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Zoom Dinosaurs
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By Date By Type of Dinosaur General Dino. Qns. Qns. About Other Animals Geological Era Qns.

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Questions from June 1998

Q: Would you know whether the dinosaurs lost their teeth like we do? Or if they were broken, did they grow back? Thank you and this is a wonderful site.
from Issac and Justine, Italy; June 26, 1998

A: Dinosaurs had replaceable teeth; as teeth became worn or broken they fell out and new ones grew in their places.

Q: If the comet did not hit earth would dinosaurs still live?
from Abe P., Junction City, Kansas, USA; June 24, 1998

A: Even if the comet or asteroid did not hit the Earth, the dinosaurs would probably have evolved and changed somewhat over millions of years. As it is, some bird-like dinosaurs probably DID survive the collision and evolved into the birds.

from ANDRE, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, U.S.; June 23, 1998

A: Here it is. The dinosaurs whose names are underlined are links to information sheets about them.


Bipedal predators

Bipedal predators

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
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


Fabrosauria, Lesotho-
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

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
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

Q: Are Dinosaurs warm or cold blooded ?
from ???; June 23, 1998

A: The debate about whether dinosaurs were hot- or cold-blooded is quite controversial. It used to be assumed that dinosaurs were cold-blooded like their reptile ancestors. Some paleontologists have recently argued that at least some dinosaurs were fast, active, competed against hot-blooded mammals, lived in cool areas, were related to birds, and therefore were endothermic (generating their own body heat, or hot-blooded).

Dinosaurs evolved from cold-blooded animals (the reptiles) and evolved into warm-blooded animals (the birds). All dinosaurs, however, were not the same, and perhaps their physiologies differed also. The huge dinosaurs and the tiny dinosaurs might have used different heat-regulation strategies, just as they used different strategies for other aspect of living. A good argument for this is found among modern mammals. Although warm-blooded, there are some mammals (monotremes, the egg-laying mammals like the duck-billed platypus) whose metabolisms are close to being cold-blooded.

Some dinosaurs seem to have had heat regulating structures on their bodies. For example, Spinosaurus and Ouranosaurus had large sails on their backs, and Stegosaurus had numerous plates. These devices were probably used for the collection and dispersion of heat. This suggests that they needed these structures to regulate their body heat and that they were cold-blooded.

Basically, it's difficult or perhaps impossible to answer this question with today's knowledge. There are a lot of people thinking about this, and we'll be hearing a lot more about it soon.

Q: Why are dinosaurs called dinosaurs? we are studying them at school just now and my teacher doesn't know?
Sarah from Ludlow School (aged 7)

from Sarah C., Southampton, England, UK; June 22, 1998

A: The term dinosaur was coined by the English anatomist Sir Richard Owen in 1842. He named large extinct reptile fossils dinosaurs, meaning "terrifying lizards" (in Greek, deinos means terrifying; sauros means lizard). The only three dinosaur fossils known at the time were Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus, very large dinosaurs.

Q: a plesiosaurus, where are the pichtures?
from jacob m., hillsboro, tx, usa; June 21, 1998

A: For an information page with a picture of Plesiosaurus, click here.

Q: What are the most recent dinosaur discoveries? Are there any dinosaur fossils in Manitoba?
from Mrs. Klein's Grade One Class, Ste. Rose, Manitoba, CA; June 20, 1998

A: One of the most important recent dinosaur finds is a tiny theropod (meat-eater) fossil found in Cretaceous limestone in southern Italy near Naples. Although it was unearthed 10 years ago, its true importance was not realized until lately. It is a very important specimen in that it has fossilized impressions of many of its internal organs and muscles. This type of detail is rare in fossils since the soft tissues from an animal do not usually fossilize; they almost always rot before mineral replacement can take place. This new fossil will yield a lot of information about dinosaur's anatomy and physiology as it is studied.

The fossils is a theropod, perhaps a maniraptor (related to Velociraptor). It is a hatchling 9.5 inches (24 cm) long. It is from 113 million years ago (during the Cretaceous period) and has been named Scipionyx samniticus. During the Cretaceous period it lived near a shallow lagoon. (reference: Cristiano Dal Sasso and Marco Signore in Nature, vol. 392 (March 26, 1998):383-387)

I can't find any references to dinosaurs found in Manitoba.

Q: Do you think that there is any foundation to the theory that dinosaurs became exctint due to the fact that they did not adapt their behavior to fit in with changes on earth?
from Emily L., St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England; June 18, 1998

A: Adaptating quickly to change is crucial to survival and the inability to adapt is certainly is a main factor in extinctions. Behavioral adaptations aren't the only ones necesary to survival. Organisms must also adapt physically, for example, they must be able to survive changes in the temperature, the content of the atmosphere, the food that is available, and many other environmental phenomena.

Q: hau big is a t rex ? how long ago did the dinousurs die? HOW LONG CAN A T REX LIVE FOR?
from awhina w., hamilton; June 17, 1998

A: Tyrannosaurus rex was about 20 feet (6.2 m) tall (from head to foot) and over 40 feet (12.4 m) long (from snout to tip of tail). T. rex died out 65 million years ago during a mass extinction in which many other dinosaur species also became extinct. The life span of a T. rex is not known. For more information on T. rex, click here.

Q: I want to know about dinosaur's habitat.
What dinosaur lived on ground?
What dinosaur lived in sea?
What dinosaur lived on sky?

from Eunice P., LA, CA, USA; June 16, 1998

A: All the dinosaurs lived on land. Some may have gone into the water for short amounts of time, but none lived primarily in the water. Also, no dinosaurs could fly. There were reptiles from the Mesozoic Era that flew (Pterosaurs and others) and many that lived in the seas (Plesiosaurs, Mosasaurs, and others).

Q: We recently visited The Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill,Connecticut where we learned that the Black-capped chickadee is a decendant of the dinosaur. How can this be?
from Ed and Nancy C., New Haven, Connecticut, USA; June 15, 1998

A: There is a very popular theory that the birds (all of them, not just the black-capped chickadee) evolved from one line of dinosaurs. In particular, it is theorized that the maniraptors, a group of bird-like dinosaurs, led to the birds. The maniraptors included the Dromaeosaurids, the Troodontids, the Therizinosaurs, the Oviraptors and the Avians (birds). For a more detailed discussion of this theory in Zoom Dinosaurs click here. For a discussion of birds and dinosaurs at the UCMP, Berkeley, click here.

Q: Is there any way of telling what colour a T-Rex might have been ?
from Ken P., Sydney, NSW, Australia; June 15, 1998

A: No. Although fossilized T. rex sking has been found, there is no way of determining what color it was. For more information about T. rex, click here.

Q: Please tell which was the smallest type of dinosaur. How small was it? What did it eat? Where did it live? Any other interesting things about it? Thank you.
from Yuki S.-R., Tokyo, Japan; June 15, 1998

A: The smallest dinosaur yet found is Compsognathus, a speedy, long-legged meat-eater (eating insects and small animals) about 2 feet (60 cm) long, the size of a chicken. It lived about156-145 million years age, during the late Jurassic period. Its name means "elegant jaw." Its fossils have been found in Germany and France. For more information on Compsognathus, click here.

Q: Where would you look for dinosaurs in Canada? What ones have been found in Canada?
from ???; June 14, 1998

A: Many, many dinosaurs have been found in Canada, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Albertosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Edmontia, Euoplocephalus, Lambeosaurus, Pachycepahlosaurus, Saurolophus, Styracosaurus, Torosaurus, Triceratops, Troödon, and others. More have been found in the province of Alberta than in the other provinces.

Q: What was the first dinosaur?
from ADRIAN AND RYAN A., Melbourne, Vic., Australia; June 14, 1998

Eoraptor A: The earliest known dinosaur is Eoraptor, a 3 feet (1 m) long meat-eater that lived in Argentina, South America about 228 million years ago. Another early dinosaur was Herrerasaurus, another meat-eater (about 17 feet or 5 m) which also lived in Argentina about the same time.

Q: Were dinosaurs very smart?
from Jason V., Sapulpa, OK, USA; June 12, 1998

A: They were probably as smart as you would expect a reptile to be. Some may have had brains equivalent to those of primitive birds. The only way we have of judging the intelligence of extinct animals is by comparing the various ratios of brain weight to body weight (this ratio is called the Encephalization quotient or EQ). Assuming that smarter animals have larger brains to body ratios than less intelligent ones, the smartest dinosaurs were the troodontids (including Troodon) and the dromaeosaurid dinosaurs (the "raptors," which included Dromeosaurus, Velociraptor, Deinonychus, Utahraptor, and others).


Q: A very dumb dinosaur question:
I've heard about a very strange and funny dinosaur extinction theory. It says that the dinosaurs became extinct because they farted too much. Did the dinosaurs really fart (a big sauropod fart or a T.Rex fart must have been stink to high heaven :) ) and is it really possible that this has caused a climatic change milions of years ago that killed the dinosaurs or is it just a dumb joke?

from Bastiaan K., Netherlands; June 11, 1998

A: There is speculation that the large plant-eaters (like the huge ankylosaurs and sauropods) may have had fermentation compartments in their guts in order to help in the digestion of the enormous amounts of tough plant material they needed to eat every day. If so, they would have produced a lot of gaseous by-products, like methane, which could have contributed to atmospheric warming if present in large enough amounts. Whether or not this was a large factor in the catastrophic K-T mass extinction is doubtful.

Q: How did Elasmosaurus defend himself???
from Ryan K., Brookfield, CT, USA; June 10, 1998

A: Elasmosaurus had sharp teeth in strong jaws but nothing else as a defense from predators. For more information on Elasmosaurus, click here.

Q: What dinosaur lied 65 million years ago?
from Shelley S., Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand; June 10, 1998

A: The following dinosaurs lived (and died) 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period: T. rex, Maiasaura, Chasmosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Anatotitan, Ankylusaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Dryptosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Ornithomimus, Alamosaurus, Protoceratops, Alioramus, Antarctosaurus, Argyrosaurus, and many others.

Q: When did dinosaurs suddenly disappear?
from Maria W. and Fiona R., Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand; June 10, 1998

A: Most dinosaurs went extinct in background extinctions throughout the Mesozoic Era. Those that lived around 65 million years ago went extinct during the K-T mass extinction.

Q: How long have humans been on earth?
from Nahuia A., Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand; June 10, 1998

A: Humans (homo sapiens) first appeared about 200,000 years ago.

Q: When did dinosaurs first start roaming the earth?
from Fiona R., Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand; June 10, 1998

A: The earliest known dinosaurs lived about 228 million years ago during the Triassic period.

Q: How do YOU think the dinosaurs became extinct?
from Anna L., Menai Bridge, Anglesey, North Wales; June 10, 1998

A: I think the Alvarez Asteroid Theory is most likely to be right.

Q: When and where were Supersaurus' first discovered?
from Richard L., Menai Bridge, Anglesey, North Wales; June 10, 1998

A: The first Supersaurus fossil was found in western Colorado, USA, by paleontologist James A. Jensen in 1972 and was named in 1985. It is only known from an incomplete fossil which includes two shoulder blades 8 feet (2.4 m) long, ribs 10 feet (3 m) long, neck vertebrae 4.5 feet (1.4 m) long, and a pelvis 6 feet (1.8 m ) wide. For more information on Supersaurus click here.

Q: How fast did camptosaurus run? How did it move? What did it do to protect itself from enemies?
from Abraham R., Sharon, MA, USA; June 9, 1998

A: Camptosaurus could walk on two or four legs. It was a bulky dinosaur and probably not an incredibly fast runner but have been able to go about 20-30 mph (32-48 kph) in short bursts. It had almost no protection from predators (like Allosaurus); it had no horns, no armor, no sharp teeth, no plates, and hooves, not claws. For more information on Camptosaurus, click here.

from Chris, ??; June 9, 1998

A: Triceratops was an herbivore, a plant eater. It probably ate cycads, palms, horsetail rushes, and other prehistoric plants with its tough, toothed beak. It could also chew well with its cheek teeth (like other Ceratopsians, but unlike most other dinosaurs). For more information on Triceratops, click here.

Q: Could you name two early species of Dinosaurs and the approximate times that they lived on earth
from Kimberly D., cambridge, waikato, New Zealand; June 8, 1998

Eoraptor A: The earliest known dinosaur is Eoraptor, a 3 feet (1 m) long meat-eater that lived in Argentina, South America about 228 million years ago. Another early dinosaur was Herrerasaurus, another meat-eater (about 17 feet or 5 m) which also lived in Argentina about the same time.

from Lucas F., cambridge, waikato, N.Z.; June 8, 1998

A: Humans (homo sapiens) first appeared about 200,000 years ago.

from Nate, Lansing, MI, USA; June 8, 1998

A: There are many way of dating dinosaur (or any other) fossils, including radioisotope-dating of the igneous (volcanic) rock that brackets the sediment the fossil in found in, examination of index fossils within the layer, stratiography (examining the depth at which the layer is buried), and observation of the layer's magnetic field. For more information on dating fossils, click here.

Q: I need to know a 'cretaceous dinosaur', 11 letters for a cross word. The third letter is 'A' and the ninth letter is 'O'.

from ???; June 8, 1998

A: Avaceratops.

Q: What dinosaurs eat fern in the Triassic period?
from Melissa, Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA; June 7, 1998

A: Herbivorous dinosuars from the Triassic period (that may have eaten ferns) included: Massospondylus, Riojasaurus, Plateosaurus, Fabrosaurus, Lesothosaurus, and others.

Q: What dinosaurs are extremely big and herbivores in the Cretaceous period?
from Julie, Merion, PA, USA; June 7, 1998

A: Large Cretaceous herbivores include Sauropelta, Iguanodon, Tenontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ouranosaurus, Yangchuanosaurus, Hylaeosaurus, Maiasaura, Ankylosaurus, Triceratops, Pachycephalosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, Anatotitan, Euoplocephalus, Lambeosaurus, Edmontosaurus, and many others.

For more information about the Cretaceous period, click here.

Q: Were there any dinosaurs in the triassic or jurassic or creataceous period that ate fish? If so...what dinosaurs and what kinds of fish? Thanks.
from Amy, Merion, PA, USA; June 7, 1998

A: Yes, Baryonyx was an early Cretaceous fish-eater. A fossil of Baryonyx was found in England with fish scales and bones in its stomach. For more information on Baryonyx, click here.

Q: Could you tell me about what happens to the Carbon molecule in the dinosaur, specifically on the Plateosaurus. I know that the dino breathes in Oxygen and carbon molecules bond with the oxygen molecules...but where and how does this occur? How does it breathe out the carbon dioxide?
from Julie, Merion, PA, USA; June 6, 1998

A: All animals with lungs, including the dinosaurs, breathe in the same fashion, taking in Oxygen from the air and exhaling carbon dioxide. Carbon and other necessary elements are obtained from ingesting food.

Q: Are dinosaurs a big group of reptiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
from Willie, Raleigh, NC, USA; June 6, 1998

A: Yes

Q: What animals lived during the Permian Period- where can I find pictures of these animals ?
from Meghan B., Hatboro, PA, USA; June 5, 1998

A: The Permian period (280 to 248 million years ago) is also called "the age of amphibians" since they were the dominant form of life then. Amphibians included Diplocaulus (a primitive, scaly animal with a boomerang-like head and a long body), Eryops (a 5-foot-long crocodilie-like animal), and Seymouria (a 2-feet-long amphibian that resembles a reptile). Reptiles and pelycosaurs, like dimetrodon , Eunotosaurus (a 6-inch turtle-like plated animal), and Scutosaurus (an 8-feet-long large-skulled animal with bumps on its head) were also abundant. Common animals living in the seas were brachiopods (clam-like invertebrates), ammonoids (marine predators similar to the nautilus), gastropods (mollusks related to the modern-day snail ), crinoids (echinoderms with five-sided symmetry, like the modern-day sea urchin), bony fishes , sharks , and fusulinid foraminifera (large protozoans with spindle-shaped shells). Corals and trilobites were waning.

Q: Do you know if dinosaurs slept standing up or lying down? Thank you,
from Class 2A New Lambton Public School, Australia; June 3, 1998

A: No, no one knows about most of the everyday habits of extinct animals, especially behavior that doesn't leave a physical trace. Some dinosaurs, however, might have had a hard time getting up again after lying down. Some paleontoligists have speculated on how Tyrannosaurus rex could get up from a lying-down position since its arms were so tiny. It might have been a little like a turtle flipping itself over from an upside-down position. Other dinosaurs like the giant sauropods (like Apatosaurus and Supersaurus) would probably have had a hard time getting back up again given their enormous weight. But most dinosaurs were not enormous and didn't have tiny arms so there wouldn't be a physical problem lying down, but no one knows how they slept.

Q: Do you know anything about well-known Australian dinosaurs?
from Class 2A New Lambton Public School, Australia; June 3, 1998

A: Some of the dinosaurs that have been found in Australia are: Agrosaurus, Atlascopcosaurus, Austrosaurus, Fulgurotherium, Leaellynasaura, Minmi, Muttaburrasaurus, and Rhoetosaurus. Which in particular are you interested in?

Q: Could you please tell us which dinosaur was the slowest moving? Thank you,
from Class 2A New Lambton Public School, Australia; June 3, 1998

A: Some of the slowest dinosuars must have been the Ankylosaurids which were heavily plated, had bulky bodies and short legs. The Ankylosaurids included Ankylosaurus, Acanthopholis, Euoplocephalus, Hylaeosaurus, and Sauropelta. There are information sheets on each of these dinosaurs at Zoom Dinosaurs , just click on "Dinosaur Information Sheets" and then on the individual dinosaur.

Q: What do dinosaurs eat?
from Gr. 2, East Boston, MA, USA; June 3, 1998

A: Most dinosaurs were herbivores (plant-eaters), some were carnivores (meat-eaters) and a few were omnivores (eating both plant and animal material). Click here to see a section in Zoom Dinosaurs about dinosaurs' diets.

Q: When did Saltosasees live
from ???; June 2, 1998

A: I'm not sure which dinosaur you mean. Saltosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 83-79 million years ago. Saltopus lived during the late Triassic period, about 225-222 million years ago.

Q: What is the aproximate length and height of a Velociraptor?
from ???; June 2, 1998

A: Velociraptor was about 6 feet long (2 m), and 3 feet tall (1 m).

from Jade, Perth, West. Australia, Australia; June 2, 1998

A: Tyrannosaurus rex belonged to the family of Tyrannosaurids (meaning "tyrant lizards"). They were large, heavy carnivorous (meat-eating) dinosaurs that walked on two strong legs, had long teeth, had tiny arms with 2 fingers and long claws. They lived during the late Cretaceous period. Other Tyrannosaurids include Albertosaurus, Tarbosaurus, Alectrosaurus, Shanshanosaurus, Stygivenator, Alioramus, Chingkankousaurus, Daspletosaurus, Maleevosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Siamotyrannus, and many others.

Q: Do you sell dinosaur bones? What does Protoceratops mean?
from Elisabeth and Chantelle, Chicopee; June 2, 1998

A: No, I don't sell dinosaur bones. Protoceratops means "First horned face." For more information on Protoceratops, click here.

Q: I am doing a project on the Triceratops, i am in grade three and i know everything that i need to know except where and how the Triceratops lived,i really want to get good marks so i would like to know everything and as the project is due very shortly it would be greatly appreciated if your reply could be quick. Please send it to my e-mail. Thankyou, Matt.
from Matthew, Parkes, NSW, Australia; June 2, 1998

A: Triceratops fossils have been found in what is now western Canada and the western United States, especially Colorado. For more information on Triceratops, click here.

Q: Do you believe that the Loch Ness Monster really exists, and if so, is it a dinosaur?
from Fiona, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, Wales, UK; June 1, 1998

A: No, I don't.

Q: What is the Ornithomimidae?
from Danielle, Algonquin, IL, USA; June 1, 1998

A: The Ornithomimidae (meaning "bird mimics") were a group of dinosaurs that were a lot like ostriches. They were fast-miving theropods that had long legs, small heads, light bodies, large eyes and brains, and toothless beaks. Unlike ostriches they had long tails, 3-toed feet and 3-fingered hands. They lived during the late Cretaceous period and may have been omnivores (eating both plant and animal material). The Ornithomimidae included Ornithomimus, Gallimimus, Struthiomimus, Dromiceiomimus, and Elaphrosaurus.

Q: How did dinosaurs evolve into birds? Can you please send me information on that subject.
from David, Algonquin, IL, USA; June 1, 1998

A: Evolution is a process in which the gene pool of a population gradually (over millions of years) changes in response to environmental pressures, natural selection, and genetic mutations. All forms of life came into being by this process.

The dinosaurs came in many different shapes and forms, including some that greatly resembled birds. Some of these bird-like late Cretaceous theropods (which included the dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, the troodontids, and the therizinosaurs) may have evolved into the birds.

Q: Are Velociraptors really the smartest dinosaur? If not where do they fall in line? And where can I find info about them?
from Laura, Algonquin, IL, USA; June 1, 1998

Q: Which dinosaur was the smartest, and where can I find information on it?
from Erin, Algonquin, IL, USA; June 1, 1998

A: The only way we have of judging the intelligence of extinct animals is by comparing the various ratios of brain weight to body weight (this ratio is called the Encephalization quotient or EQ). Assuming that smarter animals have larger brains to body ratios than less intelligent ones, the smartest dinosaurs were the troodontids (including Troodon) and the dromaeosaurid dinosaurs (the "raptors," which included Dromeosaurus, Velociraptor, Deinonychus, Utahraptor, and others).


Q: Were dinosaurs reptiles or the ancestors of birds?? Many scientists believe they were reptiles; my mother believes they were the ancestors of birds.
from Jimmy, Georgia, USA; June 1, 1998

A: Dinosaurs were reptiles and may have been the ancestors of the birds.

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