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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 July 1999

Q: Which dinosaur had the longest tail?
from Lynne F., Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; July 31, 1999

A: The diplodocid dinosaurs (like Diplodocus and Ultrasauros) had the longest tails of any dinosaurs. Diplodocus had a 43 ft. long whip-like tail.

Q: what dinosaurs could swim
from Jan, richmond, VA, USA; July 30, 1999

A: I just answered this question a few days ago; scroll down to find the answer.

Q: What dinosaur name means "stiff lizard"?
from Ben S., Maynard, MA, USA; July 29, 1999

A: Ankylosaurus means fused or stiff lizard (from the Greek ankylosis), or crooked (from the Greek ankylos). For more information on Ankylosaurus, click here.

Q: i'm doing a quiz at work and would appreciate some help. Q. Name a prehistoric fish that was still around in 1952 and may still be alive today?
many thanx

from Steve W., Lndon, England; July 28, 1999

A: The Coelacanth. For more information on this "living fossil," click here.

Q: What type of dinosaur was from Australia?
from dinosaurus.F; July 28, 1999

A: For a list of dinosaurs from Australia, click here.

Q: 22 million tears ago there was a shellfish, like a snail y different sizes. The shell was a spiral shape with waves on its surface. What is the name?
from William S., Santiago, Chile; July 28, 1999

A: There were lots of shell fish with that description, but a common one that is collected by fossil enthusiasts is the amonite - an ancestor of the nautilus. For more information on ammonites, click here.

Q: what is the name of a scientist who studies dinosaurs
from ?; July 28, 1999

A: Paleontologists study fossils; some specialize in dinosaurs. For some short biographies of famous paleontologists and fossil hunters, click here.

Q: Most dinosaurs ate plants. what is another word for plant-eater?
from Sabrina F., Cinccinatti, Ohio, USA; July 28, 1999

A: Herbivores. For more information on dinosaur diets, click here.

Q: How do Palientologists tell the difference between Dinosaur poop and other rocks? They look the same to me.
from Brigid C., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; July 27, 1999

A: On the outside, they do look the same and are also made out of rock, but coprolites (fossilized poop) have an internal structure that includes the fossilized digested remains of a meal. For example, a recently found T. rex coprolite included crushed Triceratops bones. A rock wouldn't contain these.

Q: When did the plesiosaurs live?
from Anida A., Plantation, Florida, USA; July 27, 1999

A: Different Plesiosaurs lived throughout the Mesozoic Era, from the early Jurassic period to the end of the Cretaceous period. For more information on Plesiosaurs, click here.

Q: What would you do if someone asked you a question that had nothing to do with dinosaurs such as "Where do you live??" Now, I have a correction. In the answer of question #1 in the dino quiz you wrote "...and the larger sauropods were most likely cold-blooded" instead of "...and the finned ones like Spinosaurus, Ouranosaurus, and Amargasaurus were most likely cold-blooded."
from Jimmy L., GA, USA; July 25, 1999

A: #1. It depends on the question. #2 Good point, (I mention the sail-backed dinosaurs in the section on dinosaur metabolism in dinosaur anatomy). I'll add them to the quiz answer!

Q: What was the last Dinosaur living Before they were all extinced?
from Jarred J., Monroe, GA, USA; July 25, 1999

A: There are many dinosaurs that lived until the K-T extinction. No one knows which genus lasted the longest. Radioisotope dating only gives dates for the layers of igneous rock (lava) that bracket that particular fossil, so and the dates for a dinosaur may be much too big. On the other hand, the dates may be too short, since other specimen of this fossil may have lived at different times.

For a list of the dinosaurs that lived during the late Cretaceous period (about 65 million years ago), click here. Some of the last dinosaurs included T. rex, Protoceratops, Anatotitan, Ankylosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Maiasaura, Ornithomimus, and many, many others.

Q: Are carnivores "warm" blooded? If dinosaurs are "warm" blooded, do they have fur, feathers, or scales? If tyranosaurus rex was "warm" blooded, how come he has scales?????
from Jeffery P, Campbell, CA, USA; July 24, 1999

A: Carnivores are not always warm-blooded. Dinosaurs had scales, but some very late theropods also had bristles, protofeathers, and/or feathers (in fact, feathers are modified scales). No one knows if T. rex was warm- or cold-blooded. For more information on the dinosaurs' metabolisms, click here.

Q: What are some of the dinosaurs that swim?
from Dana P., Midlothian, VA, USA; July 24, 1999

A: None of the dinosaurs lived mostly in the water. During the time of the dinosaurs, Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, Mosasaurs (and others) were reptiles that lived in the water.

Some dinosaurs may have known how to swim, but we don't know which. Good candidates may have been fish-eating dinosaurs like Baryonyx. Think of modern day cats; most cannot and will not swim, but tigers are great (and willing) swimmers. If all we had was the fossil record of these creatures, we wouldn't know anything about thier aquatic habits.

Q: What are the characteristics that define a meat-eating dinosaur from a plant eating dinosaur? (besides the sharp teeth)
from Kim T., Northville, MI, USA; July 22, 1999

A: Meat-eating dinosaurs (and other meat-eaters) need a way to find meat (frequently by having acute senses, especially vision, smell, and hearing), a way to catch the meat (the ability to move fast), a way to kill it (sharp teeth, claws), and a way to eat it (sharp teeth).

Plant-eaters often have larger guts (needed to digest the tough plant material).

For more information on dinosaurs and their diets, click here.

Q: How high and far could the Tyrannosaurus Rex jump?
from Mitchel V., Wyoming, Ontario, Canada; July 22, 1999

A: There's no definitive evidence about any dinosaur's ability to jump. I doubt that large dinosaurs (like T. rex) could jump (think of modern-day large animals; they generally don't jump). For more information on Tyrannosaurus rex's locomotion, click here.

Q: What would be the plural of brachiosaurus, i.e. Once upon a time there were 3 brachiosaurus.......?????? My friend teaches kindergarten and asked me for this answer..can you help???? There is no indication in any dictionary or reference books that I have !!!
from Karen, Canyon Country, CA, USA; July 19, 1999

A: Good question. Since dinosaurs are known by their latin names (like Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, the same form is used for both singular and plural. For example, "three Brachiosaurus were at the lake." Since this often sounds odd (even though correct), I usually avoid the issue by refering to multiple dinosaurs in other ways, like "three Brachiosaurus skeletons" or "two Brachiosaurus adults."

Q: which dinosaur was the least intelligent.
from Jose E., Richmond, VA, USA; July 19, 1999

A: The primitive dinosaurs belonging to the group sauropodomorpha (which included Massospondylus, Riojasaurus, and others) were among the least intelligent of the dinosaurs. For more information on dinosaur intelligence, click here.

Q: What is a meat eating dinosour called?
from ?; July 19, 1999

A: In general, meat-eating animals are called carnivores. All the meat-eating dinosaurs belong to the group called theropods. For more information on dinosaur diets, click here.

from Shawn M., Delhi, Ontario, Canada; July 19, 1999

A: The dinosaurs died out almost 65 million years before people evolved, so dinosaurs couldn't eat people. If they had lived together, some meat-eating dinosaurs certainly would have tried (most dinosaurs, however, were plant-eaters).

Q: Will sharks eat dead flesh?
from Sheena M., Waco, GA, USA; July 18, 1999

A: Many species of shark will scavenge carcasses.

Q: Where can we go for a day or two that I can visit a kid's dinosaur attraction?
from West Virginia, USA; July 18, 1999

A: Some interesting dinosaur spots include: Dinosaur National Monument, located in northwest Colorado and northeast Utah, Haddonfield, New Jersey, where the first American dinosaur was found, Dinosaur Provincial Park in Patricia, Alberta, Canada. For others, search the web using s search engine like or

Q: Where would Washington Be on Pangaea
from Daniel G., Gig Harbor, Washington, USA; July 13, 1999

A: On this map, the state of Washington (which is also where I live) is near the end of the red line labeled North America.

Q: Give me information on a extinct life form in the Mesozic Era? It's Genus, species, common name, wnen extinct (era, Perriod? What cause extinction to the life form? Describe this organism?
from Tasha; July 15, 1999

A: For information on lots of extinct animals from the Mesozoic Era, click here.

Q: Where is there info on The Pteradactyl dinosaur????????
from Carmen R., Cleveland, Ohio, USA; July 13, 1999

A: Click here for information on Pterodactyls.

Q: Is Anatosaurus a meat eater?
from Patrick M., Greenville, RI, USA; July 12, 1999

A: No, Anatosaurus was a plant-eater (a duck-billed dinosaur). Also, Anatosaurus is an obsolete name for Edmontosaurus. For more information on Anatosaurus/Edmontosaurus, click here.

Q: What was on the earth before dinosaurs? How were dinosaurs started?
from Bryan G, Holland, PA, USA; July 10, 1999

A: Many creatures lived before the dinosaurs, including bacteria, ammonoids, corals, sponges, fish (including sharks), amphibians, reptiles, pelycosaurs (like Dimetrodon), insects, etc. There's more information on the Geologic Time Chart; scroll down before the Mesozoic Era (which is when the dinosaurs lived) to see the diverse array of creatures that lived.

Dinosaurs evolved from other reptiles (archosaurs) during the Triassic period, about 228 million years ago.

Reptilia cladogram

Q: What is the name of a dinosaur that can swim?
from Teresa M, Richmond, VA, USA; July 10, 1999

A: None of the dinosaurs lived mostly in the water. During the time of the dinosaurs, Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, Mosasaurs (and others) were reptiles that lived in the water.

Some dinosaurs may have known how to swim, but we don't know which. Good candidates may have been fish-eating dinosaurs like Baryonyx. Think of modern day cats; most cannot and will not swim, but tigers are great (and willing) swimmers. If all we had was the fossil record of these creatures, we wouldn't know anything about thier aquatic habits.

Q: What was the Dimetrodon, (Die-MET-ruh-don), and what was the climate during it's time? Also what did Dimetrodon eat? did man exist then too? I am waiting for your response, thank-you!
from Rachelle J., Sunrise, Florida, USA; July 7, 1999

A: For information on the swamp-dwelling carnivore Dimetrodon, click here. People evolved millions of years after Dimetrodon went extinct.

Q: Were seimosauruses bigger or longer than the blue whale
from Torin G., Charleston, SC, USA; July 4, 1999

A: The blue whale is bigger (more massive) than any other known animal. A few dinosaurs (like Argentinosaurus and Seismosaurus) may have been a bit longer than it, but the blue whale is much more massive. The huge dinosaurs had a lot of their length in their skinny necks and tails. For a picture comparing a lot of animals, click here.

Q: were there any diseases at the time of t-rex?
from Aaron L., Martinsburg, WV, USA; July 3, 1999

A: Yes, as long as there are organisms, things can go wrong with them. A T. rex was found with the metabolic disease gout in its hands.

Q: What kind of Dinosaurs did a Velociraptor eat, and what Dinosaur did eat the most? How would a Velociraptor kill it's pray ?
from Sam S., Stewertsville, NJ, USA; July 2, 1999

A: The only way we can known what a dinosaur ate is if fossilized stomach contents are found, if fossilized dung is found, or if two dinosaurs are found together and they died fighting. This only tells you one meal (or potential meal), and not necessarily their most frequent meal. Fossils of a Velociraptor and a Protoceratops were found together, so presumably, Velociraptor ate Protoceratops. Other favorite meals of Velociraptor are unknown, but you can make educated guesses based on what other dinosaurs lived at the same time and place (taking into account their size and ferocity). For a list of other dinosaurs that lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 85 - 80 million years ago in Mongolia, Asia, click here.

Velociraptor probably killed its prey with its two sickle-shaped hand claws.

Q: How many species of dinosaurs exist ?
from Maximo D., Buenos Aires, Argentina; July 2, 1999

A: See the frequntly asked dinosaur question #11 above.

Q: Can a pack of Velociraptor kill a t-rex?
from Sam S., Stewertsville, NJ, USA; July 2, 1999

A: No; they couldn't have even met. They lived on different continenets and were also separated by millions of years. For more information on Velociraptor, click here; for more information on T. rex, click here.

Q: 1.Is it true that Velociraptor's killer claw was 7 in. long? 2.Was Velociraptor the deadliest dinosaur?
from Ryan P., Stewertsville, New Jersey, USA; July 1, 1999

A: Yes, Velociraptor's sickle-shaped claw was 3.5 inch (9 cm) long. Utahraptor, which was a larger version of Velociraptor may have been deadlier; but the deadliest dinosaur is only conjecture. For more information on Velociraptor, click here. For more information on Utahraptor, click here.

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