How to be a Dinosaur for Halloween | Science | Smithsonian

How to be a Dinosaur for Halloween

Halloween is almost here, and soon the streets will be swarming with little ghosts, witches, and—sad as I am to say it—sparklepires. Dinosaurs are classic costume choices, too, and in case you need some last-minute ideas for this year's spooky holiday, we h...

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afurysnWR7I

Halloween is almost here, and soon the streets will be swarming with little ghosts, witches, and—sad as I am to say it—sparklepires. Dinosaurs are classic costume choices, too, and in case you need some last-minute ideas for this year's spooky holiday, we here at Dinosaur Tracking have you covered.

For kids:

There are more dinosaur and pterosaur costumes out there than I can count, and many of them are more elaborate than the green jumpsuit with spikes sewn on that I wore as a little tyke. Toddler-sized pterosaur, tyrannosaur, Triceratops, and generic dinosaur costumes are common, but if you want to do things the old fashioned way there are plenty of directions online on how to make a child-size dino costume. eHow has two different sets of instructions for quick-and-easy outfits, and PBS has even put up directions for making a costume of the baby Tyrannosaurus "Buddy" from their Dinosaur Train show.

For adults:

Dinosaurs aren't just for kids, though dressing up in a big fuzzy dinosaur suit is more likely to make people think of Barney than a terrifying theropod. (I would also avoid dressing up as a Sleestak, unless you want your friends to question your bad taste in movies.) Granted, this custom pterosaur get-up is pretty cool, as is the self-made dinosaur exoskeleton in the video above, but you're more like to find dinosaur masks than full costumes. If that's the way you want to go, have some fun with it. Pair up a Dilophosaurus mask with some camouflage fatigues to be a dinosaur soldier or throw on some scrubs to be a dino doctor (this way you can take the mask off if it gets too hot and still be in costume). If all else fails, just pick up some fake blood, tear up an old t-shirt, and say that you're a Deinonychus victim.

For pets:

If you really must have your whole family go as a pack of dinosaurs, there are dinosaur costumes for pets, too. Your dog may tolerate it, but your cat will probably hate you for it and cast up a hairball in your shoes for making it wear such a ridiculous getup.

Other fun stuff:

Maybe dressing up as a dinosaur isn't for you, but what about carving a dinosaur themed jack-o-lantern? There are a few patterns available on the web, though, with a little imagination, some really awesome designs are possible.

If you end up dressed up as a dinosaur this year or make a dino jack-o-lantern, snap a photo and send it to us at dinosaursightings@gmail.com. We'll collect whatever photos we get and put them into the next edition of our Dinosaur Sightings.

Whatever you and your family end up doing, though, we here at Dinosaur Tracking want to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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