex tipping as a rite in to adulthood.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Antilles 10 years ago
I gotta ask. Why does anyone care?
Comment icon #31 Posted by Medium Brown 10 years ago
I can't see why somebody would be so dismissive.. It's fun to speculate about how dinosaurs do stuff we take for granted. They are the kingpins of prehistory and can't be trivialised. Tbh without sleep how the eck is any species going to function. So it's important as how they utilise all five senses,eat and even reproduce. I think some of the smaller ones could even hibernate.


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