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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

F



FABROSAURUS

(pronounced FAB-roh-SAWR-us) Fabrosaurus is only known from an incomplete lower jaw found in Lesotho, South Africa in 1964 by Leonard Ginsburg. Fabrosaurus is very similar to and perhaps the same as Lesothosaurus, and was a very early ornithopod, a small, fast, bipedal plant eater. It lived during the early Jurassic period, about 208-194 million years ago. Fabrosaurus is a dubious genus.

FAMILY

In classification, a family is a group of related or similar organisms. A family contains one or more genera (plural of genus). A group of similar families forms an order.


FEATHER

Some dinosaurs may have had feathers.
T. rex leg bones

FEMUR

The femur is the thigh bone - the long bone in the upper part of the leg between the hip and the knee.
T. rex skull
FENESTRA

A fenestra is a natural hole or opening in a bone. The skull has many fenestra.

FENESTROSAURUS

(pronounced fen-EST-roh-SAWR-us) Fenestrosaurus (meaning "window lizard") is an invalid name for Oviraptor. Fenestrosaurus was named by paleontologist H. Osborn in 1924. It was a theropod dinosaur with a parrot-like head, toothless beak, long fingers, and long legs.


FERN

Ferns are non-flowering plants that were plentiful during the Mesozoic Era and usually live in warm, moist areas. Ferns have fronds divided into leaflets.
T. rex leg bones

FIBULA

The fibula is the calf bone - the bone in the lower, back part of the leg between the knee and the ankle.

FLEXOR MUSCLE

A flexor muscle which closes a joint. (Compare with a extensor muscle, its opposite)


FLOWERING PLANTS

Flowering plants are angiosperms (meaning "covered seed"). They produce seeds enclosed in fruit (an ovary). They are the dominant type of plant today; there are over 250,000 species, including grasses, peas, etc. Their flowers are used in reproduction. Angiosperms evolved about 140 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period, and were eaten by dinosaurs. They became the dominant land plants about 100 million years ago (edging out conifers, a type of gymnosperm). Angiosperms are divided into the monocots (like corn) and dicots (like beans).

"FLYING REPTILES"

(pronounced TER-o-SAWR) Pterosaurs (meaning "winged lizard") were flying, prehistoric reptiles. They were not dinosaurs, but were closely related to them. Pterosaurs were named by Kaup in 1834.
Food chain

FOOD WEB

A food chain is is the sequence of who eats whom in a biological community (an ecosystem) to obtain nutrition. A food web is all of the interactions between predators and prey in which plants and animals obtain food in an ecoystem. The web starts with plants or other autotrophs (organisms that make their own food from light and/or chemical energy) that are eaten by herbivores (plant-eaters). The herbivores are eaten by carnivores (meat-eaters). These are eaten by other carnivores. When any organism dies, it is eaten by tiny microbes (detrivores) and the exchange of energy continues.


FOOTPRINTS

Many fossilized dinosaur footprints have been found. They can indicate the animal's speed, weight, and herding behavior. Determining which animal made the tracks can be difficult.

FORELIMBS

Forelimbs are the front legs of an animal.

FOSSIL

Fossils are mineralized impressions or casts of ancient plants and animals (or their traces, like footprints). Fossils have been found on every continent on Earth. The word fossils comes from theLatin word fossilis, which means "dug up" (fossus is the past participle of the verb fodere, which means "to dig").

FOSSIL FUEL

Petroleum (oil), natural gas and coal are fossil fuels, organic materials that are high in energy. Fossils fuels are formed in a process that takes millions of years. The organic material (dead plants and animals) is covered by layers of sediment, then heat, pressure, and bacterial action change the material into pools of oil and gas (or are compressed as coal).

FOSSIL SHARKS

Sharks have existed for over 350 million years. They evolved over 100 million years before the dinosaurs did. This was long before people evolved. Most fossil evidence of early sharks is from fossilized teeth and a few skin impressions. Cladodonts, primitive sharks, had double-pointed teeth, were up to 3 feet (1 m) long fish-eaters and lived about 400 million years ago (mya). The earliest-known primtitive shark remains are fossil "scales" that date from about 420 million years ago, during the early Silurian. The earliest shark genera are Mongolepis, Polymerolepis, and Palaeospondylus.
FOULKE, WILLIAM PARKER
William Parker Foulke was a US scientist who found the first American dinosaur skeleton, Hadrosaurus, a duck-billed dinosaur. The fossilized bones were found by workmen in a Cretaceous marl (a crumbly type of soil) pit on the John E. Hopkins farm in Haddonfield, New Jersey beginning in 1838. Foulke heard of the discovery and recognized its importance. The dinosaur was excavated and named in 1858 by US anatomist Joseph Leidy who named it Hadrosaurus foulkii (meaning "Foulke's big lizard").

FRENGUELLISAURUS

(pronounced fren-GWEL-eh-SAWR-us) Frenguellisaurus (meaning "[Joaquin] Frenguelli's lizard") may be the same as Herresaurus. It was a late Triassic dinosaur that lived about 231-225 million years ago. It was a very early, primitive dinosaur; its classification is unsure. It was a speedy bipedal carnivore about 10-13 feet (3-4 m) long, weighing perhaps up to 780 pounds (350 kg). It had 3 large canine teeth in the upper jaw and smaller teeth in the lower jaw. It had a short neck, a large head, a long, pointed tail. Its arms were shorter than its legs. It is known from 3 partial fossilized skeletons found in northwestern Argentina, South America. It was named by paleontologist Novas in 1986. The type species is F. ischigualastensis


FRILL

A frill is a sheet of bone on the heads of ceratopsian dinosaurs, like Protoceratops and Triceratops.


FRILLED LIZARD

Chlamydosaurus (meaning "caped lizard") is a rare, modern-day frilled lizard (not a dinosaur) native to New Guinea and North Australia. Its frill is 7 - 14 inch (18-34 cm) flap of skin that completely circles its head. It opens this brightly-colored frill to frighten enemies. Adults are over 8 inches (20 cm) long. These climbing lizards live in trees in humid forests and eat cicadas, ants, spiders and smaller lizards. It can run quadrupedally and bipedally, with the front legs off the ground. Adult females lay 8 to 14 eggs per clutch in Spring and Summer. Classification: Class Reptilia, Order: Squamata, Family: Agamidae, Genus Chlamydosaurus, Species kingii (named by Gray in 1825).

FULGUROTHERIUM

(pronounced FULL-gur-oh-THEER-ee-um ) Fulgurotherium (meaning "lightning beast") is a dubious genus. It was an Ornithischian dinosaur and an ornithopod. This plant-eater was about 6.5 feet (2 m) long. It dates from the early Cretaceous period. A very incomplete fossil was found in Australia. Fulgurotherium was named by paleontologist von Huene in 1932. The type species is F. australe.

FURCULA

The furcula is the "wishbone" of birds.

FUTABASAURUS

(pronounced fu-TAHB-ah-SAWR-us) Futabasaurus (meaning "Futaba [Group] lizard") was a theropod dinosaur and a tyrannosaurid. This bipedal meat-eater had a large head, long legs, short arms and a stiff pointed tail. It dates from the late Cretaceous period. Fossils were found in Japan. Futabasaurus was named by paleontologist Lambert in 1990.

ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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