Most people think of Dinosaurs as big, ferocious and extinct reptiles. That’s largely true, but there are some misconceptions. Dinosaurs were the largest land animals of all time, but a great number of Dinosaurs were smaller than a Turkey.
In 1842, paleontologist Richard Owen coined the term dinosaur, derived from the Greek deinos, meaning “terrible” or “fearfully great” and sauros. Scientists classify dinosaurs into two orders – Saurischians and Ornithischians – based on the structure of the bones in their hips. Dinosaurs survived for more than 700,000 years after the earth was hit by a massive meteorite originally believed to have caused their extinction according to new research. They first appeared during the Triassic period, between 243 and 231 million years ago. Dinosaurs are a varied group of animals from taxonomic, morphological and ecological standpoints. Since the first Dinosaur fossils were recognized in the early 19th century.
How many types of Dinosaurs were there in the world ?
Dinosaurs are a varied group of animals from taxonomic, morphological and ecological standpoints. At present over 700 different species of Dinosaurs have been identified and named. However paleontologist believe that there are many more new and different Dinosaur species still to be discovered. The main types of Dinosaurs are Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Diplodocus, Coelophysis, Triceratops. Recent estimates suggest that about 700 to 900 more Dinosaur genera may remain to be discovered.
What Kind of food Dinosaurs eat ?
Some hunted other Dinosaurs or scavenged dead animals. Rocks that contains Dinosaur bones also contain fossil pollen and spores that indicate hundreds to thousands of types of plants existed during the Mesozoic Era. Big meat-eaters today like lions eat a lot at one time and then might not eat again for a week. T.rex could bite off 500 pounds in one bite. Maybe it ate a few hundred pounds of triceratops one day and then didn’t eat again for a while.
What was the first Dinosaur to walk the earth ?
The first discovery of Dinosaur remains in North America was made in 1854 by Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden during his exploration of the upper Missouri River and the first Dinosaur to be named was Megalosaurus. It was named in 1824 by Reverend William Buckland. The oldest Dinosaurs yet discovered date back nearly 230m years to the Late Triassic epoch. Fossils of Herrerasaurus and Eoraptor were discovered in Argentina. Both were bipedal carnivores (meat-eaters that walked on two legs) and small in comparison to the giant Dinosaurs that would follow. Eoraptor was the size of a cat, Herrerasaurus the size of a pony.
Some interesting facts of Dinosaurs :
- The longest Dinosaur was Argentinosaurus which measured over 40 meters. It was part of the titanosaur group of Dinosaurs. Its remains have been found in Argentina, South America.
- The heaviest Dinosaur was Argentinosaurus at 77 tonnes. It was the equivalent to 17 African Elephants. It is also the largest land animal to have ever lived.
- Dinosaur eggs come in all shapes and sizes. They tend to be ovoid or spherical in shape and up to 30cm in length – about the size of a rugby ball. The smallest Dinosaur egg so far found is only 3cm long. Once the egg has been fossilised it will become hard like rock. But it will retain a structure of its own.
- The Stegosaurus had a brain the size of a walnut – only 3cm long and weighing 75 grams. However, comparing brain size to body size sauropodomorphs like Plateosaurus, were probably one of the dumbest Dinosaurs.
- The oldest known Dinosaur is Saltopus. It was a small carnivore that lived 245 million years ago. Remains of this Dinosaur have only been found in Scotland.
- The “king of Gore” tyrannosaur, unearthed in southern Utah belongs to the same family as the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. A newly discovered “king of Gore” tyrannosaur pushes back the origins of T.Rex’s terrifying family tree to at least 80 million years ago. Tyrannosaurus rex looked the most ferocious of all the Dinosaurs. But in terms of overall cunning, determination and its array of vicious weapons it was Utahraptor that was probably the fiercest of all. Utahraptor measured about 7 meters and was a very powerful, agile and intelligent predator.
- Quetzalocoatlus with its wingspan of up to 13 meters was probably the largest pterosaur and hence the largest flying creature of all time. Despite its size it weighed no more than 100 kilograms. Its only contender may be Arambourgiania which is only known from one bone but scaled up the whole pterosaur could have been even larger. Pterosaurs were not Dinosaur.
- Elasmosaurus was the longest plesiosaur at up to 14 meters long. Half of its length was its neck which had as many as 75 vertebrae in it. Elasmosaurus had four long, paddle-like flippers, a tiny head, sharp teeth in strong jaws and a pointed tail. Pterosaurs were not Dinosaurs but were marine reptiles.
Can Velociraptors fly ?
Despite having feathers, however, the arms of Velociraptors were too short to allow them to fly or even glide. Velociraptors were actually only about the size of a domesticated Turkey, being only about 3 feet tall and 6 feet long with most of the length coming from the tail and weighing in at around 20-30 pounds full grown. Velociraptors lived during the Late Cretaceous period about 80-85 million years ago. This was only 15 million years before the Dinosaurs became extinct. The world was much hotter than it is today and there were no polar ice caps. The find suggests that the Dinosaurs dromaeosaurid ancestors could fly at one point but lost that ability according to the study published in the journal Science.
How was the Dinosaur destroyed ?
Scientists think, the Cretaceous – Paleogene extinction event which occurred approximately 66 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period, caused the extinction of all Dinosaur groups except for the neornithine birds. For many years, paleontologist believed this event was caused by climate and geological changes that interrupted the Dinosaur’s food supply. Scientists now believe that the asteroid that slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago was 6 miles wide – almost big enough to cover San Francisco and caused cataclysmic destruction on a scale comparable to global thermonuclear war.
Intense volcanic eruptions, along with a devastating meteor strike, likely contributed to the extinction of non-avian Dinosaurs around 66.5 million years ago. Now new research shows that volcanic eruptions at the end of the Triassic period triggered the Dinosaur Age, meaning these animals were bookended by some of Earth’s most extreme and fiery conditions.