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Questions from April 1999

Q: what did T. rex look like?
from Amber C., Westbrook, Maine, USA; April 30, 1999

A: See this page on T. rex.

Q: what does a velociraptor look like?
from Laura C., N.J., USA; April 30, 1999

A: See this page on Velociraptors.

Q: Do we have any evidence that the small and smart dromaeosaruids (velociraptor, deinonychus) cared for their young?? How did Velociraptor mate? How many eggs did the female velociraptor lay? Did the mother velociraptor protect her hatchlings?
from Holly S., Las Vegas, USA; April 30, 1999

A: No dromaeosaurid nests, eggs, embryos, or hatchlings have been found, so their care of the young is speculative at best.

Deinonychus skeletons were found, perhaps indicating a pack (there is a lot of debate about this, though). Only a single Utahraptor has been found; Velociraptors have also been found singly.

No one knows how Velociraptor mated, the number of eggs laid, or parental nurturing.

Q: Was the Ornitholestes a plant-eater or meat eater, and what type of foods did it eat?
from Paige S., Pennsylvania, USA; April 30, 1999

A: Ornitholestes was a carnivore, a meat eater. It may also have been a scavenger. It may have hunted the newly evolved Jurassic period birds. For more information on Ornitholestes, click here.

Q: What is the weight of the Mussaurus?
from Carol E., Brandon, WI, USA; April 30, 1999

A: No adult Mussaurus fossils have ever been found. The baby Mussaurus that was found could fit in your hand! No one has any idea how large an adult Mussaurus would have gotten. For more information on Mussaurus, click here.

Q: do some dinosaurs fly or live in water? how many gallons of water should dinosaurs drink?
from sydney, wimter park, florida, USA; April 30, 1999

A: No, but there were many flying reptiles (Pterosaurs) and swimming reptiles (Plesiosaurs, Nothosaurs, Crocodylians, etc.). No one knows how much water any of the dinosaurs drank.

Q: What were triceratops prey/predators?
from Heather N., Fond du Lac, WI, USA; April 30, 1999

A: Triceratops was a plant-eater that was preyed upon by T. rex (and perhaps other large meat-eaters). For more information on Triceratops, click here.

Q: Which was the strongest dinosaur?
from Jordan S., Goshen, IN, USA; April 30, 1999

A: I have no idea. Information about this is hard to determine from fossils. Even though the places where muscles attach to bone are preserved in fossils, determinging which animal was stronger involves a more complicated analysis (which I've never seen done).

from Amy N., Bayonne, NJ, USA; April 30, 1999

A: Dinosaurs lived all over the world. For a listing of where the dinosaurs have been found (by continent, country, and state), click here.

Q: What was the first dinosaur called found in Jersey City or New Jersey? What was it look like?
from Rachel A., Carteret, NJ, USA; April 29, 1999

A: See this page on the first dinosaurs discovered.

Q: Were dinosaurs reptiles?
from Luke W., Gahanna, Ohio, USA; April 29, 1999

A: Yes.

Q: We are doing a detective type game to figure out mystery dinosaurs. Our dinosaur was discovered in Asia, was the size of a man, and lived in the Cretacious era. It appears by the picture to be a plant eater that walks on it's back two legs. We have looked everywhere.Could it be a stegoceras?
from Molly B., Boise, ID, USA; April 29, 1999

A: See the section on the Cretaceous period (click here). Look in the part of the Cretaceous when your dinosaur lived (early or late?), and then look at the Asian dinosaurs. Then you can see which dinosaurs fit the criteria.

Q: Define the word sauros
from Anna M., Indio, CA, USA; April 29, 1999

A: Sauros means lizard in Greek.

Q: I am in 2nd grade and I am doing a report on Pterandon. Could you tell me if they had any protective feathers?
from Vivek M., Austin, Texas, USA; April 28, 1999

A: No, Pteranodons did not have feathers. For more information on Pteranodon, click here.

Q: Do you have an information sheet on the Anchisaurus? Do you also have a picture? I am doing a research project and it would help me immensely. Thank You.
from Whitney P., Lone Tree, Colorado, USA; April 28, 1999

A: For an entry in the dinosaur dictionary on Anchisaurus, click here.

Q: How does a Plateosaurus fit in the food chain?
from Eric G., Albuqurque, NM, USA; April 28, 1999

A: Plateosauruswas a plant-eater (herbivore), a primary consumer. For more information on the dinosaur food chain, click here.

Q: Where did the Gallimimus live? What were its distinguishig features?
from Faith O., ?; April 28, 1999

A: Gallimimus fossils have been found in the Gobi desert, Mongolia. It had a very long, flattened snout and large eyes. For more information about Gallimimus, click here.

Q: When did the Brachiosaurus become extinxt
from ?; April 28, 1999

A: Brachiosaurus lived until about 145 million years ago, during the middle Jurassic period. For more information about Brachiosaurus, click here.

Q: Do you Have any information on the Sauropod, Ohmendensaurus? I know that it is from the Late Jurassic part of the Mesozoic, and that it was a European Dino, but I can't find out any other info. Can you help? Any suggestions of where else I should look?
from Carly H., Santa Cruz, CA, USA; April 27, 1999

A: I've added Ohmdenosaurus to the "Dinosaur Dictionary."

Q: What is a Hypsorodon? What dose a Icthyosaur mean? What is T-rex's second name?
from Spencer K., Glen Carbin, IL, USA; April 27, 1999

A: I've never heard of Hypsorodon.

Icthyosaur means "fish lizard." For more information on Ichthyosaurs, click here.

T. rex isshort for Tyrannosaursu rex, so its second name (technically, that is its species name) is rex. Tyrannosaurus is the genus name. For more information on T. rex, click here.

Q: How much did a Plateosaurus weigh?
from Matt L., Smithtown, NY, USA; April 27, 1999

A: Plateosaurus weighed about 1,500 pounds (700 kg). For more information about Plateosaurus, click here.

Q: What were dinosaur habitats like?
from Katie B., Maffra., Vic., Australia; April 28, 1999

A: For most dinosaurs, this is unknown. It is very difficult to determine what the environment was like given just a fossil or two. Also, many fossils are found in what was a watery environment (an ancient river bed, for example), because the newly dead dinosaur was swept downstream after (or during) death, many miles from where it lived.

Q: Do all Dinosaurs have claws?
from Becky H., Newry, Vic., Australia; April 26, 1999

A: No, many dinosaurs didn't have claws. Examples include duckbilled dinosaurs and ankylosaurs, like Maiasaura and Ankylosaurus.

from COLLEEN C., MANSFIELD, MA, BRYSTOL; April 25, 1999

A: No, but pterosaurs did.

Q: Why are dinosaurs so big?
from Bethany Y., Austin, Minesota, USA; April 23, 1999

A: First, not all dinosaurs were big. Most dinosaurs were not huge. However, the question of why the huge dinosaurs were so enormous has never been answered. For some information on dinosaur sizes, click here.

Q: how can you tell the difference between a male and a female dinosaurs?
from Keri K., Nac., Texas, USA; April 23, 1999

A: You can only guess, based on a lot of assumptions. For mre information on this topic, click here.

Q: Can you please tell me some information about stegosauros
from Jesse, mahanoy, PA, USA; April 23, 1999

A: For information on Stegosaurus, click here.

Q: What kind of dino had wings but did not fly?
from Heather M., Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA; April 22, 1999

A: Dinosaurs like Caudipteryx, Sinosauropteryx, and Protarchaeopteryx

Q: What were the last dinosars?
from Mathew M., Corvalis, Oregon, USA; April 22, 1999

A: The last of the dinosaurs lived during the end of the Cretaceous period. For a list of late Cretaceous dinosaurs, click here.

Q: Where did dinosaurs go to hibernate?
from Jaclyn M., Bufalo Grove, IL, USA; April 22, 1999

A: No one knows if any dinosaurs hibernated or not. Most lived in very warm environments, and had no need for hibernation. Some, however, did live in near-polar habitats, and may have migrated or hibernated.

Q: Hi,my friends and I are doing extra work on dinosaurs to raise our grades. Do you know where and when the first dinosaurs were discovered in North America? Thank you.
from Sheryl A., Guam; April 22, 1999

A: For a page on the first dinosaur discoveries (including North America), click here.

Q: how did the diplodocus raise their young
from Darren F., norwalk, Connecticut, USA; April 21, 1999

A: There is no fossil evidence to give any clues about Diplodocus' care of their young. For information about Diplodocus, click here.

from Courtney A., San Antonio, Texas, USA; April 21, 1999

A: Tyrannosaurus rex was up to 40 feet (12.4 m) long. For more information on T. rex, click here.

Q: I teach elementary music and am writing in hopes of securing information to enhance the teaching of songs I use in a unit on dinosaurs. I'm looking for the following: the height of dinosaurs in their regular standing position; and, the ground to knee measurement, if available. I located the Dinosaur Graph with the length of dinosaurs- -I assume that is a nose to tail measurement??
My main focus is a project in which I want to involve the children focused on a song "How can you ride a dinosaur that's bigger than a grocery store? You climb a tree to reach his knee. . ."
I need the above information on the more common dinosaurs, especially, allosaurs, stegosaurus, brontosaurus, tyrannosaurus Rex--and perhaps about 6 more.
Also, are you aware of any recent thinking on the sounds that dinosaurs may have made?
Thanks so much for any information you provide.

from Anita R., Morrisville, North Carolina, USA; April 21, 1999

A: Yes, the Dinosaur Graphs are nose to tail measurements (which is what paleontologists use most of the time, because the height depends on the stance; paleontologists have changed their minds about dinosaur stances periodically, so this is a measurement that isn't used much scientifically).

Paleontologists have recently experimented with the sounds that Parasaurolophus' hollow nasal crest may have made. It seems to produce a low frequency call, perhaps like a fog-horn. For information on Parasaurolophus, click here.

Dinosaur Approximate Height
(to back)
Approximate Height
(to Knee)
T. rex 11 feet 7 feet
Allosaurus 9 feet 5 feet
Stegosaurus 10 feet 3 feet
Triceratops 9 feet 2 feet
Apatosaurus (=Brontosaurus) 25 feet 6 feet
Velociraptor 3 feet 1.5 feet
Parasaurolophus 10 feet 5 feet
Dilophosaurus 5 feet 2.5 feet
Brachiosaurus 20 feet 6 feet
Seismosaurus 35 feet 9 feet
Ankylosaurus 6 feet 2 feet
Compsognathus 1 foot 4 inches

Q: what was the weather like in when dinosaurs were alive? such as when the giganotosaurus lived?
from Jess W., houston, tx, USA; April 21, 1999

A: The dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic Era, a time in which the Earth's temperature was higher than it is now. There was no polar ice, the seasons were less extreme, and the sea level was much higher. For more information on the climate of the Mesozoic Era, click here. Giganotosaurus lived toward the end of the Mesozoic Era, during the middle Cretaceous period, about 100-95 million years ago. This was a time of increased volcanic activity as the supercontinent Pangea was breaking up.

Q: Dino Russ says that Apodiformes is the smallest dinosaur. You list others. Which one is it?
from Cindi V., Bloomington, IN, USA; April 21, 1999

A: Apodiformes are hummingbirds. Dino Russ is alluding to birds evolving from dinosaurs, and therefore, technically, being dinosaurs. I list Compsognathus as the smallest dinosaur (from the Mesozoic Era).

Q: Was Diplocaulus a carnivore or herbivore?
from Anjali S., Branchburg, NJ, USA; April 20, 1999

A: A carnivore. For more information on Diplocaulus, click here.

Q: What is a terradactyl
from Sarah G., Brandon, Mississippi, USA; April 20, 1999

A: Pterodactyls were flying reptiles that were very closely related to the dinosaurs (but weren't dinosaurs). For more information on Pterodactyls, click here.

Q: I am doing a report for school and I need more information on the Teratosaurus Dinosaur. Can you please help me. I need to know where it was found, what size it was, what kind of food it ate, and any other interesting facts you might have. Also I need to have a picture of the Teratosaurus Dinosaur. Thank You.
from AndreaM., Hillsboro, OR, USA; April 20, 1999

A: Teratosaurus was primitive, socket-toothed reptile (a rauisuchian thecodont) from the late Triassic period. It was not a dinosaur. For more information on Teratosaurus, click here.

Q: What is 'stratiography' and where can I find information about it? Thanks.
from Neville M., Marsascala, Malta; April 20, 1999

A: Stratigraphy is a method of dating fossils by observing how deeply a fossil is buried. There's information on Stratigraphy in the Dinosaur Dictionary.

Q: I could not find the word "crassirostris" which I needed to look up for my science class. I know it is a mouth part, put I needed more info. on it.
from ??; April 19, 1999

A: Crassirostris means thick-billed. Crassus in Latin means thick; Rostrum in Latin means beak or bill.

Crassirostris is a species of pterosaur, Genus Scaphognathus (and also the species of a few birds). For an entry on the pterosaur species Scaphognathus crassirostris, click here.

Q: Is procompsognathus a herbivore or a carnivore?
from Alex R, New York, USA; April 19, 1999

A: Procompsognathus was a carnivore (a theropod). For more information on Procompsognathus, click here.

Q: How do people know that dinosaurs made noise? Because not every animal does.
from Michelle A., Pembroke Pines, Florida, USA; April 19, 1999

A: Some dinosaurs may have been silent and others mau have made sounds. Some, like Parasaurolophus, had a large, hollow chamber on top of its head that was probably used to make sounds. The Parasaurolophus' nostrils (at the end of its snout) went up through the crest and back down it, forming four tubes. Paleontologists have blown air through a model of Parasaurolophus' crest, and it makes loud, low-frequency sounds.

Q: How many young did most dinosaurs have?
from Donna, Palmyra, Missouri, USA; April 19, 1999

A: For most of the dinosaurs, this is unknown. Maiasaura laid 15 to 25 eggs in a nest, but how often this occurred during a Maiasaura's life is unknown. Hypselosaurus laid about 5 eggs per nest. Protoceratops laid about 12-30 eggs per nest. For more information on dinosaur reproduction, click here.

Q: How long could dinosaurs live?
from ??; April 19, 1999

A: Very little is known about this topic, but for some information on dinosaur life spans, click here.

Q: What was the fastest dinosars top speed.
from Sean C., geneseo, NY, USA; April 19, 1999

A: Ornithomimus and Gallimimus could probably run as fast as an ostrich, which can run up to 43 mph (70 kph). For more information on dinosaur locomotion, click here.

Q: Was Kakuru a crested dinosaur?
from Mark J., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; April 19, 1999

A: Kakuru only known from a leg bone, so whether or not it had a head crest is unknown. For more information on Kakuru, click here.

Q: How many dinosaurs were found in Antarctica? What are there names?
from Mark J., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; April 19, 1999

A: For Antarctic dinosaurs, click here.

Q: what does a triceratops use for his defense?
from Shon L., grandview, MO, USA; April 18, 1999

A: Just look at its picture and imagine trying to attack it. For information on Triceratops and more pictures, click here.

Q: how do you know if the Dinosaur is a boy or a girl?
from Matthew B., NJ, USA; April 18, 1999

A: No one knows the gender of a dinosaur fossil with any certainty, but paleontologists sometimes make a guess based on physical characteristics like body size or the size of a head crest. For many animals, including many egg-laying animals, the female is larger than the male, so guessing the gender of a dinosaur is not at all certain.

Q: I'm 7 years i need to know the definition for animals carnivour ,anfibians,and oviparus I'M in second grade. thanks for the information.
from sebastian m, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; April 18, 1999

A: Those definitions are in the Dictionary. Don't forget to scroll down.

Q: are dinosaurs really reptiles or are they mammals?
from Melissa S., Sicklerville, New Jersey, USA; April 18, 1999

A: Reptiles.

from Shelby O., Fremont; April 17, 1999

A: Ultrasauros (which may be a large Brachiosaurus).

Q: We would like to know which dinosaur had the largest egg and the smallest egg? Also, do you have a picture of them so we can compare? Also, does this mean the largest egg has the largest baby and the smallest egg has the smallest baby? thanks!
from Brian and Mary Beth, Hickory, KY, USA; April 17, 1999

A: These two questions have the same answer. Generally, the larger the animal, the larger the egg laid (of course, there are always exceptions, but this is generally the case). For information on dinosaur eggs, click here.

Q: How does the tail help the chasmosaurus?
from ??; April 17, 1999

A: Chasmosaurus, a ceratopsian dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, used its short, stiff tail for balance, and perhaps to swat enemies that came too close. For more information on Chasmosaurus, click here.

Q: What does the name Minmi mean?
from Sara C., Seattle, WA, USA; April 17, 1999

A: Minmi was named for the Minmi rock formation (in Australia) where it was found. For more information on Minmi, click here.

Q: what does a triseratopes look like
from NAME, CITYSTATE, USA; April 16, 1999

A: For information on Triceratops and more pictures, click here.

Q: were is Argentina?
from Blake P., ft.leavenworth, Kansas, USA; April 16, 1999

A: It's in the southern part of South America.

Q: What did a sauropelta look like?
from Conner E., Amherst, Virginia, USA; April 16, 1999

Sauropelta A: For information on Sauropelta, click here.

Q: I want to know about the types of vegetation that existed during the Cretaceous period as I have to build a dinosaur habitat.
from Arielle G., Saline, MI, USA; April 16, 1999

A: For the section on the Cretaceous period, click here.

Q: What different things did the dinosaurs eat?
from derek b, casey, Illinois, USA; April 15, 1999

A: Most dinosaurs ate plants. Others are meat, insects, eggs, etc. For a page on dinosaur eating habits, click here.

Q: What is the meanining of the Saber-toothed tiger Name? What did the Saber toothed tiger eat? What was the Saber toothed tigers weight and Height? Where did the Sabertoothed tiger live?
from Lorrie T., Bonney Lake, WA, USA; April 15, 1999

A: These early cats were called Saber-toothed because they had two huge, saber-like teeth. A saber is a type of sword. For more information on the Saber-toothed cat, also called Smilodon, click here.

Q: Please give me information on Polacanthus for my second-grade class report on dinosaurs. Could you include a picture and interesting facts? Thank you!
from Jace M., San Ardo, CA, USA; April 15, 1999

A: To get to the entry on Polacanthus in the Dinosaur Dictionary, click here.

Q: What do you think a T-rex looked like?
from William L., Amherst, Virginia, USA; April 15, 1999

A: For information on T. rex and more pictures (skeletons, etc.), click here.

from ??; April 15, 1999

A: Oviraptor is an omnivorous dinosaur whose name means "egg thief." It was originally thought that this dinosaur died while stealing another dinosaur's eggs. It was later realized that these eggs belonged tot he same genus, and were probably its own young and it was not eating. For more info on Oviraptor, click here.

In general, many of the smaller carnivorous dinosaurs probably ate eggs when they found them. Ingeneral, animals that eat eggs (together with other animal products) are called carnivores.

Q: How did Ultrasauros defend himself? Did his shear size fend off any would be predators? Did he use his massive tail in defending himself, or was this just to help with balance? Thanks
from Chase C., West Chester, PA, USA; April 15, 1999

A: Really huge animals like Ultrasauros didn't need a lot of defenses against relatively small predators. which are only a fraction of their size. Ultrasauros (and other sauropods) may have used their tail to swat bothersome animals. They also had claws on their feet, but the purpose of these is unknown.

For more information on Ultrasauros, click here.

Q: Hi, Can you help us? On some pictures and toys Brachiosaurus has a strange "lump" on its head. Why is this, did it have a purpose? We would be very grateful if you could tell us the answer.
Thank you

from Class 2 Year 1 (5&6 yrs), Tuckswood First School, Tuckswood First School, Norwich, Norfolk, UK; April 15, 1999

A: That lump is Brachiosaurus' nostril area (his nose). No one knows why this was on the top of its head. It used to be thought that Brachiosaurus used this elevated nostril as a snorkel while walking underwater, but not anymore. Now paleontologists realize that Brachiosaurus would have sunk in wet mud because its feet aren't very wide. So Brachiosaurus probably didn't go very far into rivers or lakes. Also, no underwater footprints (which look quite different from terrestrial footprints) have ever been found. For more information on Brachiosaurus, click here.

Q: Did they ever find the bones of a stegasaurus,and a raptor.
from Andre P., S.Williamsport, PA, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Not bones, but fossilized bones of dinosaurs have been found.

Q: How many dinosaurs are there?
from Tyler W., Nebr.City, Nebraska, USA; April 14, 1999

A: There are about 500 genera (the plural of genus) that have been found, named and are scientifically accepted. There are about an additional hundred genera that are dubious (these genera, usually represented by very incomplete fossil, may actually be examples of another, already named, genus). There are also almost 100 newly-discovered genera whose names have not been through the formal naming process by the ICZN (the International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature) in which it is decided that a specimen represents a new genus.

Then the really tricky part has to be considered. People have only found a small fraction of all the dinosaurs that ever existed. There are a lot more that people are finding all the time. Also, there are probably many, many types of dinosaurs that didn't fossilize at all and are lost forever. The actual number of dinosaurs genera that lived is unknown. The population numbers of the dinosaurs (that is, how many individuals of each genus existed) are also unknown.

Q: If ultrasauros was so big what other dinosaurs might have preyed upon him?
from cory c., west chester, PA, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Perhaps none could have successfully killed a healthy adult Utrasauros (~100 ft long), but hatchlings, juveniles, and sick or injured adults may have falled prey to the following large, late Jurassic, meat-eating dinosaurs: Torvosaurus (31 ft long), Marshosaurus (17 ft long), Ceratosaurus (20 ft long), or Allosaurus (38 ft long). For more information on Ultrasauros, click here.

Q: Can you give me information on the folowing: Tanystropheus and Megistotherium [pictures would be nice.]
from Dino Al, Funkytown, MN, USA; April 14, 1999

A: There's information on these two in the Dictionary (but no pictures yet).

Q: 1. What does the name Brachiosaurus mean? Why does it not have a name that means towering lizard?
2.Did the mother Stegosaurus care for her young? If so for how long?

from Valerie, Grade 4, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; April 14, 1999

A: 1. Brachiosaurus means "arm lizard." Although it was indeed towering, many dinosaurs were towering, but very few dinosaurs had arms longer than the legs. Only the brachiosaurid dinosaurs (like Brachiosaurus, Ultrasauros, and Seismosaurus) were built like this. For more information on Brachiosaurus, click here.

2. Stegosaurus' nurturing tendencies are unknown; neither fossilized eggs nor nests have been found. For more information on Stegosaurus, click here.

Q: Could any of the dinosaurs fly?
from Amy S. Union, NJ, USA; April 14, 1999

A: No, but during the time of the dinosaurs there were many pterosaurs (flying reptile). For information on pterosaurs, click here.

Q: Tyrannosaurus questions in paragrah please each question. geologic time frame of greatest #'s- which continent? years ago? individual or colonial? is it carnivore? bi-pedal yes or no? denition canines, molars, incisors? reproduce- egg/live, lifespan?
from sara, ?; April 14, 1999

A: You'll have to write you own paragraphs! All of these questions are answered on the pages about T. rex - click here to go there.

Q: Who discovered Parasaurolophus?
from Mike C., Coopersburg, Pennslysvania, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Parasaurolophus was described and named by Dr. William A. Parks in 1923 from an almost complete skeleton found in Alberta, Canada. For more information on Parasaurolophus, click here.

Q: How tall was Apatosaurus?
from Jojo L., Mount Laurel, NJ, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Apatosaurus was up to about 90 feet (27 m) long. Length is used and not height, because the height depends on the dinosaur's stance, but the length (from tail to snout) is absolute. For more information on Apatosaurus, click here.

Q: How do we know dor sure that the T-Rex was far-sided, (can't see very well) is it? Or was that just somthing the movie Jurassic Park employed to make it more interesting. Was there somthing that we got from it's skull that led us to that conclusion?
from Adam M., S., S.D., USA; April 14, 1999

A: Jurassic Park took a lot of liberties with the truth. No one is sure about T. rex's eyesight, but it probably had pretty good vision. There were many other exaggerations, fabrications and errors in Jurassic Park, but it never claimed to be anything but entertainment. For more information on T. rex, click here.

Q: Are velociraptors and deinonyhchus the same dinosaur? I have found some books that say they are but you have them listed as two separate dinosaurs? My kids and I are very confused!

from Sarah C., Corydon, Indiana, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Velociraptor and Deinonychus are two different, but related genera of dinosaurs. They are both dromaeosaurids, advanced meat-eating dinosaurs (theropods) from the Cretaceous period. Deinonychus was bigger than Velociraptor and lived millions of years earlier. They also lived on different continents. Velociraptor had a longer snout.

Deinonychus Velociraptor
Size 10 ft (3 m) long 6 ft (1.8 m) long
When it lived 119-93 million years ago 85-80 mya
Where it lived Mongolia North America

Q: where can I take my grandchildren to see dino museum around Houston or Dallas area?
from gladys s., jasper, texas, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Houston has the Houston Museum of Natural Science (which had a Diplodocus skeleton on display). Dallas has the Dallas Museum of Natural History (which has a Mosasaur on display, not a dinosaur but still impressive at 35 ft long) and Science Place (it has a dinosaur dig exhibit). Forth Worth has the Fort Worth Museum of Science (which has an Allosaurus attacking a Camptosaurus).

Q: can you tell me all five major mass extinctions, and what major animals died during them??
from kate c., orrville, ohio, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Yes, for a page on mass extinctions, click here. For more inofr on the K-T extinction in particular, click here.

Q: what are scientist who study fossils called?
from adam S., atlanta, ga, USA; April 14, 1999

A: Paleontologists. For information on some important paleontologists, click here.

Q: Please give info on Podokesaurus
from Sherri J., Tampa, FL, USA; April 13, 1999

A: I've added Podokesaurus to the DInosaur Dictionary.

Q: How did people who found dinosaur fossils know where to look?
from Amber R., Mcminnville, OR, USA; April 13, 1999

A: See this page on finding fossils.

Q: Who discovered the dinosaurs?
from Corey C., Deerfield, IL, USA; April 13, 1999

A: Click here for the first inosaur discoveries.

Q: On a question sent on April 12, you called Moschops a therapsid first, but then you said it was a reptile. The definition of reptile is:
An animal that is descended from the last common ancestor of turtles and birds but is not a bird.
And Moschops, a therapsid, was seperate from this type of creature in that it was an ancestor of mammals. Can you please correct this??

from Jimmy L., Georgia, USA; April 13, 1999

A: You're right about Moschops; it was a therapsid (advanced synapsids which include the mammals, some close relatives, and their recent common ancestors). Many texts call these early synapsids (like Dimetrodon and Moschops) "mammal-like reptiles". It's actually misleading nomenclature since they're not reptiles at all, like you pointed out, as they only look like reptiles and are closely related. I've fixed it!

Now to reptiles! A cladistic definition of reptiles has to include the birds (or reptiles isn't monophyletic). In cladistics, reptiles are defined to include the descendants of the most recent common ancestor of the turtles, lepidosaurs (lizards, snakes, tuataras), and archosaurs (crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds). In this system, reptiles are viewed as a group of animals that have scales (or modified scales), breathe air, and usually lay eggs. The maintenance of body temperature (cold- vs. warm-blooded) is not a factor in this classification, but skull and egg structure are.

Reptilia cladogram

Good references for this cladistic definition of reptiles are: The Complete Dinosaur, edited by Farlow and Brett-Surman, 1997, Indiana University Press, and The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs, by Fastovsky and Weishampel 1996, Cambridge University Press.

Q: Do you know where can I find a picture of the following dinosaurs: Maiasaura Lufengosaurus Kentrosaurus Homalocephale
Please Respond Quickly

from Roger C., Miami, FL, USA; April 13, 1999

HomalocephaleA: Click on the following names: Homalocephale, Maiasaura, Kentrosaurus, and Lufengosaurus.

Q: when did the dinasaur era begin
from savanna d., st augustine, fl, USA; April 17, 1999

A: About 228 million years ago. So far, the earliest-known dinosaur is Eoraptor.

Q: Carnotaurus- I would like to know how tall these dino. grew? Thank-you!
from ??; April 12, 1999

A: Carnotaurus was was about 25 feet (7.5 m) long. Length is used, and not height, because height is dependent upon the stance of the dinosaur. The length (from snout to tail) is a measurement that is independent of assumptions about the dinosaur's stance. For more information about Carnotaurus, click here.

Q: Do you have any info on the Segisaurus?
from PR, NY, USA; April 12, 1999

A: For info on Segisaurus, click here.

Q: Where can I find pictures of Dinosaurs?
from Roger C., Miami, FL, USA; April 12, 1999

A: For many drawings of dinosaurs, click here.

Q: what is a moschops?
from Salim, rosehill, mauritius; April 12, 1999

A: Moschops was a large therapsid, an ancestor of the mammals. For more information on Moschops, click here.

Q: I am having problems getting information on the Ornithosuchus Dinosaur please help...
from Kim G., Onaha, NE, USA; April 11, 1999

A: Ornithosuchus was not a dinosaur, but was a thecodont (the group of reptiles from which the arcosaurs, including the dinosaurs, evolved), and closely related to dinosaurs and pterosaurs. For information on Ornithosuchus, click here.

Q: Are dinosaurs really birds???
from S.J., Moscow, Russia; April 11, 1999

A: Yes, if you look at it from a cladistic perspective. In this approach, a clade (like dinosaurs) includes all of the organisms that share a recent common ancestor. Since the birds are decsended from dinosaurs, they belong to the clade dinosauria.

Q: pachycepholasaurus?
from ??; April 11, 1999

A: For information on Pachycepholasaurus, click here.

Q: I would like info. on how compsognathus cared for their young. Did they have live births or eggs?
from Traci A., Chardon, Ohio, USA; April 11, 1999

A: Compsognathus probably laid eggs, but no Compsognathus eggs have been found. It is unknown whether or not they cared for their young. For more information on Compsognathus, click here.

Q: are birds related to dinasous?
from Darcy Y., CT, USA; April 11, 1999

A: Yes, birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs. For more information on this, click here.

from CANDACE F., BOSSIER, LA, USA; April 11, 1999

A: For a page on Utahraptor, click here.

Q: I am doing a report on nothosaurus, and I have to tell how this dinosaur protected itself. I am unablr to find this information anywhere. Could you please help. Thank you.
from Matt C., Easthampton, MA, USA; April 11, 1999

A: First, Nothosaurus was not a dinosaur, but another type of reptile. They didn't have much protection from large predators except for their jaws, which weren't all that large (these jaws were better for catching fish). Swimming away quickly was probably their best defense. For information on Nothosaurus, look in the Zoom Dinosaurs "Dino and Paleontology Dictionary."

Q: Our son is very interested in dinosaurs and we always try to give him accurate information, including the correct pronunciation. If we don't know, we don't guess, we look it up. We have had a very difficult time finding information regarding the re-naming of dinosaurs. Why have they changed their names? We know the Brontosaurus was changed to Apatasaurus, and in reviewing your question and answer page we saw Anatasaurus was changed to Edmotosaurus. WHY????? Also, are there any other dinosaurs with changed names? Could we get a lengthy explanation and detailed report as to why? I think is very unfair when you teach a little child a name only to find out in another book that it's not the correct name. It's been a very frustrating experience. Thanking you in advance for any information you could give us.
from Lynn L., Boca Raton, FL, USA; April 11, 1999

A: The story of the Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus name change started when 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, which he mistakenly thought belonged a different genus. Much later, scientists discovered that the two dinosaurs were actually two species of the same genus, and the earlier scientific name, Apatosaurus, was adopted, and the name Brontosaurus was discarded.

Many newly discovered fossils have been given a new genus name by their discoverer, and only later is it discovered that the "new" fossil is really just another example of an older one. Fossils identification is very difficult, especially since for most dinosaurs, only very incomplete fossils have been found. Most dinosaur genera are known from only a single specimen, and many are known from only a few bones or teeth.

Some examples of this double (or triple or more) naming includes:
Also, I've been adding dinosaur pronunciations to the Dinosaur Dictionary.

Q: How old were they before they died?
from Jamie J., Viborg, SD, USA; April 10, 1999

A: For a page on dinosaur life spans, click here.

Q: I need information on a Cenozoic mammal with a huge mouth. It was a Carnivore. And it had the prefix "Mega." Can you help. Thanks AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA LLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOTTTTT.
from DinoAL, Funkytown, MN, USA; April 10, 1999

A: Megantereon fits the bill. This early sabertooth cat had a large mouth and fangs. It was about 4 ft (1.2 m) long and had two dagger-like teeth. This carnivore lived from the late Miocene to the early Pleistocene, roughly 2-3 million years ago, in South Africa, India, USA (Texas) and France. Megantereon used its large teeth to prey upon large, thick-skinned mammals, like the mastodont.

Q: Although Pterosaurs were not dinosaurs strickly speaking, what was there distribution range when they lived, and what did they eat?
from Anthony L., Princess Anne, Maryland, USA; April 10, 1999

A: There were many different types of Pterosaurs, ranging in wingspan from a few inches wide to about 36 ft. Pterosaurs were carnivores; various Pterosaurs ate fish (which they caught at the surface of the oceans), mollusks, crabs, perhaps plankton (for some species), insects, and scavenged dead animals on land. Pterosaur fossils have been found in North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. For more information on Pterosaurs, click here.

Q: Are there any pictures of an actual dinosaur footprint? If so where could look for it.
from Sue H., newville, pa, USA; April 8, 1999

A: There are a couple of pictures in this page on dinosaur trackways

Q: Was the Archaeopteryx around when people where around
from Danielle K., px, az, USA; April 8, 1999

A: No, Archaeopteryx lived about 150 million years ago; people didn't evolved until roughly 200,000 years ago. For more information on Archaeopteryx, click here.

Q: Is there an mammal named the PTEROSAURS
from Toni S., Baton Rouge, LA, USA; April 8, 1999

A: Pterosaurs were a type of flying reptile that lived during the Mesozoic Era. They were not mammals. For more information on Pterosaurs, click here.

Q: where can I find some pictures of a Othnielia?
from Erica, Orlando, Florida, USA; April 8, 1999

A: For a drawing of Othnielia and an information sheet about it, click here.

Q: Where can I find information on the theory about the little animals eating the eggs of the dinosaurs?
from Rachel P., Astoria, NY, USA; April 8, 1999

A: Some people have theorized that Mesozoic Era mammals led to the extinction of the dinosaurs by eating the dinosaur's eggs. For more information on this and other extinction theories, click here.

Q: Who made the names of dinosaurs?
from jamie J., Viborg, SD, USA; April 8, 1999

A: The person who discovers a new genus of dinosaur is th one who names it. For a page on how some dinosaurs were named, click here.

Q: DO any Dinosaurs fly?
from Jessica M., Phoenix, AZ, USA; April 7, 1999

A: No, but many pterosaurs did. For more information on pterosaurs, click here.

Q: which dinosaur was belived to be the fastest moving?
from John D., USA; April 7, 1999

A: See the page on extreme dinosaurs.

Q: What can you tell about dinosaurs reproduction
from v.b.; April 7, 1999

A: No one knows much about dinosaur reproduction, except that most dinosaurs hatched from eggs. Many fossilized dinosaur eggs have been found; fossilized embyros are rare.

Q: Is there a dinosaur named the PACHYRHINOSAURUS
from Toni S., Baton Rouge, LA, USA; April 7, 1999

A: Yes. For information on Pachyrhinosaurus, click here.

Q: I am doing a report on a dinosaur and I can't remember the name of it I know it starts with a r. I really need your help with this!
from Jamie C., NY, NY, USA; April 6, 1999

A: For the "R" listing in the Dinosaur Dictionary, click here.

Q: How long were the biggest dinosaurs?
from Amanda N., Walpole, MA, USA; April 6, 1999

A: The biggest dinosaurs were Jurassic sauropods like Supersaurus, Argentinosaurus, and Ultrasauros. They were about100-130 ft (30-40 m) long.

Q: Hi! I'm in the first grade and doing a science project on fossils in general. What can you tell me about fossils? My Dad & I have found some really big (maybe clam-type) ones at the rock hole. Thanks
from Kimberley W., Trenton, N.C., USA; April 5, 1999

A: For general information on fossils, click here. Identifying fossils can be a difficult job. If there is a university nearby, you might try going there (to the paleontology, geology, or biology department) and ask an expert to help you out. Another way is to find a detailed book on bivalve (clams, etc.) fossils. Or search the web for "bivalve fossils" (I've found that Hotbot and Google have the best paleontology links).

Q: We are trying to find information on the VULCANODON....please help!! A picture of one would be greatly appreciated too....THANKS!
from joann c., long branch, nj, USA; April 5, 1999

A: For the entry on Vulcanodon in the Dinosaur Dictionary, click here.

Q: Torosaurus and Archaeopteryx lived in what period of time?
from jacqui n, Barnagat, NJ, USA; April 5, 1999

A: Torosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period (about 70 to 65 million years ago). For more information about Torosaurus, click here.

Archaeopteryx lived during the Jurassic, about 150 million years ago. For more information on Archaeopteryx, click here.

Q: I am teaching a class on Dinasours and wondered if you have a list to help pronounce the different name of the dinasours
from Kay S., Laramie, WY, USA; April 4, 1999

A: I'm in the process of adding pronunciation to the Zoom Dinosaurs "Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary," but only a few letters are done so far. They should be done this week or next.

Q: what types of dinosaurs have been unearthed in ontario-canada?
from Ricky H., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; April 4, 1999

A: I don't think any dinosaurs have been found in Ontario, but for a list of the dinosaurs found in Canada, click here.

Q: What do they call people who study dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals?
from Aaron B., Louisville, USA; April 4, 1999

A: Paleontologists.

Q: What dinosaur name means "swift robber" ?
from Tom C., Bensalem, PA, USA; April 4, 1999

A: Velociraptor. For more information on Velociraptor, click here.

Q: Where in North Dakota can I dig for dinasour fossils (is it legal)? How do I go about it or where can I get information on digging for dinasour fossils?
from curtis s., minot, north dakota, USA; April 3, 1999

A: No dinosaurs have ever been found in North Dakota. For a list of fossils found (by state), click here. To dig for fossils legally, you need permission of the land owner, and the two of you need to decide in advance who retains rights to any fossils discovered. For some information on finding fossils, click here.

Q: How much did a vulisa raptor weigh????
from Taylor, Coldwater, MI, USA; April 2, 1999

A: Velociraptor weighed about 15 to 33 pounds (7 to 15 kg). For more information on Velociraptor, click here.

Q: What does the name Triceratops mean?
from Toni H, Elkhart, Indiana, USA; April 1, 1999

A: Three-horned head. For more information on Triceratops, click here.

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