Did Dinosaurs Have Scales?

Varying dinosaur fossils point to some having scales and some having feathers. In fact, Professor Paul Barrett of the British Natural History Museum says:

We have really strong evidence that animals like the duck-billed dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs and armoured dinosaurs did not have feathers because we have lots of skin impressions of these animals that clearly show they had scaly coverings. We also have zero evidence of any feather like structures in the long-necked dinosaurs, the sauropodomorphs.

The first dinosaurs probably didn’t have feathers – https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2020/march/the-first-dinosaurs-probably-didn-t-have-feathers.html

Did T-Rex Have Feathers or Scales?

Scientists know that some types of dinosaurs, like Archaeopteryx, Velociraptor, and Microraptor, had feathers. Other common dinosaurs, like the Triceratops, had scales. However, the T-Rex did not have feathers. Instead, through many fossil discoveries, we can say with certainty that the Tyrannosaurus Rex had scales.

We know that some dinosaurs, including Archaeopteryx, Velociraptor, and Microraptor, were covered in feathers. We also know that some, such as ceratopsian dinosaurs like Triceratops, were covered in scales.

Which Dinosaurs Had Scales?

These dinosaurs had sclaes:

  • Triceratops 
  • Haestasaurs
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Edmontosaurus
  • Saurolophus

Which Dinosaurs Had Feathers?

These dinosaurs had feathers:

  • Ambopteryx
  • Archaeopteryx
  • Conchoraptor
  • Microraptor
  • Psittacosaurus
  • Velociraptor

Do All Dinosaurs Have Scales?

All dinosaurs we know of had scaly skin with pimply patterns, much like modern day alligators.


Fossil remains indicate that some dinosaurs had scales while others had feathers. All dinosaurs had scales of some sort but not all dinosaurs had feathers.