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Zoom Dinosaurs
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Questions from April 1998

Q: I'm doing a report on the Utahraptor can you please give me some info on it.
from Eric, Meridian, ID, USA; April 30, 1998

A: For an information sheet on Utahraptor, click here.

Q: Do you have any information on Lesothosaur, Mamenchisaurus, or Titanosaurus? Please send me all the info you have on them,and pictures
from Heather M., Cumberland, West Virginia, USA; April 30, 1998

A: I have an information sheet on Lesothosaurus - click here to see it.

Mamenchisaurus was a long-necked, long-tailed, quadrupedal, plant-eating sauropod from the late Jurassic period, about 156 to 145 million years ago. It was about 70 feet (21 m) long. Mamenchisaurus had the longest neck of any known dinosaur, about 46 feet (14 m). It had 19 vertebrae in its spine, more than any other known dinosaur. Mamenchisaurus was named by Chung Chien Young, a Chinese paleontologist, in 1954. Fossils have been found in China. Mamenchisaurus may be closely related to Diplodocus.

Titanosaurus was another large sauropod, having a long neck, long tail, and small head. It walked on four legs, ate plants and had a heavy body with armor on its back. It was about 40 feet (12 m) long and lived during the late Cretaceous period. It is only known from incomplete fossils. Fossils have been found in India, Europe, and perhaps South America. Titanosaurus was named by British paleontologist Richard Lydekker in 1877.

Q: This question is about the Brachiosaurus,see I'm doing this question sheet on the Brachiosaurus and there was one question I could not answer .I've looked EVERYWHERE for the answer your my last hope okay.... Who is Jim Jensen ,and why is he famous? PLEASE ANSWER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE MY GRATITUDE GOES OUT TO YOU!
from Kandus, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; April 29, 1998

A: James A. Jensen is an American paleontologist who discovered the huge Jurassic sauropods (long-necked plant-eaters) Supersaurus (in 1972) and "Ultrasauros" (in 1979). He found them in western Colorado.

Brachiosaurus was first found in the Grand River Valley, also in western Colorado, USA, in 1900. This incomplete skeleton was described by paleontologist Elmer S. Riggs, who named Brachiosaurus in 1903. The only connection between Jim Jensen and Brachiosaurus that I know of is that his "Ultrasauros," only known from a few bones, may actually be an extremely large Brachiosaurus or Supersaurus. For more information on Brachiosaurus, click here. For more information on Supersaurus, click here. For more information on Ultrasauros, click here.

Q: When were the first plants seen on earth, and what climate changes occured?
from C2, Indianapolis, IN, USA; April 29, 1998

A: The first primitive land plants (like mosses) appeared during the Ordovician Period (505-438 million years ago). The first vascular plants (plants with water-conducting tissue) appeared during the Silurian period (438-408 million years ago). For more details on the evolutionary timeline, click on "Geologic Time Chart" in the margin to your left.

Q: What specific plants were living during the Late Jurassic Period and Early Cretaceous Period?
from Juliet, Beaumont, Texas, USA; April 29, 1998

A: Common plants during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were ferns , cycads , conifers, and horsetails (Equisetophyta). Flowering plants (anthophyta) evolved during the beginning of the Cretaceous period, and diversified tremendously in the mid-Cretaceous. Early flowering plants from the Cretaceous included the magnolia, the water lily, and glumiflorae (sedges, grasses, etc.).

Q: what killed the dinosaurs anyway?
from lil keke, Houston, Texas, USA; April 29, 1998

A: Click on the section on extinction to your left.

Q: How did the scientists know time lines?
from Eric, Meridian, ID, USA; April 29, 1998

A: The divisions in Geologic timeare based on major geological and biological events that produce changes in rock formations. For example, the beginning and end of the Mesozoic Era are bracketed by mass extinctions that were caused by huge geologic and climactic changes. Determining the dates of these pivotal events is done using radioisotope dating.

Q: How long was the Stegosaurus and how big was it?
from Erin B, Richardson, TX, USA; April 28, 1998

A: For information on Stegosaurus, click here.

Q: Can you please post information on Camptosaurus? Also, I want to know what the climate is like during the Late Jurassic Period. Does Camptosaurus live in herds or alone or packs? Thank You!!!
from Kate, El Paso, TX, USA; April 28, 1998

A: Camptosaurus (meaning "bent lizard") was a plant-eater from the late Jurassic period (about 156 to 145 million years ago) that looked a lot like Iguanodon. It was a heavy ornithischian dinosaur that was about 16-23 feet (5-7 m) long and 3-4 feet (1 m) high at the hips. It had a long snout, much longer legs than arms, had four-toed feet and hoofed fingers and toes. It could walk on two or four legs, it probably went on all four to graze for low-lying plants. Its fossils have been found in North American and Europe. It was first found in Utah, USA by the dinosaur collector Earl Douglass and named by paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh in 1885. Many fossils of Camptosaurus have been found, in different stages of development. Camptosaurus may have lived in herds.

The climate during the late Jurassic was hot and moist. For information on the Jurassic period, click here.

Q: How tall is a Plateosaurus?
from Max H., Jackson, WY, United States of America; April 28, 1998

A: Plateosaurus was about 27.5 feet (8 m) long and about 7 feet (2 m) high at the hips.

Q: What is a Melanorosaurus,what does it look like?
from Q. D., Alton, Illinois, USA; April 27, 1998

A: Melanorosaurus (meaning "black mountain lizard") was a large, heavy prosauropod, an early plant-eating saurischian dinosaur. It lived during the late Triassic period, about 228 to 219 million years ago. It walked on four sturdy legs, was about 40 feet (12 m) long, had a long neck, long tail, thick bones, a bulky body, five-toed feet, and a small head. Its rear legs were longer than its front legs. Its fossils have been found in South Africa. Melanorosaurus was named in 1924 by the British paleontologist Sydney H. Haughton.

Q: What time period did Acanthopholis live in?
from ???; April 27, 1998

A: Acanthopholis, a small Ankylosaurid, lived during the early Cretaceous period, about 115 to 91 million years ago.

Q: Where is the time line on your site?
from Jessy Hill, Grayslake, Illinois, USA; April 27, 1998

A: Just click on "Geologic Time Chart" in the red margin to your left. There's a long and a short version.

Q: What were the largest other types of animals that existed at the same time as the dinosaurs?
from Ross M., Sacramento, CA, USA; April 26, 1998

A: Other large animals from the Mesozoic Era include Plesiosaurs, marine reptiles that ranged in size from 8-46 feet long (2.5-14 m). They had four flippers, sharp teeth in strong jaws, and a pointed tail. The largest plesiosaur was Elasmosaurus. Also in the sea were Ichthysaurs and Nothosaurs. Primitive crocodilians were also in existence. In the air, Pterosaurs (including the enormous Quetzalcoatlus) flew. Mammals were still tiny. Click on the underlined animals for more information about them.

Q: My little girl is looking for information on Dimetrodons and needs to know the following: 1)What size, shape, weight or any characteristics that made it different from other dinosaurs? 2) What was its habitat like? How did it differ from other dinosaur habitats? 3) What did it eat? Where was the food found? How much and how often did it eat?
from Cadigrl, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; April 26, 1998

A: Dimetrodon was not a dinosaur. For an information sheet on Dimetrodon, click here - I think it will answer most of your questions. The frequency with which extinct animals ate is virtually impossible to determine.

Q: I can't find any info about what the Euoplocephalus ate, can you help me?
from Collin; April 26, 1998

A: Euoplocephalus was an herbivore, a plant-eater. Unless fossilized stomach contents or feces (coprolites) are found for a particular dinosaur (and this is extraordinarily rare), determining the exact diet of extinct animals is impossible. For more information on dinosaurs' diets, click here. For an information sheet on Euoplocephalus, click here

from Stephanie B., Warren, MI, USA; April 26, 1998

A: For facts about Velociraptor, click here. There aren't reliable weight figures for most dinosaurs and the estimates vary greatly.

Q: How did sir Richard Owen figure out the dinosaurs names?
from Eric, Meridian, OH, USA; April 26, 1998

A: The British anatomist Richard Owen coined the term dinosaur (meaning "fearfully great lizard") in 1842, and also described and named many dinosaurs, including Bothriospondylus (meaning "trench vertebra"), Cetiosauriscus (meaning "whale-like lizard"), Chondrosteosaurus (meaning "bony-cartilage lizard"), Dacentrurus (meaning "pointed tail"), Dinodocus (meaning "terrible beam"), Echinodon (meaning "spiny tooth"), Massospondylus (meaning "massive vertebrae"), Nuthetes (meaning "monitor lizard"), Polcanthus (meaning "many spines"), and Scelidosaurus (meaning "limb lizard").

Richard Owen, like other namers of dinosaur genera, named dinosaurs however they want to. The names can reflect characteristics of the dinosaur (for example, Corythosaurus, meaning "helmet lizard," had a helmet-shaped crest on its head), the discoverer or another paleontologist (for example, Lambeosaurus, named for Lawrence Lambe), the place of discovery (for example, Albertosaurus, named for Alberta, Canada, where it was found), or just about anything the namer wants.

Q: I am doing a report on the Coelophysis and I cant find any info on it can you help me?
from Laura, Bensenville, Ill, USA; April 25, 1998

A: Coelophysis (meaning "hollow form") was a small, bipedal (two legged) meat-eater from the late Triassic period. This early theropod dinosaur was about 9 feet (2.8 m) long, lots of small, sharp teeth in long jaws, a long neck, long tail, long, thin legs, short arms, three-fingered hands with claws, and light, hollow bones (hence its name). Coelophysis was originally found in New Mexico in the 1870's by David Baldwin and named in 1889 by Edward Drinker Cope.

The status of this genus has been confused and controversial; the dinosaurs Coelophysis bauri and Rioarribasaurus colberti (New Mexico's state fossil) may or may not be different genera, different species, or just different animals in the same species. I think that the name Coelophysis has been determined to be the species type.

Q: Did the Ornitholestes live in a group or independantly? Did it eat all kinds of birds or just small animals?
from Brendan F., Litchfield, CT, USA; April 25, 1998

A: Ornitholestes (meaning "bird robber") was thought to be a hunter of the primitive Jurassic period birds in addition to any other meat it could catch. It was a small (3.5-6.8 feet long), fast-moving theropod dinosaur and could probably catch many small animals. I've never seen a refence to it living in herds.

Q: When did the Brachiosaurus become extinct
from Jordan L., Leola, PA, USA; April 24, 1998

A: Brachiosaurus appeared during the middle of the Jurassic period, about 156 million years ago, and went extinct about 145 million years ago, at the end of the Jurassic period. Some dating estimates have Brachiosaurus surviving until 140 million years ago, the beginning of the Cretaceous period. For more information on Brachiosaurus, click here.

Q: Why were dinosaurs extinct
from Melanie M. & Shalene A., Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada; April 24, 1998

A: I answered this a few days ago. Scroll down!!!

Q: Does any of this wonderful information come in Spanish? I teach Kinder/Bilingual students and I would love to share this wonderful information with them.
from Norma M., Galveston, TX, USA; April 23, 1998

A: Thanks for the nice note. We don't have any plans to translate this site into other languages right now, mainly because the site is changing daily. We'll keep this in mind for the future, though - its a great idea.

Q: What is the biggest meat-eating dinosaur in the world?
from ???; April 23, 1998

A: The biggest meat-eaters that have been found so far are Giganotosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex. Click on the underlined names for more information about those dinosaurs.

Q: Why are dinosaurs so big?
from Melanie M., Glacier Bay, Nova Scotia, CA; April 21, 1998

A: Not all the dinosaurs were big. When dinosaurs first appeared in the Triassic period, they were small; many of them were only a few feet long. Millions of years later, during the Jurassic period, many dinosaurs grew to be enormous, especially some sauropods like Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and some carnivores, like Megalosaurus. Still, there were many more smaller dinosaurs.

As to why some dinosaurs were so enormous - no one knows. They just filled ecological niches that existed at the time and did very well for a very long time.

Q: Why were dinosaurs extinct?
from Melanie M. and Shalene A., Glacier Bay, Nova Scotia, CA; April 21, 1998

A: Most dinosaurs went extinct because they couldn't compete with other species - these extinctions are called background extinctions. For those remaining dinosaurs, extinction came at the end of the Mesozoic Era, 65 million years ago. It is theorized that a large asteroid hit the Earth off the coast of Mexico. This impact caused huge environmental changes that the dinosaurs (and many other species) couldn't adapt to, and they died out - this event was called the K-T mass extinction.

For more details about this and other extinction theories, click on "Extinction" in the margin to your left.

Q: Do dinosaurs have to sit on their eggs ? If not, why not ?
Sarah M.
2nd. Grade at Cedar Creek Elementary

from Sarah M., Austin, Texas, USA; April 20, 1998

A: Different dinosaurs had very different methods of reproduction. Sauropod dinosaurs (like Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, etc.) laid their eggs on the bare ground while walking, not even making nests for the eggs. They probably did nothing more to nurture the eggs. Other dinosaurs, like Maiasaura constructed huge nests by scooping out holes in the ground. Protoceratops laid eggs in sandy nests and carefully placed the eggs in a spiral pattern. Whether or not these dinosaurs sat on their eggs to keep them warm isn't known, but some of the mothers probably guarded the nests from predators.

Q: Why did scientists change the name of the Brontosaurus to Apatosaurus?
from Mrs. Brandt's Kindergarten, Plattsmouth, NE, USA; April 20, 1998

A: The American paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh described and named Apatosaurus in 1877. A few years later, in 1879, he described and named another fossil, Brontosaurus. It turned out that the two dinosaurs were actually two species of the same genus. The earlier scientific name, Apatosaurus, was adopted. For an information sheet on Apatosaurus, click here.

Q: My daughter, in second grade, has to do a report on a dinosaur called Anatosaurus. We are having trouble finding info on it. Help?
from Linda, Trenton, NJ, USA; April 20, 1998

A: Some paleontologists think that the dinosaur named Anatosaurus was simply a juvenile example of Edmontosaurus, a duck-billed dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, living about 73-65 million years ago. For an information sheet on Edmontosaurus, click here.

Q: Was Plesiosaurus able to lay eggs on land and feed her young on land?
from Jessica L. A., Harrisin, N.Y. STATE, USA; April 19, 1998

A: Plesiosaurus, like other Plesiosaurs, probably left the water and laid her eggs in the sand on a beach - like modern-day sea turtles. Beyond that, there was probably no nurturing of the hatchlings. For more information of Plesiosaurs, click here.

Q: I want to know what really happened to the dinosaurs.
from Orlando, Moonichie, New Jersey, USA; April 19, 1998

A: There's in-depth information on the extinction of the dinosaurs in the section on extinction in Zoom Dinosaurs, just click here, or on "Extinction" in the margin to your left.

Q: What can you tell me about the seismosaurus? Was it the last dinosaur discovered?
from Jarryd L., New York, New York, USA; April 17, 1998

A: Seismosaurus (meaning "Earthquake lizard") was a huge sauropod, perhaps up to 130-170 feet long (the estimates vary). It was a plant-eater with a long neck, whip-like tail, short legs, and a small head. It lived in the late Jurassic period, about 156-145 million years ago. Seismosaurus may simply be a very large example of Diplodocus. Seismosaurus was discovered in New Mexico, USA in 1986. There have been many new dinosaurs finds since then.

Q: Recently found Hypsilophondontidae dinosaur skeletons in South East Australia show evidence of large optic lobes and large eyes. How might these structures have been selectively advantageous for these dinosaurs in their Australian Cretaceous environment?
from Heather F., St. Paul, Minnesota, Ramsey, USA; April 15, 1998

A: Hypsilophodontids were a group of small, gazelle-like, herbivorous, large-eyed, long-legged, five-fingered, four-toed, herding dinosaurs which included Hypsilophodon, Dryosaurus, Othnielia, Tenotosaurus, Parksosaurus, Thescelosaurus, etc. Hypsilophodontids lived from the late Triassic period until the late Cretaceous. Hypsilophodontid fossils have been found on most continents.

Hypsilophodontids had no natural defenses from predators except their speed, senses and small claws on their toes. The presence of large optic lobes and large eyes suggests that they had good eyesight which would help them detect the presence of predators and help them avoid being caught and eaten by a meat-eater.

from JESSICA AND KELLIE, Port Charlotte, FL, USA; April 15, 1998

A: Geologists (notably the German geologist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener) first proposed the theory of continental drift in 1912, which states that parts of the Earth's crust slowly drift atop a liquid core. Then geologists pieced together pieces of matching coastline (for example, the west coast of Africa and east coast of South America fit together beautifully, and the layers of rock within these matching bits of coastline also matched). Wegener then hypothesized that there was an original, gigantic supercontinent 200 million years ago, which he named Pangaea, meaning "All-earth." In addition, the fossil record supports and gives credence to the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics.

Q: Were there any mice during the Jurassic period?
from Wanda A., Philadelphia, PA, USA; April 15, 1998

A: No, modern-day mice hadn't evolved yet, but there were other primitive mammals during the Jurassic period. Some primitive mammals from the Jurassic included Megazostrodon, a 4-inch-long, mouse-like mammal that ate insects, Morganucodon, another mouse-like creature, and Triconodon, a house-cat-sized meat-eater. Mammals first appeared during the Triassic period, just before the Jurassic period.

Q: Do you have any infomation on the compsognathus? Was the term dinosaur invented by Sir Richard Owen? what is the name of the second largest dinosaur? Also what is the name of the second smallest dinosaur?
from Trevor, Port Charlotte, FL, USA; April 15, 1998

A: Yes, for an information sheet on Compsognathus, click here. Yes, Sir Richard Owen coined the term dinosaur in 1842. For a lot of extreme dinosaurs, click here.

Q: what era is the "Age of Reptiles?" How long did most dinosaurs live?
from Jenn, Port Charlotte, FL, USA; April 15, 1998

A: The Mesozoic Era is called "the Age of Reptiles" because of the dominance and diversity of reptiles then. For more information on the mesozoic, click on "Mesozoic" in the margin to your left. No one knows how long individual dinosaurs lived. Some paleontologists have guessed that some of the huge sauropods (like Apatosaurus) may have lived to be over 100 years old.

Q: do you have any information on the Archaeopteryx?
from Edward M., Mokena, IL, USA; April 14, 1998

A: The Archaeopteryx is the oldest known fossil bird, and dates from the late Jurassic period (about 150 million years ago). It is now extinct. Although it had feathers and could fly, it had similarities to dinosaurs, including its teeth, skull, and certain bone structures. For more information, click on "Dinosaurs and Birds" in the main section - "All About Dinosaurs."

Q: Which dinosaur is the longest?
from ?, Phoenix, AZ, USA; April 14, 1998

A: Supersaurus may be the longest dinosaur yet discovered. For an information sheet on Supersaurus, click here.

Q: What season did dinosaurs breed in?
from Jennifer, Port Charlotte, FL, USA; April 14, 1998

A: I don't know, but during most of the Mesozoic Era, when dinosaurs lived, the seasons weren't nearly as pronounced as they are now. The climate was much warmer and there wasn't even ice at the poles for most of the Mesozoic (the ice caps started re-forming in the mid- to late-Cretaceous period).

Q: Do Stegosaurus have a scaly body?
from Lindsay F., Lubbock, TX, USA; April 12, 1998

A: I've never seem a reference to fossilized or mummified Stegosaurus skin being found, so I don't know what the texture of their skin was.

Q: What does a Unenlagia comahuensis look like? What are its features, by describing it?
from Emily, Westboro, MA, USA; April 12, 1998

A: For an information sheet on Unenlagia, click here.

Q: Can you please tell me the genus and species name and its meaning for the Edmontosaurus. Can you also give me a description of the dinosaur, tell me where and what type of environment it lived in, and who, where, and when was the fossil found. If you don't mind can you tell me a little about its history. Thank you.
from O. A., Mountville, PA, USA; April 11, 1998

A: Edmontosaurus is the genus name, meaning "lizard from Edmonton, Canada." There are many species of Edmontosaurus that have been found, including Edmontosaurus regalis, E. annectens, E. saskatchewanensis , E. minor, etc. Some paleontologists think that some of these "species" represent female, male, and juvenile examples of Edmontosaurus. Edmontosaurus was named by Lawrence M. Lambe in 1917 from a fossil found in Alberta, Canada. Fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada and Montana and New Jersey in the USA.

Edmontosaurus was a large, plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period. It had short arms, bumps along its spine, a flat head with a toothless beak, and hundreds of closely-packed cheek teeth that ground up its food. It was about 42 feet (13 m) long and may have weighed up to 3.5 tons. It was a biped (it walked on two legs) that could also walk on four legs, perhaps while grazing. For more information on Edmontosaurus, click here.

Edmontosaurus was a late Ornithischian dinosaur, the order of bird-hipped, herbivorous dinosaurs. It was a member of the suborder Ornithopoda, and the family of duck-billed, herding herbivores, the hadrosaurs.

from Ruben G., Brownsville, TX, USA; April 10, 1998

A: For an information sheet on Spinosaurus, click here. It will answer most of your questions. Determining the sex of most dinosaurs is a matter of conjecture based on the size of the body, crests and/or frills. Most dinosaurs reproduced by laying eggs. As to present-day relations, most paleontologists believe that the birds are the evolutionary remnant of the dinosaurs.

Q: When did the pachycephalosaurus live? How did the pachycephalosaurus get its name? On average, how long did it live? How did it protect itself? What would happen to it if it were very ill?
from Sarena, West Long Branch, NJ, USA; April 10, 1998

A: Pachycephalosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 76 to 65 million years ago. It name means "thick-headed lizard" because it had a very thick skull - up to 10 inches thick. Pachycephalosaurus was named in 1943 by Barnum Brown and Erich M. Schlaikjer. No one knows how long they lived. Pachycephalosaurus has very little protection from predators, mostly it just ran away - and it wasn't the quickest dinosaur. If it was very ill, it probably dies, either from the illness or from predators, like T. rex.

For an information sheet on Pachycephalosaurus, click here.

Q: what is the correct numerical and geologic period time frame is the spinosaurus is in. What is its life history,who,what,where was the fossil dicovered,and its correct location and enviroment it was in,and genus and species with meaning of the name. please this need back fast
from Robert R., East Petersburg, PA, USA; April 9, 1998

A: Spinosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period, going extinct 65 million years ago. The fossil was first discovered in North Africa in 1915, and names by Stromer. Spinosaurus means "spiny lizard" because it had series of spines uo to 6 feet (1.8 m) long coming out if its back, perhaps forming a sail-like fin that may have helped in thermo-regulation. See the answer to the next question for the environment during the late Cretaceous period.

As to classification, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was a saurischian ("lizard-hipped") dinosaur, a theropod "beast-footed", bipedal carnivore) a tetanuran, and a Spinosauroidea (dinosaurs with elongated spines on their vertebrae from the Cretaceous period).

Q: I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what kind of climate the Lambeosaurus lived in. THANKYOU!!
from S.M.A., Lancaster, PA, USA; April 9, 1998

Lambeosaurus A: Lambeosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 83 to 65 million years ago, in North America. This was a turbulent time in which the climate was getting colder than it had been in the warm, early Cretaceous. Seasonality was developing and the sea-level was decreasing as polar ice caps developed. Also, there was a lot of volcanic activity and mountain formation as the continent of Pangaea separated. To top it all off, there was a mass extinction caused by an asteroid impact 65 million years ago which made Lambeosaurus and many other dinosaurs and other animals groups go extinct. For an information sheet on Lambeosaurus, click here.

Q: Hi. My name is David W. And my question is: Where did the dinosaurs live?
from David W., Burlington, Ontario, CA; April 9, 1998

A: Dinosaurs lived all over the world. We know this because their fossils have been found on every continent.

Q: What is the difference between the Velociraptor and the Deinonychus? Arn't they extremely similar?
from Matthew H., Mahopac, NY, USA; April 7, 1998

A: Deinonychus and Velociraptor were closely related; they were both dromaeosaurids (the smartest clade of dinosaurs). Deinonychus was almost twice as large as Velociraptor and had a longer and deadlier sickle-shaped toe-claw. Also, Velociraptors have only been found in Asia; Deinonychus has only been found in North America. Deinonychus lived in the mid-Cretaceous period, about 100 million years ago, and Velociraptor lived millions of years later in the late Cretaceous.

Click on the following for more information on Deinonychus and Velociraptor.

Q: what are monocots & dicots?????
from Jack, Russia; April 7, 1998

A: They are types of plants. Monocots have one cotyledon (or rudimentary leaf in the embryo) and dicots have two. Take a look at a plant just after it sprouts; dicots (like beans) have two sprouting leaves and monocots (like corn) have one.

Q: Is there any evidence that the Brachiosaurus could be a warm or cold blooded animal?
from Becky, Boston, MA, USA; April 7, 1998

A: There are many arguments about this topic, and no conclusion - yet. Click here for more info. Also, there's a good site at the U. C. Museum of Paleontology covering this topic

Q: Could you please help me with some information about the order and family life of the Albertosaurus, also what color was it too. Is there any information about whether or not is was cold or warm blooded?
from Kevin, Dallas, TX, USA; April 7, 1998

A: No one knows what color any of the dinosaurs were. Whether dinosaurs were warm- or cold- blooded is a topic under debate - click here for more info. I haven't seen any information on Albertosaurus' family life.

Albertosaurus was a tyrannosaurid (large carnivores), closely related to, but smaller than Tyrannosaurus rex. It was a coelurosaur (the bipedal, bird-like carnivores that include tyrannosaurs, dromaeosaurs, ornithomimidae, compsognathidae, etc.), a theropod, or "Beast-Footed" dinosaur, and a saurischian (the lizard-hipped dinosaurs).

For an information sheet on Albertosaurus, click here.

Q: I have to do a report on Iguanadonts, do you have any information on them? Also If you could show a picture, that would be great!
from Kevin, New Hampshire, USA; April 7, 1998

A: Iguanodontids or Iguanodonts were the family of large ornithopods that were bipedal (walked on two legs), long-toed, herbivores (plant-eaters) that had a single row of teeth. They lived from the late Jurassic to the late Cretaceous periods. Iguanodontids included the dinosaurs Iguanodon, Ouranosaurus, Probactrosaurus, and others. Their fossils have been found all over the world.

Iguanodon is the largest known Iguanodontid, about 30 feet (9.3 m) long. It had a horny, toothless beak, cheek teeth and a conical thumb-spike. For an an information sheet on Iguanodon, click here.

Q: I would like to know information about how Brachiosaurus layed and hatched eggs and what their nesting spot looked like. Thank you.
from Michelle, Toronto, Ontario, CA; April 6, 1998

A: The sauropods (the large, long-necked plant-eaters from the Jurassic period, like Brachiosaurs, Apatosaurus, etc.) laid their eggs in a linear pattern on the ground and not in nests. Presumably the eggs were laid as the animal was walking. It is thought that sauropods did not take care of their eggs. For more information on Brachiosaurus, click here.

Q: How would a dinosaur react to a zoo enviornment?
from Steven C., El Paso, TX, USA; April 6, 1998

A: Dinosaurs would probably react the same way other reptile react to zoos. It would also depend on the quality of the zoo environment, whether or not it was close to the dinosaur's natural habitat or not.

Q: 1) Which dinosaurs lived underwater? 2) where can I get info on them?
from Daniella B., Panorama Ciry, CA, USA; April 4, 1998

A: No dinosaurs lived underwater. There were other primitive reptiles that lived underwater during the time of the dinosaurs, such as:
Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, and NothosaurusNothosaurs. Click on any of these creatures for more information about them.

Q: My second graders are studying dinosaurs. We can't seem to find enough information on the Corythosaurus. We need to know the height, weight, description and how many years ago it lived. Thanks for your help!
from Betsey Wonderlin, Bordentown, NJ, USA; April 3, 1998

A: Corythosaurus was a large, plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur (family Hadrosauridae). It was about 30 feet (9 m) long and may have weighed up to 5 tons. It had a hollow, bony crest on top of its long head in the shape of a helmet flattened on the sides (Corythosaurus means "helmet lizard"). The crest may have been used to make sounds, as a cooling device, courtship displays, and/or as a sense-of-smell enhancer. Males had larger crests than females and juveniles. It had a toothless beak and hundreds of cheek teeth that it used to grind up its food. It walked on two legs, had shorter arms, and a long, heavy tail. It was probably a fast runner - this was its only means of protection from predators like T. rex.

Corythosaurus lived in herds during the late Cretaceous period, going extinct 65 million years ago in the K-T mass extinction. It ate pine needles, seeds, fruit, twigs, and magnolia leaves. Fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA. Click here to see an information sheet of Corythosaurus.

Q: What is the largest Dinosaur
from ???; April 2, 1998

A: For the biggest dinosaurs and other dinosaur extremes, click on "All About Dinosaurs" in the left-hand margin, and then on "Dinosaur Extremes" at the top of the page.

Q: What is a dinosaur exactly?
from ??; April 2, 1998

A: A dinosaur is a type of extinct, land-dwelling reptile that lived from about 228 to 65 million years ago, during most of the Mesozoic Era. They were diapsids, animals that have two holes in the upper part of their skulls and two more holes behind their eyes. Dinosaurs had a unique leg structure among reptiles. Their legs stuck out from under their bodies , and did not sprawl out from the sides like other reptiles . For more information, click on "All About Dinosaurs" in the margin to your left.

Q: What is the total length of time in Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozic, Cenozoic ?
from ???, Port Charlotte, FL, USA; April 2, 1998

A: The answer to these questions is contained in the short version of the geological time chart.

Note that the Precambrian ( meaning "before the Cambrian period") is simply all the time on Earth before the Cambrain period. The Precambrian started when the Earth formed, about 3.9 billion years ago, and ended 540 million years ago. Scientists no longer use the term Precambrian very much because its too vague. That time period is now broken into three Eons:

Q: What is the smallest dinosaur?
from ?; April 2, 1998

A: The smallest dinosaur yet discovered is Compsognathus, which was the size of a chicken. It was a tiny meat-eater that walked on two legs and lived during the Jurassic period. For more information on Compsognathus, click here.

Q: What era means "ancient life?" When did flowering plants appear? When did the first plants appear? What is the shortest and current era? When Pangaea begins to break apart? Sorry there are so many questions please answer as many as you can.
from Shawna R., Port Charlotte, FL, USA; April 1, 1998

A: The Archeozoic Eon ( also known as the Archean Eon) means "ancient life." Flowering plants appeared during the early Cretaceous period (late in the Mesozoic Era). The first plants appeared on land during the Ordovician period. The current era is the Cenozoic Era (the current epoch is the Holocene). Pangaea started to separate in the mid Jurassic period. For a geologic time chart with all this information and more, click here or on "Geologic Time Chart" in the margin to your left.
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