One in 10 Brits are convinced dinosaurs still exist in some remote corner of the world or only became extinct relatively recently, according to a study.
Researchers polled 2,000 adults and found a fifth think the prehistoric animals existed between 2,000 and 10,000 years ago – rather than between 230 million-66 million years ago.
And despite there being more than 1,000 different species of dinosaur, the typical adult can name just five – with Tyrannosaurus rex the most well-known.
It also emerged 55 per cent of those, who are parents, feel their youngster is ‘obsessed’ with dinosaurs, with half admitting their child is more clued-up on prehistoric creatures than they are.
The research, commissioned by Boat Rocker Studios to celebrate National Dinosaur day on June 1st and the new preschool animated series Dino Ranch on Disney+, also found 55 per cent of mums and dads believe the love of dinosaurs has been passed down to their next generation.
Palaeontologist, Professor Steve Brusatte, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Dinosaurs continue to fascinate – there is still so much we don’t know about them.
“New discoveries by a vibrant generation of young scientists have really changed scientific perceptions of what dinosaurs were actually like, and we now know that they were smart, active, dynamic animals more like birds than overgrown scaly lizards as they are often depicted.
“To be completely correct, dinosaurs never truly went extinct at all – birds descended from dinosaurs, which makes them dinosaurs.”
The survey also found one in six adults believe dinosaurs only lived in Africa, Mexico and North America – unaware their bones have been found all over the world.
A quarter think dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as prehistoric humans – despite there being around 65 million years between them.
Another tenth think dinosaurs shared the roaming plains with modern elephants, which is closer – although still 10 million years more recent than dinos.
The survey also challenged adults to name common dinosaurs from picture options and found two thirds were unable to pick the long-necked Brontosaurus out of a line up.
Another 33 per cent couldn’t even identify the famous three-horned Triceratops, despite it being considered a favourite be many children over the years.
A dino-knowledge quiz is available at [ www.oathstudio.com/dino-ranch/ ] so adults and parents can challenge their knowledge against their kids and learn a thing or two.
There is also a fun fact sheet to help them brush up on their dino know-how.
Matt Fernandes, creator of the series, said: “It’s brilliant to see that shows like Dino Ranch are helping to drive a strong love of dinosaurs in kids’ today, and these magnificent creatures still have an audience.
“Children love to hold special knowledge over adults and I would say that most children can educate their parents on a variety of intricate dinosaur facts.
“The idea that giants walked the earth millions of years ago sparks a child’s imagination, without the fear of ever running into one.”