At I Know Dino, we welcome anyone with a passion for dinosaurs. In keeping with that spirit, we’ve asked Taylor McCoy, founder of the website Everything Dinosaurs to share some of his thoughts on dinosaurs. Taylor also kindly gave us an interview for the I Know Dino podcast (Juratyrant – Episode 8). You can find the episode here.
My name is Taylor McCoy. Though I’m not a professional, I’ve been personally studying dinosaurs and paleontology for years. In that time I’ve come up with a number of theories and ideas of my own. Many of my theories revolve around large theropods, especially Tyrannosaurus rex. I’ve also visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh a number of times.
My personal fossil collection numbers over 40 fossils and a few replica fossils. My specimens include dinosaur fossils, trilobites, fish, shark teeth (including Megalodon teeth), and many others. Some of these I have purchased, others I found. Many of the ones I found was by simply by keeping an eye out for the right thing in the right place. On a hike in central Pennsylvania once for example, I spotted a small trilobite. While on vacation in New Jersey, I found the lower jaw to a prehistoric angler-fish relative called a goosefish.
As with nearly every dinosaur lover, I’m quite excited to see Jurassic World when it comes out. I’ve been following the film’s development for a few years now and the news on it just keeps getting better and better in my opinion.
In June of 2013, I decided to make a website in order to get my knowledge out there to share with the public called Everything Dinosaurs. Since it’s creation, my site has received over 30,000 visitors. A comment and question box, along with a “Favorite Dinosaur” poll is also featured on the home page. Dozens of people have also used these features. The most common entry in the poll so far is Tyrannosaurus.
While many “dinosaur sites” feature animals that lived before and after dinosaurs like Megalodon, the Wooly Mammoth, and Dimetrodon, Everything Dinosaurs focuses entirely on dinosaurs and their contemporaries. In fact, the most recent addition (the 151th featured species) was a dinosaur contemporary called Desmatosuchus.
Some of the information on the site will be similar to that of other sites and sources whenever it’s information I agree with. However, it’s clear that my personal theories and opinions have worked their way into much of it. Good examples of this can be seen on the Tyrannosaurus and Spinosaurus pages.
I don’t really have a specific strategy when choosing new additions to the site. I’ll often be influenced by new discoveries, suggestions, or simply thinking of one I hadn’t added yet. Once I choose a new species to add, I’ll start doing some “refresher research” to try and make sure the page is as accurate as possible. This information is added to my previous knowledge and incorporated into the page. I’ll then go and find a good picture and size comparison to use for it. If there isn’t a good picture or size comparison, I may not add the animal, as those are very important in my opinion.
Probably the most frequently visited page on the site, besides the home page of course, is the T-rex page. The reason for this is probably simply because T-rex is the most famous dinosaur. That said, my site has allowed many to learn about lesser known species like Alamosaurus and Ceratosaurus as well.
I think everyone that wants to have their voice heard when it comes to paleontology should make a site (a legit one, not some troll site). It’s fast, easy, and in many cases, free. It’s also fun and very satisfying. Getting to see so many people enjoying my site and getting information from it is great. In my opinion, it’s important not to follow the crowd. It’s good to read what others think and take it into account. However, it’s important to draw your own conclusions and the like. Making a site is a good way to do that.
A link for the site can be found at the bottom of the post, along with a link for Weebly, the site I used for making Everything Dinosaurs.