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ZoomDinosaurs.com
DINOSAUR ANATOMY AND BEHAVIOR
General Anatomy Size Teeth Herds, Packs Offense Defense Reproduction, Nests & Eggs Blood Pressure
Skeleton Tails Brains Male or Female? Skin Diet Locomotion Life Span Hot or Cold Blooded?

SIZE OF THE DINOSAURS
Dinosaur Size printout
Dinosaur Size Graphing Activity
Dinosaur Size Comparison Printout


Dinosaurs ranged in size from the size of a chicken to well over 100 feet long. Most dinosaurs were somewhere in the middle. The modern-day blue whale is the largest animal that ever lived - it is larger than any dinosaur was.

No one knows why some of the dinosaurs (and some other Mesozoic Era reptiles) got so huge and none do today. This is one of the most interesting unanswered questions in paleontology. There are a lot of theories, but some of them are pretty bizarre; none are generally accepted

LONGEST
The longest dinosaurs were sauropods; they were gigantic, slow-moving, tiny-headed, cow-like plant-eaters from the late Jurassic and the Cretaceous period. They had very long necks which were useful for reaching wide (and tall) swatches of vegetation. The lengthy neck was counterbalanced by a massive tail. These sauropods are the largest land animals ever discovered:
  • Supersaurus - 134 feet long (41 m)
  • Argentinosaurus - 115-130 feet long (35-40 m); 80-100 metric tons
  • Seismosaurus ("Earth-shaking lizard") - 120+ feet long (37 m); +80 tons
  • Ultrasauros - 100+ feet long (30 m), +80 tons
  • Diplodocus - grew up to 90 feet long (28 m).
  • Brachiosaurus - about 85 feet long (26 m), 40 feet tall, and weighed 70-80 tons.

The biggest carnivores were theropods from the Cretaceous period:
Giganotosaurus
  • Giganotosaurus carolinii - found in Patagonia, Argentina. 47 feet long (14 m), 8 tons in weight, and 12 feet tall (4 m).
  • Tyrannosaurus rex - found in North America - 40-50 feet long (12-15 m), 6 tons in weight.
  • Carcharodontosaurus saharicus - (meaning shark-toothed lizard) found in in Morocco, Africa, by Paul Sereno. It was probably about 45 feet long and had 5 inch long teeth. Its skull (5 feet 4 inches) is larger than T. rex's, but it had a tiny brain cavity (half the size of T. rex's).

TALLEST
The tallest dinosaurs were brachiosaurid sauropods; they had front legs that were longer than their back legs and had a giraffe-like stance. They were gigantic, slow moving, tiny-headed, cow-like plant-eaters from the late Jurassic and the Cretaceous period. They had very long necks which were held upright and were useful for reaching wide (and tall) swatches of vegetation. The lengthy neck was counterbalanced by a massive tail. These sauropods are among the largest land animals ever discovered:
Brachiosaurus
  • Sauroposeidon, a newly-found brachiosaurid from Oklahoma, +60 tons, 60 feet tall.
  • Ultrasauros - 100+ feet long (30 m), +80 tons, +40 ft tall
  • Brachiosaurus - about 85 feet long (26 m), 40 feet tall, and weighed 70-80 tons.

SMALLEST
Small fossils are found less easily than large fossils. Also, when small animals die, they are likely to be eaten, perhaps whole, by larger animals. The smallest dinosaurs yet discovered are:
  • Compsognathus, a theropod (meat-eater) 2 feet (60 cm) long, from 145 million years ago. It was the size of a chicken and weighed about 6.5 pounds (3 kg).
  • Saltopus - a 2 feet (60 cm) long insectivore (insect-eater) from about 200 million years ago.
  • Lesothosaurus - a 3 feet (90 cm) long, fast running, plant-eater from Africa, 200 million years ago.
DINOSAUR SIZE ACTIVITIES

SIZES OF THE MAJOR GROUPS OF DINOSAURS
ORDER SUBORDER INFRA-
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DINOSAUR FAMILY SOME GENERA TIME RANGE SIZE RANGE
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THEROPODS
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THEROPODS
Bipedal predators
Herrerasauria Saltopodidae (leaping feet) Saltopus, Eoraptor late Triassic 2-3 feet (0.7-1 m) long
Staurikosaurids (Southern Cross lizards) Staurikosaurus late Triassic 6.5-10 feet (2-3 m) long
Herrerasaurids (Herrera lizards) Herrerasaurus late Triassic to early Jurassic 7-10 feet (2-3 m) long or more
Ceratosauria Coelophysids (hollow form) Coelophysis, Saltopus late Triassic to early Jurassic 2-10 feet (0.6-3 m) long
Ceratosaurids (horned lizards) CeratosaurusSyntarsus Early-Late Cretaceous 11.5-20 feet (3.5-6 m) long
Podokesaurids (swift-footed lizards) Podokesaurus, Syntarsus Early-Late Jurassic 3-10 feet (1-3 m) long
Abelisaurids (Abel's lizard) Abelisaurus, Indosaurus Early-Late Cretaceous up to 36 feet (11 m) long
Noasaurids (lizards from NW Argentina) Noasaurus Late Cretaceous 8 feet (2.4 m) long
Segisauridae (Segi Canyon Arizona lizards) Segisaurus, Dilophosaurus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 20 feet (6 m) long
Coelurosauria Coelurids (hollow tails) Coelurus, Ornitholestes Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 4-8 feet (1.2-2.4 m) long
Dryptosaurids (wounding lizards) Dryptosaurus Late Cretaceous +20 feet (6 m) long
Compsognathids (pretty jaw) Compsognathus late Jurassic to early Cretaceous 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) long
Oviraptors (egg thieves) Oviraptor Late Cretaceous 6 feet (1.8 m) long
Caenagnathids (recent jawless) Caenagnathus, Microvenator Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 7 feet (2 m) long
Avimimids (bird mimics) Avimimus Late Cretaceous 5 feet (1.5 m) long
Ornithomimids (bird mimics) Ornithomimus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 11.5-19.5 feet (3.5-6 m) long
Garudimimids (Garuda mimics) Garudimimus, Harpymimus Mid-Late Cretaceous 11.6 feet (3.5 m) long
Deinocherids (terrible hands) Deinocheirus Late Cretaceous 45 feet (13.5 m) long (unsure - from incomplete fossils)
Dromaeosaurids (running lizards) Caudipteryx, Deinonychus, Dromaeosaurus, Protarchaeopteryx, Sinornithosaurus, Sinosauropteryx, Unenlagia, Utahraptor, Velociraptor Mid-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 6-13 feet (1.8-4 m) long
Troödontids (wounding teeth) Troödon Late Cretaceous 6.6 feet (2 m) long
Tyrannosaurids (tyrant lizards) Tyrannosaurus, Albertosaurus, Nanotyrannus Late Cretaceous 16-40 feet (5-12 m) long
Carnosauria Allosaurids (different lizards) Allosaurus, Yangchuanosaurus Late Jurassic 33-42 feet (10-12.8 m) long
Carcharodontosaurids (horned lizards) Carcharodontosaurus, Giganotosaurus Mid - Late Cretaceous 40+ feet (12 m) long
Spinosaurids (thorn lizards) Spinosaurus, Suchomimus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 50 feet (15 m) long
Baryonychids (heavy claws) Baryonyx Early Cretaceous 30 feet (9 m) long
Megalosaurids (giant lizards) Megalosaurus, Altispinax, Erectopus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 23-30 feet (7-9 m) long
Segnosauria Therizinosaurids (scythe lizards) Therizinosaurus Late Cretaceous 35 feet (10.7 m) long
Segnosaurids (slow lizards) Segnosaurus Late Cretaceous 16-30 feet (5-9 m) long
SAUROPODS
Quadrupedal herbivores
Prosauropoda Anchisaurids (near lizards) Anchisaurus Mid-Triassic- Early Jurassic 7-10 feet (2-3 m) long
Plateosaurids (flat lizards) Plateosaurus, Mussaurus late Triassic - Early Jurassic 5-26 feet (1.5-8 m) long
Melanorosaurids (black mountain lizard) Melanorosaurus, Riojasaurus late Triassic- Early Jurassic 19-40 feet (6-12 m) long
Massospondylidae (black mountain lizard) Massospondylus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 13 feet (4 m) long
Sauropoda Cetiosaurids (whale lizards) Cetiosaurus, Protognathus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous .
Camarasaurids (chambered lizards) Camarasaurus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 40-60 feet (12-18 m) long
Dicraeosaurids (two-forked lizards) Amargasaurus, Dicraeosaurus, Rebbachisaurus Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous 33-28 feet (10-20 m) long
Euhelopodids (good marsh feet) Euhelopus, Tienshanosaurus Late Jurassic 33-90 feet (10-27 m) long
Titanosaurids (titanic lizards) Aegyptosaurus, Alamosaurus, Andesaurus, Argentinosaurus, Hypselosaurus, Quaesitosaurus, Saltasaurus, Titanosaurus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 30-70 feet (9-21 m) long
Diplodocids (double-beamed form) Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Barosaurus, Supersaurus, Seismosaurus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 54-90 feet (16.5-27 m) long
Brachiosaurids (arm lizards) Astrodon, Brachiosaurus, Ultrasauros Mid-Late Jurassic- Early Cretaceous 33-82 feet (10-25 m) long
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ORNITH-
OPODS

herbivores
Fabrosauria, Lesotho-
sauria
Fabrosaurids (Fabre's lizards) Fabrosaurus, Lesothosaurus, Xiaosaurus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 3.3 feet (1 m) long
Heterodontosaurids (different-teeth lizards) Heterodontosaurus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 4 feet (1.2 m) long
Ornithopoda Hypsilophodontids (high-ridged teeth) Hypsilophodon, Orodromeus Mid-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 3-8 feet (0.9-2.4 m) long
Dryosaurids (oak lizards) Dryosaurus Mid-Jurassic to Early Cretaceous 9-21 feet (2.7-6.5 m) long
Iguanodontids (iguana teeth) Iguanodon, Ouranosaurus, Anoplosaurus Early- Late Cretaceous 13.5-29 feet (4-9 m) long
Camptosaurids (bent lizards) Camptosaurus, Muttaburrasaurus Mid-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 4-23 feet (1.2-7 m) long
Hadrosaurids (big lizards) Hadrosaurus, Maiasaura, Anatotitan, Edmontosaurus, Saurolophus, Trachodon Late Cretaceous 12-50 feet (3.7-15 m) long
Lambeosaurids (Lambe's lizard) Lambeosaurus, Bactrosaurus, Corythosaurus, Jaxartosaurus, Parasaurolophus Late Cretaceous 13-50 feet (4-15 m) long
Thescelosaurids (wonderful lizards) Thescelosaurus Late Cretaceous 11 feet (3.4 m) long
MARGINO-
CEPHALIA

herbivores
Pachycephalo-
sauria
Pachycephalosaurids (thick-headed lizards) Pachycephalosaurus, Stegoceras, Stygimoloch Early - Late Cretaceous 3-15 feet (0.9-4.6 m) long
Homalocephalids (even-headed forms) Wannanosaurus Late Cretaceous 1.5-10 feet (0.5-3 m) long
Ceratopsia Protoceratopsids (first horned faces) Protoceratops, Bagaceratops, Leptoceratops, Montanoceratops, Notoceratops, Zuniceratops Late Cretaceous 3.3-10 feet (1-3 m) long
Ceratopsidae (horned faces) Anchiceratops, Avaceratops, Arrhinoceratops, Brachyceratops, Ceratops, Monoclonius, Styracosaurus, Torosaurus, Triceratops Late Cretaceous 6-30 feet (1.8-9 m) long
Psittacosaurids (parrot lizards) Psittacosaurus Early Cretaceous 6.5 feet (2 m) long
THYREO-
PHORA
(ENOPLA-
SAURIA)
armored, herbivorous, quadrupeds
x Scutellosaurids (small-shield lizard) Scutellosaurus Early Jurassic to Late Jurassic 2.4 feet (0.6-1.2 m) long
Scelidosaurids (limb lizards) Scelidosaurus Early Jurassic 13 feet (4 m) long
Stegosauria Huayangosaurids (Huayang lizards) Huayangosaurus, Tatisaurus Mid-Jurassic 13 feet (4 m) long
Stegosaurinae (roof lizards) Stegosaurus, Dacentrurus, Kentrosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Yingshanosaurus Late Cretaceous 13-30 feet (3-9 m) long
Stegosauridae (roof lizards) Craterosaurus, Regnosaurus Early Cretaceous 13 feet (4 m) long
Ankylosauria Nodosaurids (node lizards) Nodosaurus, Acanthopholis, Brachyspondosaurus, Edmontonia, Hoplitosaurus, Minmi, Hylaeosaurus, Polacanthus, Sauropelta, Struthiosaurus Mid-Jurassic - Late Cretaceous 6-25 feet (1.8-7.6 m) long
Ankylosaurids (fused lizards) Ankylosaurus, Euoplocephalus, Tarchia, Talarurus Early - Late Cretaceous 18-35 feet (5.5-10.7 m) long


ZoomDinosaurs.com
DINOSAUR ANATOMY AND BEHAVIOR
General Anatomy Size Teeth Herds, Packs Offense Defense Reproduction, Nests & Eggs Blood Pressure
Skeleton Tails Brains Male or Female? Skin Diet Locomotion Life Span Hot or Cold Blooded?

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