Much of what we know about dinosaurs is nascent by nature. It's difficult to study something that's been buried in the ground for 65 million years, right?
But a recent study from scientists at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London has put some numbers behind our collective acquired knowledge of dinosaurs. It appears that much of what we know about dinosaurs could potentially change over the next 20 years.
The science is simple. Everything we know about dinosaurs is essentially derived from the fossil record. And over the last ten years there has been a dramatic increase in additions to that fossil record. In layman's terms: we're discovering more dinosaurs at rapid rate, which means we're constantly acquiring new, concrete examples of how dinosaurs actually lived.
Just take a look at this handy graph.
More dinosaur findings equals more knowledge, equals a better, broader understanding of how the scientific community understands dinosaurs as a whole.
In a blog post Jonathan P. Tennant tried to explain his findings.
"This has profound impacts on our understanding of dinosaur diversity, especially as these discoveries are unevenly spread over time and space," he wrote. "There are still huge gaps in our knowledge of the fossil record, and areas in space and geological time where the rapid pace of discovery is changing much of what we thought we knew about dinosaurs."
You can read the study in its entirety here.