Scientists believe that the human fascination with dinosaurs is because it forces us to imagine the enormity of geological time. It creates a sense of wonder at the age of the living Earth and the mystery that surrounds its Natural History.
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Dinosaurs are a fascinating topic for grown-ups as they often spark a sense of awe and wonder. There’s something special about learning about creatures that lived millions of years ago, and the fact that they no longer exist today. Additionally, dinosaurs have been featured in popular culture for decades, from books to movies to video games, so many adults have grown up with a strong affinity for these creatures. The sheer size and variety of dinosaurs is something to behold, and their many different forms and abilities make them endlessly interesting to learn about.
Did you know these Dinosaur facts?
- People have only been on Earth about 2.5 million years. Dinosaurs lived on Earth for about 160 million years, which is about 64 times longer than people been around.
- A T-rex bite was more than twice as powerful as a lion's bite.
- While many people think dinosaurs were huge creatures, dinosaurs were usually human sized or smaller. Scientists believe that the larger bones were just easier to be fossilized.
- Only very few living things turn into fossils once they die, as a very special set of circumstances are needed for fossilisation to occur.
- Often dinosaur fossils are found near lakes and oceans as covered their remains in mud and silt. Others were washed into a river by heavy rain. Once remains are buried under sediment, their decomposition slows down due to a lack of oxygen, giving enough time for fossilisation to occur.
- For this reason, we do not know a lot about the dinosaurs that lived away from water- for example in jungles- as fossils are highly unlikely to form in these climates.
- The word “dinosaur” was coined by British palaeontologist Richard Owen in 1842. It is Greek, meaning “terrible lizard.”
- No one knows exactly how long a dinosaur’s lifespan was. Some scientists speculate some dinosaurs lived for as long as 300 years.
- The Diplodocus is believed to have had a life span of 80 years - similar to that of an elephant.
- Tyrannosaurus rex had a life expectancy of about 28 years.
- Stegosaurus had a life expectancy of about 75-100 years.
- The Stegosaurus has the smallest brain for its body size of any known dinosaur. Its body was the size of a van, but its brain was the size of a walnut.
- Scientists believe that the human fascination with dinosaurs is due to the fact it forces us to imagine the enormity of geological time. It creates a sense of wonder at the age of the living Earth and the mystery that surrounds its Natural History.The Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the biggest predators that ever lived, weighing up to 8 tons!
- Dinosaurs lived on Earth for over 160 million years.
- The smallest dinosaur was the size of a chicken, weighing about 2 pounds.
- The Quetzalcoatlus was the largest flying dinosaur, with a wingspan of up to 36 feet!
- The Sauropods were the longest dinosaurs, with some measuring up to 115 feet long!
- Some dinosaurs may have had feathers!
- Dinosaurs could be found on every continent.
- The Stegosaurus had plates on its back for protection and to regulate its body temperature.
- Dinosaurs laid eggs as their method of reproduction.
- Dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago due to an asteroid impact.
- Triceratops was a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that lived during the late Maastrichtian stage of the Cretaceous period, around 68 to 65 million years ago.
- Triceratops was one of the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.
- Triceratops was around 30 feet (9 meters) long and weighed 6 tons.
- Triceratops had three horns on its head - one on its snout and two above its eyes - as well as a beak-like mouth and a frill made up of triangular plates.
- Triceratops is thought to have been a social animal, living and traveling in large herds.
- Triceratops were herbivores, and fed on plants such as ferns, cycads, and conifers.
- Triceratops had one of the most powerful bite forces of any land animal, and its beak-like mouth was adapted for cropping and snipping tough plant material.
- Triceratops had a parrot-like beak for tearing vegetation and grinding it with its teeth.
- Triceratops is thought to have been able to run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
- Triceratops fossils have been found in western North America, including parts of Canada, Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
- Stegosaurus was a large dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period (around 150 million years ago).
- It was a herbivore and had four thick, spiky plates on its back and four long spikes at the end of its tail.
- The plates were likely used for protection from predators and for display purposes.
- Its brain was very small compared to the rest of its body and scientists believe it was the least intelligent dinosaur of its time.
- Stegosaurus was around 9 to 11 metres long, 5 metres high and weighed around 4 tons.
- It had a small head and neck, a bulky body and a long, pointed tail.
- Its jaw was filled with tiny, toothless ridges which it used to grind up vegetation.
- Stegosaurus lived in the areas of North America and Europe.
- It is believed to have been a social dinosaur, living in herds and travelling in large groups.
- Its name means ‘roofed lizard’ in Greek.
- Diplodocus was an herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic Period.
- Diplodocus had a long neck and tail, and a small head.
- Diplodocus could reach lengths of up to 90 feet and weighed up to 15 tons.
- Its long neck and tail were made up of around 80 vertebrae and its neck could reach up to 30 feet in length.
- Diplodocus had four thick, pillar-like legs and its feet had five toes.
- Its tail was used as a weapon to defend itself against predators.
- Its teeth were arranged in columns, and it had hundreds of them.
- Diplodocus is believed to have lived in herds and were able to reproduce quickly.
- The Diplodocus had large nostrils which may have been used for cooling down its body.
- Fossils of Diplodocus have been found in North America and Europe.
Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts
- The name Tyrannosaurus Rex comes from Greek and Latin words meaning ‘Tyrant Lizard King’.
- The T. Rex roamed the planet during the late Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago, in what’s now the USA and Canada.
- Only very few living things turn into fossils once they die, as a very special set of circumstances are needed for fossilisation to occur. Often dinosaur fossils are found near lakes and oceans as covered their remains in mud and silt. Others were washed into a river by heavy rain. Once remains are buried under sediment, their decomposition slows down due to a lack of oxygen, giving enough time for fossilisation to occur. For this reason, we do not know a lot about the dinosaurs that lived away from water- for example in jungles- as fossils are highly unlikely to form in these climates.