If you could ride a dinosaur, which non-avian dinosaur would you choose?
We can’t tell for sure which dinosaurs would be the best for riding, but there are a few clues from birds and other animals.
A few things to consider:
- Physical strength
You’d want your dinosaur to weigh at least 1,000 lb, so the dinosaur can support you for an extended period of time. Luckily, there were lots of big, heavy dinosaurs to choose from.
You don’t want to ride a dinosaur that may attack you. It also helps if you can easily train your dinosaur, so they suppress their fight and flight instincts. And you’ll want your dinosaur to be able to follow basic commands.
Fun fact: Johnny Cash kept an aggressive male ostrich as a pet. (It would not have been suitable for riding.)
You want a dinosaur with a body shape that can carry you. Ideally you would have a flat or concave place to sit. And you definitely don’t want to ride a dinosaur with plates of spikes on their backs, like Stegosaurus or Amargasaurus.
A dinosaur that walked on four legs would be more stable, and allow you to sit in a variety of positions. If instead you chose to ride a dinosaur that walked on two legs, you’d need to sit right above the hips to keep the balance. Otherwise, your dinosaur would have to rear up to try and shift you back towards its center of mass.
So which non-avian dinosaurs would be best for riding? A lot of medium to large ornithischians, like Hadrosaurus, fit all three criteria, as well as possibly sauropods like Brontosaurus and therizinosaurs like Therizinosaurus (with the right saddle).
Ceratopsians like Triceratops would also work well, as long as their backs aren’t too rounded.
Struthiomimus would also be fun if you could keep your balance above the dinosaur’s hips.
Listen to the fun fact in episode 349 of our podcast to learn even more details about what to look for when choosing a dinosaur to ride.
Which dinosaur would you want to ride? Let us know in the comments!