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Zoom Dinosaurs
Current Questions Top 16 Questions Old Questions Ask A Question
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By Date By Type of Dinosaur General Dino. Qns. Qns. About Other Animals Geological Era Qns.

General Questions about Dinosaurs

Q: Why are dinosaurs so big?
from Robert F., Lindasy, CA, USA; December 30, 1998

A: Most dinosaurs weren't giants, but no one knows why some of them were so huge.

Q: Do all dinosaurs have tails? Please tell me the general shape of the dinosaurs.
from Archana G, North York, Ontario, Canada; December 27, 1998

A: Yes, they all had tails. For pictures of all the major types of dinosaurs, click here.

Q: Hi, I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up and I want to know where most dinosaur fossils are found.
from ??; December 23, 1998

A: Fossils have been found all over the world and on every continent. Large concentrations have been found where it is easiest to recover the fossils, that is, where Mesozoic Era sediment is exposed, like badlands. In N. America, huge numbers of dinosaurs have been found in the western rockies, in Alberta, Montana, Colorado, and Colorado. Recently, many theropods have been found in Lioning, China. For more locations, click here.

Q: Why do dinosaurs eat plants?
from ??; December 23, 1998

A: Most dinosaurs were plant-eaters. They were plant-eaters for the same reasons that modern herbivores (plant-eaters) eat plants. Plants are what they are are capable of obtaining and digesting. For more information on dinosaur diets, click here.

Q: Were humans and dinosaurs ever alive at the same time?
from GS, Houston, TX, USA; December 21, 1998

A: No.

Q: how much did a Sauropod eat?
from Philip L. A., Aurora, CO, USA; December 20, 1998

A: A tremendous amount. No one knows exactly how much they ate. The amount depends on the metabolic rate of the dinosaur (the large sauropods were probably cold-blooded, but this is not known definitely) and the caloric content of the plant material that was eaten.

Q: How long did dinosaurs live?
from ?; December 17, 1998

A: See the section on Dinosaur life-spans.

Q: what was the fastest dinosaur
from Sean H., Bloomington, IN, USA; December 18, 1998

A: The fastest dinosaurs probably weren't any faster than modern-day land animals. Dinosaur speeds are deduced from fossilized trackway finds, and from looking at the dinosaurs' morphology (shape and structure). The speediest dinosaurs were bird-like bipedal carnivores (theropods) with long, slim hind-limbs and light bodies (hollow bones and a streamlined body):
  • Dromiceiomimus,(means "emu mimic"), an ornithomimid, had long legs, small head, toothless beak, weighed about 220 pounds (100 kg), and was 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long).
  • Gallimimus and Ornithomimus (means "bird mimic") -were ostrich-like oviraptor with toothless beaks, long legs, and hollow bones. They could probably run as fast as an ostrich, , which can run up to 43 mph (70 kph).
  • Coelophysis (means "hollow form") - from the late Triassic period, had very sharp, serrated teeth and hunted in packs.
  • Velociraptor (means "speedy thief") - from the Cretaceous period, had very sharp teeth and retractable claws on its feet .

Q: What was the K/T mass extinction?
from Kevin W., Dunkirk; December 16, 1998

A: The K-T Extinction was a mass extinction; an event in which an enormous number of species died out. This mass extinction was probably caused by an asteroid impact and occurred between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. For more information, click here.

Q: Which carnivore was the most ferocious
from Jake M., Concord, New Hampshire, USA; December 15, 1998

A: Probably T. rex.

Q: How many dinosaurs were there in the Mesozoic Era
from ??; December 14, 1998

A: All the non-avian dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic Era. No one knows exactly how large the dinosaur population was. Scientists known of about roughly 600-700 valid genera of dinosaurs from the fossil record.

Q: Are stratum the same thickness everywhere in nature?
from Giovanni S., Hollywood, CA, USA; December 13, 1998

A: No.

Q: what state was the first three skeletons of dinosaurs found
from bekka1; December 11, 1998

A: The first dinosaurs were not found in the United States. For information on the first dinosaur discoveries, click here.

Q: Are Dinosaurs warm or cold blooded and why?
from Sam C., Terre Haute, IN, USA; December 8, 1998

A: See the page on this in the section on dinosaur Anatomy.

Q: How come they can't find out what caused the extinction?
from Jason F., Syosset, NY, USA; December 8, 1998

A: They pretty much have; see the Top Ten Questions.

Q: What how big are the eggs and how many do each dinosaur lay? please reply quickly or add it to your site I am doing a project.
from Desiree K., Carlinville, Illinois, USA; December 7, 1998

A: Although a lot of dinosaur eggs have been found, it is almost impossible to know which dinosaur they came from. Sometimes, the eggs are found together with adults or hatchlings or, more rarely, embryos, and then the eggs can be connected to a dinosaur. For a chart of dinosaur egg information, check out the section on Dinosaur Eggs and Reproduction.

Q: Were did some dinosaurs live
from Jason K., Clarksville, Arkansas, USA; December 7, 1998

A: For lists of where dinosaur (and some other fossils) were found, click here.

Q: Tyrannosaurus was alway's my favorite dinosaur since I was a young kid. The question that I wanted to ask is the way families work in Ornithischian and Saurischian families , but when I went to them I knew that the chart are diferent for example Spinosaurus does not belong to Carnosauria family, Spinosaurus belongs to it's own family, Spinosauria.
from Steven C., Barachois, Quebec, Canada; December 3, 1998

A: Classification is an incredibly interesting and useful part of paleontology. The classification of dinosaurs is being reorganized all the time as new discoveries are made. A few years ago, cladistics (a new, evolutionary method of classifying organisms) revolutionized the way paleotologists grouped dinosaur families. In addition to this turmoil is the differing viewpoints among paleontologists about the classification about many of the little-known or unusual genera. These different schools of thought about the exact lineage of the dinosaurs leads to a lot of confusion and some disagreement.

Many old classification schemes (but not all) use Carnosaria to include massive theropods like Tyrannosaurus. One excellent reference, the book The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs by Fastovsky and Weishampel (1996, Cambridge Univ. Press) has in depth discussions of dinosaur classification. For large theropods, it uses Thomas Holtz's 1993 revised cladogram in which the group Carnosaur is disbanded and put in the group tetanurae.

Q: How long were dinosaurs around?
from Brent R., Allenwood, NJ; December 2, 1998

A: They evolved about 228 million years ago (during the Triassic period, toward the beginning of the Mesozoic Era) and went extinct 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period (also the end of the MeEsozoic Era).

Q: How long were dinosaurs around?
from Brent R., Allenwood, NJ; December 2, 1998

A: They evolved about 228 million years ago (during the Triassic period, toward the beginning of the Mesozoic Era) and went extinct 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period (also the end of the MeEsozoic Era).

Q: Why did the people who made Jurassic Park mistake Velociraptor for its cosin Utahraptor?
from Damian R., Carmal, Indiana, USA; December 1, 1998

A: I guess Velociraptor wasn't scary enough for them, so they just made it a lot bigger than it actually was.

Q: What is the biggest dinosaur? What is the smallest dinosaur?
from Calli E., Rachel G., Paige L., and Stephanie, Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA; December 1, 1998

A: See the Top Ten Questions.

Q: How did the dinosaurs die?
from Aaron C., Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA; December 1, 1998

A: See the Top Ten Questions.

Q: What dinosaur was discovered first?
from Garrett H., Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA; December 1, 1998

A: See the Top Ten Questions.

Q: could somthing like the Lost world really happen?
from Tyler W., Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA; December 1, 1998

A: Probably not, because DNA would probably decay over that long a time (at least 65 million years), even when preserved in amber.

Q: This is slightly off-subject, but I have a five year old daughter who has been a dinosaur fanatic since the age of one. She wants a dinosaur watch for Christmas this year, but I'm having much difficulty coming up with one. If you have any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for you time...
from Shannon H., Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; November 14, 1998

A: I don't know where to get a dinosaur watch, but I'll try to fiind one. Also, we're opening a Dinosaur Toy Store here at Zoom Dinosaurs very soon. It will offer museum-quality toys and kits.

Q: I'm a freshmen in College doing a research paper on whether or not dinosaurs were warm blooded (endothermic) or cold blooded (exothermic). I would appreciate it if you could help me with this question.
Thank you for your time :)

from Sarah H., Portland, Oregon, USA; November 13, 1998

A: For a page on this subject, click here.

Q: I know most scientists think that dinosaurs died from a meteorite, but what would have happened to sharks, corcodiles, the still-living creatures that also lived before? I think the dinosaurs died because it got really cold, and the sharks just went to the heat "vents" in the ocean bottom. I'm kind of confused. Did crocs and sharks die and just appear again?
from kristi, ida, mi, USA; November 14, 1998

A: During the K-T extinction, many other animals went extinct besides the dinosaurs, including many marine species. In fact, about half of the marine invertebrate species went extinct during this mass extinction. Many species of sharks and crocodiles survived this extinction, but not all. During the Mesozoic, for example,there were 50 foot long crocodilians (now extinct). Modern-day sharks and crocodiles are descendants of the survivors.

Q: where exactly did the dinosaurs mainly live?
from kd, Montvallo, AL, USA; November 12, 1998

A: They lived on every continent on Earth. For a list of where each of the dinosaurs were found, click here.

Q: My sister loves dinosaurs and asked me if it was posable for humans to to bring them back to life? I told her I would find out.
from Jared, Sparta, TN, USA; November 12, 1998

A: Probably not, since the DNA would most likely decay over the course of that much time (even when encased in amber like in Jurassic Park).

Q: I'm doing a report on Dinosaurs and how they met their demise and I was just wondering how they died. What time period did the dinosaurs really die off at? Also did the dinosaurs really die of the Volcano-greenhouse theory or was it, because of a giant meteor that did them in? If you could please answer these in a timely fashion it would be very nice. Thanks for all your help!
from Jason M., Conifer, Colorado, USA; November 11, 1998

A: See the page on the K-T extinction and the section on extinction.

Q: where is five states in the u.s dinosaurs lived
from Floyd R., orlando, USA; November 11, 1998

A: For a page that lists where the dinosaurs have been found in the US, click here.

Q: Define the word sauros.
from Jim T., USA; November 10, 1998

A: Lizard.

Q: Is it true that since the raptor may have been a scavenger that it sometimes ate it's young? (My brother told me this was true and I don't believe him...)
from Boris J., Bay City. Michigan, USA; November 10, 1998

A: Many carnivores (not just scavengers) are cannibals and even eat the young of the species. Modern-day examples include sharks, lions, and polar bears.

Q: Is there evidence for dinosaur nesting? If so, what kind of nests did they make?
from Adrienne P.; November 10, 1998

Yes, for more information and examples of nests, click here.

Q: When did dinosaurs first appear on earth?
from Linda, Mortdale, NSW, Australia; November 9, 1998

A: At least 228 million years ago. Eoraptor is the earliest-known dinosaur.

Q: What do the suffixes oidea, sauria,and ini mean?
from Raptorius, N.Y., New York, USA; November 9, 1998

A: Oidea means "approximately like or resembling" and sauria menas "lizard". I have no idea what ini means (or even where it is used).

Q: What were the damages to the environment of the dinosaurs after the asteroid crash.
from L.B. and V.M., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; November 6, 1998

A: Short-term effects could include dust clouds encircling the Earth, decreased sunlight hitting the Earth, cooler temperatures, acid rain, tsunamis, storms, localized fires (near the impact site), etc. Longer tem effects might include changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the oxygen levels in the seas (due to a change in the amount of photosynthesis occurring because of massive plant extinctions). For more information about the K-T extinction, click here.

Q: Which dinosaur had a second brain where his tail began????
from Elizabeth W., Red Wing, Minnesota, USA; November 4, 1998

A: See the page on Dinosaur brains (the section you want is toward the bottom of the page).

Q: What are the two main groups of dinosaurs?
from Beth W., Red Wing, Minnesota, USA; November 4, 1998

A: Saurischians and Ornithischians. For more information on these groups, click here.

Q: If Dinosaurs could not fly how come birds can, and what about Sinosauropteryx?
from Rasmus K., Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark; November 4, 1998

A: Although cladistically (using the taxonomic system of clades), dinosaurs ARE birds (in the same way that we are apes), when people refer to dinosaurs they generally mean the extinct, Mesozoic Era, non-flying diapsid reptiles.

Sinosauropteryx prima (121-135 million years ago) had a coat of downy, feather-like fibers that were perhaps the forerunner of feathers. It was a ground-dwelling dinosaur had short arms, hollow bones, a three-fingered hand, and was about the size of a turkey. Protarchaeopteryx robusta was another feathered dinosaur with long, symmetrical feathers on arms and tail, but it probably could not fly. For more bird-like dinosaurs, click here.

Q: What are the names of some dinosaurs that lived in the Jurassic period?
from k. transell, n.s.w., STATE, Australia; November 3, 1998

A: See the page on the Jurassic period.

Q: Can you name some dinosaurs that lived in the water?
from Kaleena W., Woodland Park, Colorado, USA; November 15, 1998

A: No dinosaurs lived exclusively in the water. Plesiosaurs, Mosasaurs, and Ichthyosaurs were water-adapted reptiles from the Mesozoic Era (but were not dinosaurs).

Q: How do scientists know what color the dinosaurs where when all the flesh rots away?
from Amanda, Fall River, MA, USA; November 16, 1998

A: They don't, which is why no one knows what colors the dinosars were.

Q: I'm doing a report on dinosaur evolution. Could you give me any information on how and why dinosaurs evolve. Also what evidence supports this. Thanks...
from Dan S., New York, NY, USA; November 15, 1998

A: Dinosaurs evolved from the crocodile-like thecodonts. For a good page on dinosaur evolution from the Royal Tyrrell Museum, click here.

Q: what continent was the dinosaur not found on
from John K.; November 20, 1998

A: Dinosaur fossils have been found on all the continents. For a listing of where fossils have been found, click here.

Q: what is belived to be the fastest moving dinosaur ever to live?
from ??; November 20, 1998

A: The speediest dinosaurs were the bird-like, bipedal carnivores (theropods) with long, slim hind-limbs, and light bodies. These fast dinosaurs probably weren't any faster than modern-day land animals. For example, Ornithomimus was a fast, agile dinosaur,probably running about as quickly as an ostrich , which can run up to 43 mph (70 kph). For more details, see the page on dinosaur extremes.

Q: I Don't really Know what bird-hipped or lizard-hipped bones look like.
from Jodi A., St. Johns, Antigua; November 21, 1998

A: See this page.

Q: what or how long is a dinosaur lactation period
from k.j.r., Trinidad and Tobago; November 23, 1998

A: Dinosaurs didn't lactate. Only mammals do.

Q: Were there any dinosaur fossils found in the southeastern part of the United States? If so, where?
from AJ K., Macon, GA, USA; November 22, 1998

A: Yes. For more details, click here.

Q: My name is Joe, I'm 14 years old. I heard that the example of an insect trapped in amber, as in Jurassic Park, could not have happened because there were no trees that produced sap during the time of the dinosaurs, is that true?
from Joe, Thornton, Colorado, USA; November 23, 1998

A: No, there were sap-producing trees, like conifers, during the Mesozoic Era. The DNA, however, would most likely decompose over the intervening 65 plus million years.

Q: who was the littlest dinosaur.
from ?; November 25, 1998

A: Compsognathus.

Q: what is the biggest dinosaur? who was the first dinosaur
from Calli E . and Rachel G . Karrie M ., Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA; November 24, 1998

A: For the biggest, see the section on extreme dinosaurs. The earliest was Eoraptor.

Q: WHAT was THE First Dinosaurs they found ?
from Crysta B., Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA; November 24, 1998

A: For a page on the first dinosaur fossil discoveries, click here.

Q: What do fossils look like?
from Brandon G., Savannah, GA, USA; November 28, 1998

A: Fossils have the same shape that the original item had, but their color, density, and texture vary widely. A fossil's color depends on what minerals formed it. Fossils are usually heavier than the original item since they are formed entirely of minerals (they're essentially stone that has replaced the original structure). Many fossils look like like ordinary rocks, but some are more exotic, including one fossilized dinosaur bone, a Kakuru tibia, which is an opal!

Q: How do you get to know how the dinosaurs shapes are?????
from Benjamin W., San Jose, CA, USA; November 30, 1998

A: The general shape of a dinosaur is determined by putting the fossilized skeleton together. More particular details, like how it stood (tail up or dragging, head level t the ground or upright) or where plates are positioned are harder to determine and other methods are used, like an engineering analysis, or exactly how certain bone joints work. For example, it is not known with certainty how Stegosaurus' plates were positioned or if Spinosaurus had spikes or a sail on its back.

Q: What dinosaurs lived in the South East U.S.?
from Kayle S., Santa Fe, NM, USA; November 30, 1998

A: See this page on dinosaurs in North America.

Q: Hi! I want to know what the largest ornithischian dinosaurs were. Were they ornithopods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, or ceratopsians?? When did they live?? Name a few genuses of them.
from Jimmy L., Georgia, USA; November 21, 1998

A: See my handy-dandy chart that has all this information (and lots more)!

Q: I am doing a report on living fossils and my friends say Godzilla is real I wanted to know if he is real?
Brett T., greensburg, PA, USA; November 20, 1998

A: No.

Q: When and where was the first dinosaur skeleton found in North America?
from Danyelle H., Sarasota, FL, USA; November 17, 1998

A: The first dinosaur fossil found in the US was a thigh bone found by Dr. Caspar Wistar, in Gloucester County, New Jersey, in 1787 (it had since been lost, but more fossils were later found in the area). For more details, click here to see this page.

from Andrew S., Glasgow, Scotland, Britain; November 16, 1998

A: Thousands of fossilized dinosaur eggs have been found.

Q: What is the biggest dinosaur ever discovered (It's been bugging me).
from Dino-Joe, Haubsadt, IN, USA; November 4, 1998

Q: what is the largest dinosaur found
from j. buck, rochford, england; November 4, 1998

A: Probably Argentinosaurus. For more huge sauropods, see the page on extreme dinosaurs.

Q: What color where the dinosaurs
from rob, Brisbane, qld, Australia; October 20, 1998

A: No one knows.

Q: Were dinos smart?? how big were they??
from Korey W., Chico, CA, USA; October 21, 1998

A: For a page on dinosaur intelligence, click here. For a page on dinosaur sizes, click here.

Q: how did the dinosaurs drink if thay were so tall?
from Jesse H., Stockbridge, GA, USA; October 19, 1998

A: The tall dinosaurs probably drank water like giraffes do.

Q: Could you please tell me which dinosaur had two brains (if any)?
from David H., Timaru, New Zealand; October 18, 1998

A: It used to be thought that some sauropods and Stegosaurids had a second brain at the base of the tail. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area, containing nerves and fatty tissue. This spinal enlargement was larger than the animal's tiny brain and may have controlled the animal's hind legs and tail.

Q: How did scientists come up with the name of dinosaurs?
from Mr. E., National Park, NJ, USA; October 15, 1998

A: Sir Richard Owen coined the word dinosaur, meaning "fearfully great lizard" in 1842. New dinosaurs are named by the paleontologist who determines that it represents a new genera. There are many different ways that they are named. Sometimes the dinosaur is given a name that describes something unusual about it (like Corythosaurus, which means helmet lizard, or Triceratops, which means 3-horned head). Some are named after the location where they are found (like Edmontosaurus or Albertosaurus). Some are named after a person (like Lambeosaurus).

Q: How long does it take to go through the whole process of sedimentary fossilization?
from Samantha S., Chillicothe, Missouri, USA; October 14, 1998

A: Millions of years. For more information on how fossils form, click here.

Q: What dinosaurs lived in Toronto?
from Hunter B, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; October 12, 1998

A: I don't know of any dinosaurs found in Ontario. To see a page of dinosaurs from Canada, click here.

Q: I need to gather as much proof as possible about the evidence about the Asteroid theory of extinction. Is the theory of volcanoes causing the extinction connected to the one about the asteroids? If so, how?
from Mira G., Cliffwood, NJ, USA; October 8, 1998

A: The late Cretaceous was a time of high volcanism. These eruptions added a lot of greenhouse gases and dust into the atmosphere, cooling the Earth. The additional environmental changes caused by an asteroid impact may have pushed many species over the edge, causing the K-T mass extinction.

For more information on the Alvarez Extinction Theory, click here.

Q: We are studying Egypt and we would like to know if anyone has ever found any traces at all of dinosaurs in Egypt or bones with Egyptian pottery around it! Thank You! BR
from Breezy R., Sulphur, LA, USA; October 8, 1998

A: Many dinosaurs have been found in Egypt, including: Aegyptosaurus, Bahariasaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Dicraeosaurus, Erectopus, Majungasaurus, and Spinosaurus.

Dinosaurs lived from about 225 to 65 million years ago. People evolved about 200,000 years ago, almost 65 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct. Therefore, traces of people (like ancient pottery) are not found together with dinosaur fossils - see the chart below.
Dinosaur timeline

Q: have they infectious diseases ?
from David, Lima; October 7, 1998

A: Dinosaurs probably did get infectious diseases - every living thing does.

Q: What was the biggest dinosaur?
from Thomas S., Detroit, MI, USA; October 6, 1998

A: See the section in "Extreme Dinosaurs."

Q: How do you estimate mass sizes of dinosaurs? I've just done an experiment involving water displacement and scale dinosaur models, Are there better methods and what inaccuracies are involved with water displacement method? I also need a mass estimate for cetiosaurus, mamenchisaurus, muttaburrasaurus and scelidosaurus?
from Jeremy D., Aukland, NZ; October 2, 1998

A: Water displacement is pretty accurate - you can determine the exact volume of water displaced by the model. The volume is mutiplied by the scale of the model and the estimated density of the animal to come up with an estimated weight.

The largest inaccuracy is introduced in estimating the density of the dinosaur. Different dinosaurs had very different densities. Some were relatively light per unit volume because of their hollow bones while others had dense, thick bones, making them much heavier per unit volume. I don't have reliable estimates of the weights you want.

Q: Which dinosaur was actually the biggest and meanest meat eater?
from Orin J., Sulphur, Louisiana, USA; October 2, 1998

A: Dinosaurs probably weren't "mean" and they didn't have any complicated emotions. They, like other reptiles, had simple brains. They may have been ferocious, especially when they were hungry or in other basic, instinctual modes. I would guess that T. rex was the most ferocious meat-eater. Although Carcharadontosaurus and Giganotosaurus were slightly taller, T. rex had a bigger brain (which can be the deadliest weapon of all), was more massive, and had more powerful teeth.

Q: What was the oldest dinosaur ever found? What was the most recent dino fossil ever found? Thank you and please answer as quickly as you can! TEACHER Approval
from Jessica W., Sulphur, Louisiana, USA; October 2, 1998

A: The oldest dinosaur found was Eoraptor - it is about 228 million years old. For more information on Eoraptor, click here.

The most recent fossil found is hard to determine. There are many digs going on all around the world every day, and many discoveries are made. The most exciting place right now is Liaoning Province, in northestern China , where many bird-like dinosaurs and early birds have been found lately. For more information on new finds, see the section on Dinosaur News.

Q: What was the oldest dinosaur ever found? What was the most recent dino fossil ever found? Thank you and please answer as quickly as you can! TEACHER Approval
from Jessica W., Sulphur, Louisiana, USA; October 2, 1998

A: The oldest dinosaur found was Eoraptor - it is about 228 million years old. For more information on Eoraptor, click here.

The most recent fossil found is hard to determine. There are many digs going on all around the world every day, and many discoveries are made. The most exciting place right now is Liaoning Province, in northestern China , where many bird-like dinosaurs and early birds have been found lately. For more information on new finds, see the section on Dinosaur News.

Q: who came first humans or dinosaurs
from Rita D. M., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; September 29, 1998

A: Dinosaurs. They evolved over 228 million years ago and died out 65 million years ago. People didn't evolve until about 200,000 years ago.
Dinosaur timeline

Q: I have to write a paper about whether or not dinosaurs were stupid because they had such small sized brains compared to the size of their bodies. Do you have any information or an opinion to share on this?
from Robyn H., Greensboro, NC, USA; September 29, 1998

A: Any group of animals that can survive for over 150 million years isn't stupid. Click here for a page on dinosaur brains in the "Anatomy and Behavior" section.

Q: What does the word sauros mean?
from Amanda S., Linden, Tennessee, USA; September 28, 1998

A: Sauros is Greek for lizard.

Q: What was the first dinosaur found?
from Mac M., Sewickley, PA, USA; September 26, 1998

A: The first dinosaur fossils that were found (and identified as large, extinct reptiles) were Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus. For a page on the first fossils finds, click here.

Q: What was the biggest and the heaviest dinosaur called? I also want to know how fast this dinosaur was and whether it was a herbivore or carnivore.Can you send me a picture of this too? Thanks!!!
from Dhruv.S., New Delhi, Delhi, India; September 22, 1998

A: The biggest dinosaurs were all herbivores. For details, see the section on extreme dinosaurs. For information on speed, look in the section on "Locomotion" within "Anatomy and Behavior."

from Jordan D., Ashland, Kentucky, USA; September 21, 1998

A: The biggest dinosaur eggs are about a foot long and are probably from Sauropods (which were the biggest dinosaurs). It is very hard to determine which species an egg belongs to unless there is an embryo within it, and this rarely happens because the soft tissue of the embruo usually rots and does not fossilize. The smallest eggs I can find a reference to are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and belongs to the plant-eater Mussaurus.

Q: Could Giganotosaurus run away from Utahraptor if they met together?
from Brandon, Singapore City, Singapore; September 18, 1998

A: They could never have met. They were separated by both time (millions of years) and water. Giganotosaurus lived in South America during the late Jurassic period. Utahraptor lived in North America during the early Cretaceous period. Back then, there was no land connecting North and South America. Utharaptor was probably much faster than Giganotasaurus, but Giganotosaurus was bigger.

Q: Do dinosaurs ever watch their babies.
from Sandy S.; September 14, 1998

A: Some did, some didn't. Maiasaura, whose name means "good mother" was a dinosaur that made nests for its eggs and then cared for its young. For more information on Maiasaura, click here.

Q: Did meat eaters eat their babies.
from Casey M.; September 14, 1998

A: Some probably did, just as some modern carnivores do. Some dinosaurs have been found with the bones of small examples of the same species inside them. Some may have been cannibals; others may have been females who gave birth to live young (although this is speculative).

Q: -what diffences exist between dinosaurs and reptiles to day?2-Is there any creatures which become extinct or are nearly extinct? Thanking you
from ozan c, Christchurch, New Zealand; September 13, 1998

A: 1. Their stance is the most obvious difference. Dinosaurs were land-dwelling reptiles that walked with an erect stance. Their unique hip structure caused their legs to stick out under their bodies , and not sprawl out from the side (as with other reptiles).
2. Most creatures that ever existed are now extinct (this is also true for plants). Many modern creatures are on the verge of extinction, including plants and animals that are threatened by loss of habitat, poisoning, over hunting, and/or other causes. Common animals that are threatened with extinction include many of the larger whales, the larger sharks, the panda, the tiger, etc. Click here for the World Wide Fund for Nature that has extensive information about endangered and threatened species.

Q: What is the earliest feathered dinosaur, and what time period is it from?
from Donya Q., Marshall, VA, USA; September 13, 1998

A: The earliest feathered dinosaur yet found is Sinosauropteryx prima which is from about 121-135 million years ago. Sinosauropteryx had a coat of downy feather-like fibers that are perhaps the forerunner of feathers. This ground-dwelling dinosaur had short arms, hollow bones, a three-fingered hand, and was about the size of a turkey.

Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx are two other very early feathered dinosaurs found at the same location in China.

For more information, see this news item, or information pages on Caudipteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, and Sinosauropteryx.

Q: What family should belong some sauropods bones found in Puebla state, México in 1987? Is my understandig that I have to be a Geophysic in order to be a paleontologist. Is that true? There are paleontology schools in México? Why dinosaurs bones found in México seems to be of little interest from paleontogical comunity?
from Rafael Ch., Toluca, Estado de México, México; September 11, 1998

A: 1. The following dinosaur have been found in México: Albertosaurus, Apatosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Hypacrosaurus, Kritosaurus, Labocania, and Lambeosaurus. I don't which ones were found in Puebla state. For more North American fossils, broken down by region, click here.
2. There are lots of different ways to become a paleontoogist other than majoring in Geophysics.
3. I don't know anything about the University system in Mexico - you should ask your school advisor or counsellor about Mexican Universities. Since you're near college age, you might also try visiting a nearby college or University and going to the paleontology, biology or geology department and finding a friendly professor who can give you some professional guidance.
4. Mexican dinosaur bones are just as interesting as dinosaur bones found anywhere else. Dinosaur bones are ALWAYS interesting!!!!!!!!!

Q: Why are dinosaurs green?
from Charlotte F., stoke on trent, England; September 10, 1998

A: No one knows what colors the dinosaurs were. Their color is not preserved in the fossilization process.

Q: My Dad said he heard something recently about a major dinosaur graveyard which was discovered recently in, he thinks, South or North America. Can you give me more information about this?
from Jonathan V., Dublin, Ireland; September 8, 1998

A: Recently, a huge set of trackways were found in Bolivia, South America. For more information on these, click here. Dinosaur graveyards, also known as "bonebeds" have been found in Utah, Montana, Colorado, in the USA, Alberta, Canada, Liaoning Province, China, and other locations.

Q: what happend to the dinosaurs? how did they become extinct? where did the ankylosaurus live? where did all the dinosaurs live when did the dinosaurs live?
from Ciera L., Garland, Texas, USA; September 6, 1998

A: 1. They went extinct and some evolved into the birds. 2. See the section on extinction and the Alvarez Extinction theory. 3. Ankylosaur fossils have been found in what is now western North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and Asia. For more information on Ankylosaurs, click here. 4. Dinosaurs lived all over the world; their fossils have been found on every continent, including Antarctica.

Q: How does one become a paleontologist? What are good ways to prepare?
from Coutney J., Holiday, FL, USA; September 6, 1998

A: Take a lot of science classes, especially biology and geology - and read a lot. There are many wonderful books about paleontology that you can probably find at your school library or the public library.

Q: I know that the Paleontologist estimate the speed of a dino from their footprint .But how can they do it since they did not know the time the dino take to move one step .thank
from Ezel, Johore, Malaysia; September 6, 1998

A: In 1976, the British zoologist R. McNeill Alexander used elephants, birds, people, and many other living animals to formulate an equation relating an animal's speed, leg length, and its stride length. Solving for speed, the equation is:

Speed (m/sec)=0.25*(stride length)1.67*(leg length)-1.17*(gravitational constant)0.5

Although devised for living animals, this formaula is most likely fine for estimating dinosaur speeds. Stride length is measured from the trackway. Leg length is estimated using Alexander's equations relating hip height the length of the part of the foot that hits the ground. This is necessary because it is very difficult to determine which dinosaur made a set of tracks. (ref: Alexander, J.M., 1976, Estimates of speeds of dinosaurs, Nature 261: 129-130)

For more information on dinosaur locomotion, click here.

Q: What's the heaviest dinosaur besides Argentinosaurus that was 100 tons?
from Lyndon C., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; September 4, 1998

A: Argentinosaurus is probably one of the heaviest. It is difficult to estimate the weight of dinosaurs, and different paleontologists frequently give different weight estimates for the same dinosaur. The heaviest dinosaur was undoubtably one of the giant Jurassic sauropods, which included:

Q: Could you tell me if some dinosaurs were warm-blooded? Thanks!
from Neil M., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; September 4, 1998

A: There's no definitive answer to this question - it's a very complex issue. It is difficult to determine whether dinosaurs generated internal heat to maintain their body temperature (this is called endothermic - like modern mammals and birds) or relied on the environment and/or their behavior to regulate their temperature (this is caleld ectothermic - like most reptiles). Or perhaps, some dinosaurs were ectothermic and some (perhapd the fast theropods) were endothermic.

For more detailed information on the warm-blooded/cold-blooded debate, click here.

Q: I'm doing a project on dino and need your help on these following Q -what is the different between a male and a female dino.
from EzeI, Johor, Malaysia; September 3, 1998

A: It is very difficult to determine which fossils were male and which were female. Some paleontologists have theorized that the males of some species may have had larger crests, frills, or other showy structures that were used in courtship displays, mating rituals, and/or intraspecies rivalry (contests among members of the same species, like territorial disputes and mating competition), very much like some modern-day animals. For more information on the differentiation between males and females, click here.

Q: Does dino ever fall sick? What medicine did they eat if they fall sick? Is there any dinosaurs disease? Thanks.
from Ankly, Johor, Malaysia; September 3, 1998

A: Yes, T. rex fossils have been found that show evidence of having gout, a painful metabolic disease. For more information on this find and the disease, click here. No, they didn't have any medicine.

Q: How old is a dinosaur until it gets old?
from Lyndon C., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; August 26, 1998

A: It varied - the larger dinos may have lived about 100 years, the smaller ones may have lived considerably shorter lives. Click here to go to the section in Zoom Dinosaurs about the dinsaurs' life span.

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