This Is Probably What Dinosaur Would Taste Like

In a land before time, dinosaurs ruled the planet. Velociraptors took down prey with their claws and triceratopses munched on leaves. You may have studied these large animals in school, but one topic that you may never have discussed was what would a dinosaur have tasted like. Now that it has been posed, you probably can't stop thinking about it.

Dinosaurs habited Earth for 160 million years before going extinct about 65.5 million years ago, according to History. Why they died is still not known. Some of the top theories are disease, starvation, and that dinosaurs' bodies got too big for their small brains to operate. The earliest humans, according to History, evolved in Africa about 2 million years, so a long time after dinosaurs were already gone from the land, which obviously means that man never roasted dinosaur over an open fire for dinner. So, any description of what dinosaur meat tasted like is pure speculation.

Dinosaurs for dinner?

Dinosaurs were tasty — well, at least to early mammals. In 2005, scientists discovered a 130-million-year-old mammal fossil that had the tiny bones of a baby dinosaur in its stomach, according to the Washington Post. Jin Meng, a paleontologist at the Museum of Natural History in New York, theorized at the time that the mammal, Repenomamus robustus, would have found the baby psittacosaur appetizing. 

Many scientists believe that today's birds are descended from dinosaurs, which in theory would mean they might have tasted like chicken, according to the Washington Post. Steve Brusatte with the University of Edinburgh told The Naked Scientists that he believed dinosaurs would have tasted like chicken for the same reason — because chickens are descendants of dinosaurs. 

What dinosaurs ate may also tell us a little bit about what they tasted like. According to Popular Science, what a cut of meat tastes like is affected by its fat composition, which is influenced by what it eats. Hypothetically, a dinosaur that had a plant-based diet, similar to the modern cow, deer, or bison, would have had a gamey taste. Water-dwelling dinosaurs likely wouldn't have been too appetizing because of their fishy taste and the significant amount of oil found in the flesh that could have caused it to oxidize and get a rancid taste.

While we may never know exactly what a barbecued leg of dinosaur would taste like, we can at least eat a turkey leg and pretend.